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Creating a Joyful Family Christmas and Peaceful Holiday Season

Family Christmases should be joyful affairs. Follow these tips for a peaceful holiday season to create Christmas your family will treasure.

Creating a Joyful Family Christmas and Peaceful Holiday Season

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I loved this season as a child, and I still adore it as an adult. 

I love this time of year as an opportunity to slow down, make the most of time with family, and enjoy some beautiful music.

I love the way Christmas can bring out a spirit of hope and giving even during dark times.

This time of year can also be very hard. This weekend our family had two memorials to attend, both for wonderful young men (the older one was our age; the younger one fresh out of grad school) who died too soon.

In times of sorrow we need the light and hope of this holiday season more than ever. Here’s what we are doing to create a warm and peaceful family Christmas. 

Schedule Down Time

This is a really busy time of year, and scheduling down time can be tough! I think it’s worth the effort, though. I try to approach family time as another commitment like all the others on my calendar.

Cherish Family Traditions

We adore advent calendars. This year we’re keeping it simple with our Christmas carol advent calendar and chocolate advent calendars. But the kids have loved picture book advent calendars and other DIY advent calendars in the past. We’ll probably get fancier again in other years.

Creating a joyful family christmas and a peaceful holiday season

Celebrate With Others

One of the highlights of this time of year every year for my family is celebrating Hanukkah with a latke fest at the home of some good friends. It’s not our holiday, but we love celebrating with them.

Mourn With Others

Some type of sorrow is inevitable around the holidays. Besides the personal tragedies we marked this weekend, we know people who lost homes both to the California fires and the Florida hurricane earlier this year. Countless others face serious illness (including Mike’s sister) and other personal tragedies. Making time to mark the sorrows is an important part of this time of year.

Be Patient

The holiday season can bring the worst alongside the best out in all of us! Patience brings peace, and sometimes even laughter – eventually.

Create a magical family Christmas


As a kind of silly example, I’m simplifying this year in lieu of writing a December Goals post.

I set super simple November goals, but actually didn’t finish them. I started a collaborative novel, but barely made any headway. I got a little tiny bit of decluttering and organizing done. I DID enjoy a wonderful visit with my parents and my brother and his family in Florida.

December 2018 Goals

At the end of the day, life is about relationships, not goals. We can’t ignore our goals all the time, but I think it’s fine to fall short from time to time. 

And so SIMPLIFY is my single December goals. 

That’s where I am right now. You might be feeling a lot more energetic, and that’s find! My bloggy friend Cassie always inspires me with her goals

Simplify actually works in the decluttering that didn’t quite get done in November. 

And my daughter is doing her best to keep me writing. That’s the next thing on my list tonight, after this post – so I’d best sign off!

How do you create a wonderful family Christmas? What are your goals for December 2018? Share on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram

MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

3 thoughts on “Creating a Joyful Family Christmas and Peaceful Holiday Season”

  1. You are so right it is both a super awesome time of year, AND a super hard time of year for many people. It’s really a struggle to relax and keep it calm because there are so many great opportunities.

  2. It’s so important to be mindful of our emotions during the holidays. You’ve shared some excellent tips for managing stress during this busy season. One of my favorite ways of taking time out for myself to recharge my batteries is going to a yoga class or indulging in an aromatherapy bath.

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