More Rest. Less Stress!
For the past decade, our family has had a Christmas vacation tradition. Before dawn on the morning after Christmas, we hop into an RV and join some of our closest friends for a week of camping and riding dirt bikes in the beautiful, wide-open Southern California desert. That’s the fun part. The not-so-fun part of the trip, all of which takes place on the days right before Christmas and Christmas day itself, includes renting the RV and loading it full of a week’s worth of food and supplies, tuning up motorcycles, endless runs to various stores to restock supplies, parts and tools, loading a trailer full of gear, tearing down our Christmas tree so we have one to contribute to the massive bonfire…and on and on and on. We fall into bed Christmas night exhausted and having missed out on much of what the holiday is supposed to be about….you know resting, enjoying family and other somewhat important things!
The recent engagement of our daughter and the need to save money for an impending wedding is causing (allowing) us to take a one-year hiatus from our annual pilgrimage to the desert. Although it’s only December 16 when I am writing this, I’m completely shocked at how much more relaxed I am than normal and how much more I’m looking forward to a less chaotic Christmas season. What are we gonna do instead? I’m not totally sure, but I’ve got some ideas…and I thought maybe they’d inspire you to think through some creative ways to ensure you get more rest and less stress while you take a few days off over Christmas.
Do Something You Love That You’ve Neglected. Is there a hobby that you enjoy but haven’t had time for lately? Is there an older (relaxing) family tradition that has been shelved for a few years? Why not dedicate one day to rekindling something from the past that has been a source of joy for you or your family? Me? I’m making plans to golf for one day with a buddy; doing something I haven’t done in a while with a friend I haven’t seen in awhile.
Read Something Interesting That You Normally Wouldn’t. Is there a topic you’ve always wanted to delve into but haven’t had the time? Is there an author who sounds interesting, but you’ve never picked up one of her books? Is there a historical period or event that you’d like to learn more about? Christmas vacation is a great time to discover some new territory between the pages!
Let Each Family Member Plan A Day. Give each family member a budget (Keep it small to keep the creativity flowing.), and assign them a day to plan something for the family. It’s their day, so they get to plan whatever they want to do! The only criteria is that they plan something everybody can participate in. Tell them to keep their plans a secret until their day arrives, then they reveal them to the family and the fun begins.
Sleep in. Be Lazy. Plan Nothing. Set aside one day during vacation and only make one plan: NO PLANS! Seriously, plan absolutely nothing. Let the kids sleep in. Don’t do any chores. Don’t pre-purchase movie tickets. Don’t make lunch plans. Go to bed the night before knowing that the next day is going to be dedicated to slothfulness. Yeah, I know that’s not normally a quality to be celebrated, but once a year is probably something God is okay with!
This Christmas the Johnston’s are missing out on our favorite family event of the year…and I couldn’t be more excited!
What are you doing to rest this Christmas season?