It’s November and a cloud of subtle anxiety is rolling in. It starts small and builds to the exhausting peak of December 25th. Fall is great: brightly colored trees, pumpkin spice everything, boots and scarves, football, soup. But let’s be honest, we just got settled into the school routine aaaand now the holiday season adds another layer of activity. It’s hard not to look at the calendar and see all the ink: all the shopping, all the cooking, all the decorating, all the school parties, all the family traditions, all.the.things.
The ideal thanksgiving has a feeling of peace and remembrance, of family and unity. But getting there takes intentionality, otherwise we default to stress and busy. The “Thanksgiving holiday” boxes get checked, but there is little actual Thanks – giving.
Here are two steps to an anxiety-free Thanksgiving:
- Simplify by choosing one thing
- Choose one thing to decorate: make a fall centerpiece or a fun door wreath, but your house doesn’t need to scream turkeys and pilgrims. Joanna Gains will not show up (although we wish).
- Choose one ‘fancy’ dish: if you love cooking the Turkey do it! If cooking the turkey causes stress…order a pre-cooked turkey. Make one dish that is special, and let the rest be basic or store-bought. If apple pie from scratch is your tradition, great! If not, everyone is so full by then anyway, just buy one!
- Choose one (or two) traditions and be fully present for those few things. Maybe it’s watching the Macy’s parade wrapped in blankets or delivering meals for a local shelter. Maybe it’s writing things you are thankful for on paper leaves. You don’t need 12 pinterest worthy activities for the kids, choose one thing and let that be enough.
- Refocus – It’s called Thanks-giving, but you might find yourself giving a lot and not thanking much.
That’s why I love this Seeds Family Worship box. It’s a monthly subscription that arrives at your door (like everything else, thank you Amazon Prime) and has just what you need to turn your family’s attention away from the flurry of activity. Although the November box has already shipped out, you can enter to win a box ($30 value) by following our Facebook page and commenting on the promotional post: Tell us your tips to a stress-free Thanksgiving! Contest Rules Here.
- An adorable “Give Thanks” coffee mug – because who doesn’t need a gold-scripty mug to remind them to start the day with thankfulness…and coffee.
- Quietly piano & strings CD by Jay Stocker – my new favorite thing. Beautiful music to quiet your soul, along with suggested Bible readings to fill your soul. Wondering if it will work to calm hyper kids too? Hmmm…
- Print of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Frame it up and be reminded to give thanks in all circumstances
- 10 Reasons I’m Thankful for You – Hit pause on the arguing and have each family member write reasons they are thankful for each other. What a powerful opportunity to encourage!
- Seeds Thanksgiving Tree poster & leaves – Mom life hack right here. Yes I want to put a tree on the wall with cute thankful leaves, but do I ever do it…nope. But now that it’s done for me, let’s do this!
- Family journal – Love the idea of writing down the events, small or big, that cause our hearts to give thanks over the years.
Super excited to see what comes in the December box! If you want to subscribe to the Seeds Family Worship box, you can sign up Here.
If you missed the November box, you can still grab these great ideas for your family! Memorize 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 as a family, write reasons you are thankful for each child, and start a family thankfulness journal.
This year let’s simplify and refocus. Be full of thanks instead of activity.