This is a guest post from Katie Clemons of Gadanke.
I don’t know about you, but every year my holiday to-do list is long. Buy gifts, mail cards, bake cookies, and savor the many reasons for the season. But it’s that last one I really challenge myself to focus on.
There are times in life when we need to prioritize our to-savor lists above the to-do lists. Savor the softly falling snowflakes. Really taste the cookies made from Grandma’s recipe rather than just grabbing a bite on your way out the door. Sing out loud, even if it is off-key!, when you hear your favorite Christmas carol.
This season isn’t about the stuff and how much we can cram into our lives. It’s the people and the little things.
Slow down. Savor. Focus on the story you are creating this season.
Story is what defines us. Stories are what endure.
The greatest thing is when our traditions are celebrated and documented. Here are four ways to slow down and start capturing the stories of your holiday.
1. When you gather for a meal, have everyone share something her or she is thankful for or a holiday memory he or she loves.
Use something like this gratitude journal of prompts, have someone transcribe everything to paper as people talk. Pull out the same list each year and see how your story changes.
2. Keep an ongoing scrapbook.
Scrapbooks are really about the memories and stories they catch. A scrapbook can be as simple as jotting down a story, a note about a family tradition or saving a special photo. Memory books don’t have to be big projects full of greatly designed pages decorated with all kinds of embellishments.
Catching stories can be as easy as making that quick list. Stories don’t have to be long or elaborately written to capture the moments we want to remember.
3. Tell your kids your Christmas stories.
There are hundreds of children’s holiday books to chose from. But why not set those aside some nights? Tell some of your own stories. Describe family traditions and memories from your childhood. Talk about favorite recipes and things that your family does today that you did when you were little. Ask grandparents to do the same.
See those Christmas cookies your kids made? You know – the ones that have more frosting and candies than actual cookies? (Embrace holiday imperfection, right?!) Well do you remember how that exact recipe came to be a family tradition or why you chose the sprinkles and candies? Share it this season. Imagine the time capsules of stories and memories you could create.
How are you documenting the pieces of your story this season?
Editor’s Note: Katie sent me one of her beautiful Joy to the World journals and it’s just the most wonderful thing. I love how you can see and feel the love that she puts into every product, from the hand-selected German papers to all the little details. A Gadanke journal should be on your must-buy list!