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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tis the Pinterest Season

That day you go into the store and the Christmas decorations are out (you know, around October), you begin thinking about the impending holiday season and all it brings....your to do list. Decorate the house, put up the tree, find matching outfits for kids, send approximately 8,564 cards, the ever growing list of gifts to hunt down, and don't forget about the holiday themed festivities at daycare, school, work, Mom's group...

Holiday prep is fun and I genuinely enjoy spreading the love, but over the years I've noticed myself turning my focus further and further from my family and my home; gifts to buy, things to do, people to see, places to be. With an addition of Pinterest inspired desserts, gifts, and projects to the already crushing layer of Christmas cheer, I feel like the expectations (whether real or imagined) are more overwhelming than ever. This year, I'm taking a step back and changing my focus using the culprit of holiday pressure itself; Pinterest.

Why Pinterest? Why not. It's already a tremendous collection of creative ideas ranging from hand print art to stunning ornaments that cannot possibly be made by a normal person. Why not take advantage of it. Plus, this way we can share.

Follow Jen (All Four Love)'s board Advent Calendar on Pinterest.

Follow Jen (All Four Love)'s board The 12 Dates of Christmas on Pinterest.

We aren't doing fancy Christmas portraits or matching holiday outfits. I'm not going to obsess over menus for Christmas breakfast and dinner. If holiday socials don't fit into our family schedule, I'm not going to stress about it. Now, don't get me wrong; this isn't about locking my family in the house and ignoring everyone for a month. This December is, however, going to be about us and sharing the things we love with those we love.

A few weeks ago, I started two Pinterest boards; Our Family Advent Calendar and the 12 Dates of Christmas. One for our family and one for Jeff and I as a couple. As a family, we've been scouring Pinterest and our imagination, adding activities to these boards; activities we're excited to do together as a family or as a couple. There's no order, no requirements; just 24 activities (and 12 dates) that we hope to enjoy as we countdown to Christmas, together.

The activities aren't rocket science and don't require a BA in Fine Arts or a culinary degree to accomplish. It's simple things like baking cookies for a neighbor, bringing Great Grandpa holiday decorations for his retirement home, watching a holiday movie together, or having a camp out in the living room around the lit tree. It sounds simple because it IS simple, but it's things that I, admittedly, haven't made time for in past years. As the kids get older I want them to look back on the holiday season with memories of love, kindness, family, and fun.

I'm hoping our new Advent calendar sparks tradition for years to come, but if not, that's okay too. We'll try something else, pick new activities. Maybe that will be our tradition. Regardless of what works for us, the important part is that it works for us and doesn't become a season of stress and rushing.

That is my wish for you out there. Drink hot cocoa before bed, make more popcorn and Froot Loop garland than is logically necessary, watch cheesy movies, and keep your lap warm with little ones in Christmas PJs. May you have a holiday season full of love, kindness, family, and fun.

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