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A Third Way Christmas

I love a good party, and fall is a time my sister and I dust off our cowboy boots and throw a big gathering we call The Hootenanny.  It’s become a tradition, at least for now.  But this year, due to a seemingly never-ending remodel, it felt like throwing the party into our chaos was a bit too much.  As we talked, the choice became:  Hootenanny or no Hootenanny.  Neither felt right. 

That’s when my sister piped up, “What if we do a third way Hootenanny this year? We’ll just make it simple – gather our family with some of the kids’ friends and just do it differently.” 

It was perfect.  We could still celebrate the spirit of The Hootenanny (and have a tug of war) without doing the whole thing. 

Third way thinking develops you into a more creative, inventive, and innovative thinker.  It also fosters solution-oriented problem solving.  What better time to employ this kind of approach than Christmas? 

On this week’s podcast, The Secret to a Better Christmas, Alex and I break down what third way thinking can do to make your Christmas season one of joy, peace, and meaning.  It’s mind-blowing what pre-thinking and organizing can do to set everyone up for Christmas success. 

This is the reason we’ve created The Christmas Remake: Less Stress, More Memories.  We are taking the entire month of November to tackle common Holiday stressors… together!  While there will be printables and worksheets, it is mainly a Sisterhood experience.  We’re going to thrive this year and help one another with the third way thinking. 

Here are a few “top tips” for a thriving Christmas:

Drop expectations and replace them with expectancy.

There is a vast difference between holding expectations for the season (which will most likely go unmet), and being expectant of what small (or big) gifts will come your way.  Set your mind to watch for the surprising gifts of the ordinary.

Decide early about Christmas time and/or travel and clearly communicate

Consider how you can honor everyone involved in your holiday, while still maintaining healthy boundaries so your family can savor and enjoy the moments.  Decide where you will be on what days and then talk the schedule through with those impacted.  A great tip is to let your extended family be involved in the decision making so everyone feels included and valued (see the podcast episode for more details on this).

Create a Christmas budget and rethink gift giving strategies.

Gifts are a beautiful part of the season, but think about how you can make them more meaningful or memorable.  Is there an experience you can give?  How about fostering a talent? Sometimes simplifying gifts makes the ones you do give more thought-filled and significant. 

We’d love to hear from YOU!  What are your top tips for planning ahead for the holidays? 

Don’t forget to sign up for The Christmas Remake – it closes on November 4th!  Limited number of spots available.  We want this to be a special, personable experience for all in the group!

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