How to Stay Focused on What Matters This Holiday Season

As Summer fades quickly into Fall, Holiday decorations, gifts, and lights are already popping up in our favorite stores. “It isn’t about the stuff--it’s about what matters most,” echoes in the background of the department stores, crowded lines at Target, and one-click purchases online.

So how do we stay focused on whatever it is that matters so much during this season? Here are a few ways to start it off:


Notice. In order to notice what is happening, it is vital that we pause. This can happen just about anywhere--paying the cashier, handing off papers to a coworker, being sought out by a tantruming child. Rather than moving through life on autopilot, allow there to be a pause just long enough to notice who and what is around you.

<span>Photo by </span><a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Jessica Furtney</a><span> on </span><a href=";utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>


Gratitude. I know, we’ve heard it before, but practicing gratitude is a great way to create intentionality in the day-to-day grind. It doesn’t need to be a long, elaborate journal entry or a grand social media post. Instead, a journal like this one below provides just enough space at the end of each day for a sentence, list, or few words about where the beauty of life shined into your day.


Tradition. Rooted in connection with those with whom we share life, traditions are a lovely way to stay deliberate. They can be as simple or complicated as you like, from a favorite scone recipe shared regularly on Saturday mornings to reusable advent calendars like this one, which allows you to choose the family or adult version. Traditions can create a space to breath and connect--either with others or ourselves--during a season when our calendars seem to fill up overnight.


While the stores are playing their festive songs, and fellow customers are rushing to and from their cars and dashing through the store, let’s see if can find a sacred moment to see this world around us. May we make eye contact, sit with a cup of tea under a blanket at home, ask someone how they are--and wait for an answer. Let’s discover the joy and magic in the ordinary that bubbles beneath the surface of the busyness--and rest in that space, if even for a moment.


Martha is a writer and editor with Whimsicals Paperie. She is a Colorado native who enjoys snowy trail runs, camping in the Rockies, and a nice glass of red wine paired with a good friend and some dark chocolate. She has the privilege of living life alongside her adventurous husband, vivacious son, and a passionate toddler daughter -- each of whom make her life infinitely more beautiful.

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