It’s Time to Edit Our To-Do List

It’s Time to Edit Our To-Do List

2020 has been weird and hard and heartbreaking and all the things. There’s no way to beat around the bush or sugar coat it. The holidays are supposed to be filled with joy and glad tidings, but this year many of us are grieving or struggling financially or feeling burned out or all of the above. I see you. I hear you. And I am here to encourage you.

Take a couple of deep breaths, mama. When you exhale, let it go. Let go of your expectations of what this holiday season will be like. Let’s agree to leave some wiggle room in our schedules. Let’s agree to take it day by day. There. Does that take some of the pressure off? I hope it does. Speaking of plans, lets take a look at our holiday to do lists. I’m not talking about the practical things that are non-negotiable. I’m talking about that holiday baking that you do every single year. I’m talking about the 17 Christmas movies are a must watch. I’m talking about the five course dinner that you typically serve on Christmas day. Those things. Things that you might really enjoy but maybe won’t or shouldn’t happen this year.

It is okay to not do all the things. It is ok to cross things off your holiday to do list because you don’t have the capacity to get them done this year. This isn’t a lesson just for 2020. I actually learned this truth last year. There wasn’t one specific thing that was going on in my 2019 life, but I was feeling SO spread thin by the beginning of December. A lot of little things added up, and I was just DONE before it even started. The holiday season felt like some gigantic mountain I was going to be forced to climb. That’s when I realized that’s not how I wanted to spend my time. I am worthy of enjoying the Christmas season just as much as my kids and the rest of my family. I made the decision. I crossed something off my list. Something big. I decided that we wouldn’t celebrate Advent nightly in our home. I know what you’re thinking. “But Emily, isn’t your husband a pastor?” Yes, yes he is. What I realized (thanks to the Holy Spirit) was that I am not responsible for my kids’ relationship to God. Yes, I am responsible for guiding them, but their salvation isn’t going to come down to one Advent season. And so, I crossed it off. IT WAS FREEING! I was able to enjoy the holiday season with my family without feeling like I was in servitude to them.

This year has been really interesting. It has really made us focus on what really matters. What really matters to you? What fills your cup during this time? What brings your family joy? By crossing off the things that don’t really matter, we can make room for this things that do. One thing that I am excited to make room for is decorating gingerbread houses. But here’s the kicker, because I’ve crossed some things off, I am planning on making the gingerbread myself. This is something that I have wanted to do for years but haven’t been able to because of being distracted by other things. What matters most to us, this year, is that our family feels peaceful and bonded. Every activity is put through that filter. If it doesn’t meet that basic criteria, then it’s crossed off the list.

What are you crossing off your list this year? Are you adding anything to it? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to like and share if you enjoyed this post. Happy Holidays!!

The Best 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids 8 and Under

Here are my top picks for gifts that are not only budget friendly, but will also grow with your kids. This post contains some affiliate links, which helps support this space with no added cost to you. Happy shopping and happy holiday!

These blocks are so great and can be used by any age to make simple or complicated structures.

This customizable stuffed animal was such a favorite with each of my kids when they were young toddlers.

The perfect gift for your emerging authors and illustrators. Have your kids write and illustrate their own book, then send it off to be professionally made into a real hardcover book!

Have your little mermaid snuggle up in this cozy blanket all winter long.

Put on a show with this fun set of puppets.

Bilibos are an open-ended toy that can be used in so many fun ways. We also use our as “wiggle seats” during homeschooling.

These On the Go Craft Kits are perfect stocking stuffers! They are perfect for screen free entertainment in the car, if you’re traveling this holiday season.

My 6 year old received this face painting kit for her birthday, and it has been a favorite for all 3 of my kids. I love it because it washes off SO easily and doesn’t stain.

I cannot tell you enough how much my kids love these books. They are cute and sweet stories that actually teach our kids about the scientific method in a fun and engaging way.

This fun toddler scooter will be under the tree for my 3 year old this year! I love how it has two wheels in the front to help with balance. 

Slime, slime, and more slime. Need I say more? Seriously, though, I like how this kit contains ready made magnetic slime, which was showcased on Emily’s Wonder Lab.

Did you know triangle crayons help teach proper grip? These Jumbo Triangle Crayons are great for little hands.

Do you have a fashionista like I do? My 6 year old received this jewelry making kit last year, and she still plays with it at least once a week. 

My 8 year old has become very interested in origami over the last several months. I plan on getting her this set. I really like how the paper is double-sided. 

This fairy garden is growing in my kitchen this very moment. The kids had such a fun time creating it, and now we are watching the grass grow. They can hardly wait to string the included lights for a special and unique night light. 

There’s a reason Tinker Toys are such a classic.

I’m not the crafty mom, and that is why I love all in one craft kits. Look at how stinkin’ cute this robot craft kit is!

Get your kids outside and moving without the clean up of Nerf guns with this Laser X laser tagging game.

Who doesn’t want to cuddle up with Baby Yoda from Mandalorian on Disney +. This 8″ plush Yoda is perfect for your little Star Wars fan.

Harry Potter is as popular now as it was ever. This Room of Requirement LEGO Set is so fun but not overly complicated to assemble.

There you go! I hope you found some fun things your kids will love. A special thanks to my dear friend, Meredith, for her contribution to this gift guide.