November 8, 2016

I’m linking up today with Emily from Ember Grey for her Grateful Heart Linkup. She helps us start off the week right by writing about what she is grateful for and asking other bloggers to join in. I’m excited to finally be linking up after reading so many of her grateful heart posts.

Today, I want to start off the holiday season with a grateful heart.

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I don’t like thinking about the holidays as something we need to get through. It’s not something we need to go into debt for. It’s not something to stress over. It’s not about shopping or having magazine-worthy decorations or perfect cards. I don’t like the pressure of feeling like I have to do everything, bake all of the cookies, battle busy stores and cutthroat parking lots.

I want to just enjoy the holiday season with the people I love. I want to make some presents, send some cards, bake some cookies, drink some wine, and watch some movies. Simple as that.

Christmas is the only time that Nick will have vacation for the foreseeable future, and I don’t want to spend that time stressed.

I wanted to write about this today because I feel like the holidays will be a little bit stressful no matter what. But I think that putting it into perspective can help a lot. There are so many beautiful things that only come this time of year, things that I am so grateful for, things that I look forward to all year. I want to  go into the holiday season with a grateful heart instead of a begrudging one. You’re not going to get to do everything, but you can be intentional about how you pend your precious holiday season.

So today, and during the holidays season, I’m grateful for so much. No stress for me this year.

I’m grateful for family traditions.

I’m grateful for new traditions Nick and I have made over the years.

I’m grateful for Thanksgiving dinner and all of the pie.

I’m grateful for time with people I love.

I’m grateful for Christmas trees and twinkling lights.

I’m grateful for ornaments that tell our story.

I’m grateful for Christmas music that feels like coming home.

I’m grateful for cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, and Christmas pajamas.

I’m grateful Christmas cards from my friends and family.

I’m grateful for movies like The Grinch and Elf.

I’m grateful for The Hallmark Channel and their cheesy holiday movies.

I’m grateful for cookies, mulled wine, and hot coco.

I’m grateful for all-day baking sessions where calories definitely don’t count.

I’m grateful for the ability to buy presents for people I love.

I’m grateful for drinks by the fire.

I’m grateful for that feeling of coming home after being away for so long.

I’m grateful for a new Star Wars movie (DECEMBER 17!).

I’m grateful for the wonder of it all.

I’m grateful.

 

A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

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12 responses to “Going into the holidays with a grateful heart”

  1. Jen says:

    I love this! I agree that the holidays shouldn’t induce stress for anyone. I know so many military families feel stressed because of the need to travel to be with family and that can take a toll.

    • Carolann says:

      Traveling and figuring out who we are going to see is the number 1 most stressful thing about the holidays for me, especially living in Hawaii with our families in California and New York. I was a bit stressed out in October as we were making our plans but now that they are set, I am so excited and at peace with our decision. We don’t get to see everyone but that is just part of being a military family. I think we will still have a great Christmas.

  2. Audrey says:

    I love Emily’s Grateful Heart link-up 🙂 The holidays is my second favorite time of year. (It ALMOST ties with fall/Halloween… I just love the last quarter of the year!) We’re trying very hard to keep the stress to a minimum this year and we’re reducing house hopping and Christmas budgets to make it more relaxing!

    • Carolann says:

      I love Emily’s blog and I always say I am going to join in the linkup and today I finally did! I wanted to write about this because I really do think that the holidays should be fun. I love Christmas and I could totally go overboard on buying gifts and decorations and everything but we set a budget and I am going to make a lot of gifts this year, which is extra special to me. We’ve also decided to limit our traveling so that we can be more relaxed and actually spend time together!

  3. It really is so easy to get caught up in all the chaos and stress that comes with the holidays, when it should be a time of love and thankfulness that we get to do all the things that cause us stress! I could definitely use a step back during the holidays to really be grateful and thankful for all that I have, and the new Star Wars movie of course! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to hang all of our ornaments up because they really do tell your story!

    • Carolann says:

      Hanging up ornaments is my favorite! Nick and I have been together for 9 years and we’ve been giving each other ornaments for Christmas ever since. And when we’re on vacation sometimes we like to get them too. But in all our years together we have only had one Christmas tree because we’ve been apart a lot. This year I am going to so enjoy getting our tree and hanging up the ornaments!!

  4. I love this! I think that gratefulness is one of the things that makes me love the holidays so so much.

  5. Carly says:

    Yes, yes, yes! I love your take on the holidays and definitely want to try and make these things a priority and focus on the JOY of the season, not the stressors! That’s such an awesome photo of you guys!

    • Carolann says:

      It seems obvious, but I wanted to write about this because I feel like it’s so easy for me to lose sight of the joy of the season and get stressed and overspend. This year, no stress, only joy and love and lots of Christmas cookies!

  6. I’ve definitely been consciously trying to avoid all sources of stress this time around, although every year I say that and I still end up running around between families! Sigh. Thanks for the timely reminder, off to go and scrutinise my plans now…

    • Carolann says:

      Thanks so much for commenting on this post and for reminding me about it. Even though I wrote it, I’ve found myself getting a bit stressed out over random little things the past few weeks. But right now I’m sitting in my parents’ house, looking at their tree and drinking hot coco, and all is right in the world!

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