that time of year

“It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love. When every song you hear seems to say, “Merry Christmas. May your New Year dreams come true…” 

This is a line from one of my favourite Christmas songs by Frank Sinatra – we’ve been listening to the She & Him version over the holiday season. Oh, the holidays. A time of peace, togetherness and joy. Right? Or are you feeling the weight of your to-do list, your children’s wish lists, and Pinterest’s look-like-this lists?

Sinatra’s song could actually be about how at this time of year, we all fall into shopping malls, and the voices we hear in our heads seem to say, “Make it perfect – then your holiday dreams will come true.”

As someone whose love language is giving gifts, I have to be intentional about simplifying the holidays and taking the focus off of consumerism and back where it belongs. My goal is to spend my time – time that would otherwise be spent shopping, decorating, and planning a 5 course meal – creating life-giving activities and rhythms for our family at this time of year. I get to satisfy my love language by giving that gift to my children.

Tiny Advent Planting Seeds5Tiny Advent Planting Seeds3

Part of that is making our gifts. We buy very few gifts and everything the kids gift is handmade by them. This is worked right into our weekly rhythms as crafting is a part of our Advent series, so each week we’re busy felting, mixing, pouring, planting, sewing and otherwise creating handmade goodness that is gifted to others. Here are some things we’ve made in the past.

pouring the saltsbath salts boy

Sometimes after a while of crafting, Milo is done and moves on to his own endeavors, like making invisibility or sleep potions with rose petals and baking soda. I am wondering who the recipient of this amazing gift will be – we may never see them again! I couldn’t resist sharing these photos of him, as he was so engaged in the moment and is so darn cute.

I love creating space for us to just “be” during this season of turing inward in anticipation and wonder. How do you simplify your holidays and bring the focus on peace, joy & togetherness? Share your tips in the comments.

*Keep reading for THREE amazing free gifts for the holidays…

Milo Potion 2Milo Potion 3  Milo Potion 4

If you’re interested in some great free resources for a simple and joy-filled holiday, check out these three free gifts (another way I can live out my love language this season):

1. I have created resources out of a lot of the activities I have done with my own family over the years and am offering them this year at no cost through the Tiny Advent series. There is a fun giveaway running right now where you can win a $20 Tiny Peasant gift certificate for sharing your photos of things you’ve done based on the series with the hashtag #tinyadvent. See here for more details.

2. The Playroom Remedy e-course sets you up with five practical emails to help you turn your mountains of toys into molehills – great for before or after the holidays – and also for choosing quality toys.

3. Dealing with all the “stuff” of Christmas isn’t the only thing that crops up at this time of year, so I was thankful to join two amazing women for a free audio series, Healthy Holidays. Learn how to make healthy versions your favourite treats, keep a healthy holiday mindset, and create amazing family memories through some simple holiday rhythms and practices.

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