Make It Happen Monday: Pruning the Holidays

One of my favorite books to read as the holiday onslaught begins is Can Martha Have a Mary Christmas? by Brenda Poinsett.  If you are passionate about living lopsided, this is a must-read!   She says this about taming the holiday calendar,

We will all prune in different ways in light of what is most important to us and in light of what will make our Christmas more pleasurable and meaningful.  (64)

When you look at your December calendar and think, “I can’t do it all!” … ask yourself these questions:

What is my goal for this season?

What is on my calendar that doesn’t match that goal?

Do you need to prune your holidays? Eliminate what's unecessary so you can make the most of the season!

Of course, there will be some obligations we must keep … but undoubtedly there are parties you can skip and other things that be down-sized or even (gasp!) eliminated altogether.

One of the ways we try to keep ourselves from being stretched too thin (as much as that is possible in a pastor’s home! LOL) during this season is before it all gets crazy, we sit down and each list ONE THING that is most important to us for the season. Those are the “guaranteed to get done” events, activities, etc.   Everything else can be modified or even eliminated.

An added benefit of asking everyone in your home what is most important to them is that you can get a feel for what your children and husband really value … maybe your daughter is like mine and she wants to make sure we sit down one night and watch Christmas movies.  Perhaps one of your children doesn’t want to miss out on driving around looking at lights.  Your husband may value a night out for the two of you.  You might not want to miss out on a candy-making  or ornament exchange party with friends.

Whatever those things are … write them in ink …

and let everything else be written with pencil!

Don’t worry if someone else seems to be doing more or less than you or even those things you *wish* you were doing … make your list and work with it!  If you decide to do more, go for it!  If you find yourselves stressed out and wishing you had never ordered Christmas cards … wait and send them in January with a cute poem like this one:

We ordered the cards with a mind to send

But time got away and it was year’s end.

Maybe, like ours, your list went  for miles

And now, in the calm, you’ll enjoy our smiles.

Decide now to take hold of the holidays instead of them taking hold of you!

Recommended Reading:

[affiliate link]

Can Martha Have a Mary Christmas? by Brenda Poinsett

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. Years ago, I realized that I kept Christmas everywhere but in my heart. Everything I did was good and had merit, but it was crazy! Nuts! For almost 15 years now, I have celebrated Christmas in my heart first, and everything else has become an outpouring of my own anticipation of the Christ Child. It was hard at first. Others saw my withdrawal from the fray as an indictment on their own celebrations, and maybe that was partly my fault. I still get the occasional ‘You gotta be kidding me…you don’t do _______ at Christmas?’ Some folks have been offended when I turned down invitations to parties and had no ‘real’ reason. But it has become easier and easier. And the season has become more meaningful to me and hopefully to my family as we have centered our celebration on Him. A very wise post, my dear!

  2. I love it! I had simple plans for Christmas but now my in-laws are coming to our house (instead of us going to their house!). I’m really glad they are coming here, but I’m also a little stressed. I needed these reminders today. Thanks Teri Lynne!
    Sandra recently posted…Just a Mom- Eunice &amp LoisMy Profile

  3. Thanks for the book recommendation, Teri Lynne! I’ll definitely have to check this one out. And I appreciated your idea about asking the family to name one thing that’s important to them. I was just thinking this morning that I’d like to do that tonight at dinner. Thanks for giving me the extra push that I needed!
    I always appreciate what I learn at your blog. Keep up the great work!
    Blessings to you~
    Cindy 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge