I know, friends, it’s the week before Christmas and most of us are all kinds of crazy. Our jingle bells are jangling in a frenzy and there’s not much calm and bright happening. If you’re anything like me, you are currently living by your “lists” as if your very existence depended on them, petrified something or someone will be forgotten amidst the Christmas fray. Let’s take a moment, shall we? Let’s consider a life-giving, soul-soothing Christmas list…
“the work of the very heart of Christmas: simply rest. Here is holy. The wonder of all this—God looks at you at your lowest and loves you all the way up to the sky.” Ann Voskamp
Who doesn’t want to replace words like “mayhem” and “manic” with “simple” and “savor”? Each Christmas, I’m conscious that there is the temptation to get my perfectionist head on and try to be all things to all people. Throw a serious work deadline into the mix and I’m teetering on the edge. Ask me how I know. And honestly, making lists is the only way I can sleep at night. When the Bullet Journal came into my life, it was love at first sight. Having ALL my lists in one place is a thing of beauty.
But whether you write on sticky notes, multiple notebooks, or backs of receipts, most of us like to be making a list and checking it twice, particularly in the festive season. There are just SO many to write, from family gifts to meal plans to Christmas cards to household chores—we don’t want to forget anything. But there’s something I know I’m in danger of forgetting: taking time to give thanks.
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1
Thanksgiving Day came and went and was a blessed reminder for us all to get our gratitude on. But Christmas? Yes, we are thankful for God’s gift to us in the form of His Son, Jesus… however, I need to remind myself to give thanks for the minutiae as well as the Magnificent.
With a list.
If you Google “gratitude list” you’ll see it’s a whole thing. People love it. It improves our mental state and general well-being to make a physical list of things to be thankful for in our everyday. So why not try a CHRISTMAS GRATITUDE LIST? Specifically, to cause us to pause. To wait and to wonder.
To fill our hearts with gratitude, and gift our souls with whitespace.
It’s not rocket science. It’s as simple as making a page in your BuJo (that’s cool-talk for Bullet Journal) or selecting a notebook or even a sheet of paper and being intentional every day throughout the holiday season to jot down as many things as you can think of that you are truly grateful for. The snow, the kids are on Christmas holidays, God’s love, the gifts are wrapped, time with loved ones, favourite cookies, the gift of sleeping in, the late night Christmas movies, a Saviour born in a manger, the kids are back in school—you get the idea. Every. Little Thing.
“The world tells us to focus on what we do not have, who we are not, and where we have not yet arrived; but I have found that if we are simply grateful for all we do have… all of the “are nots” in our lives fade into insignificance.” Christine Caine
Before you know it, the blaring “to-do” list pales next to the glorious gratitude list. It’s a sweet reminder of the everyday graces we take for granted.
And just maybe it’ll become a habit you’ll want to continue long after the New Year streamers are in the garbage. We have MUCH to be thankful for. And counting our blessings is nourishment for our souls.
Wishing you and yours a truly blessed, joy-filled Christmas season!
Until next year,
P.S. One more list I recommend is my “20 FICTION FAVORITES” —a collection of my favorite fiction book suggestions, complete with mini-reviews. Grab your FREE copy for some festive reading HERE!
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers. Check them out: