Tis the most wonderful time of the year.... or for so many of us it is the busiest time of the year.
How can those of us who "make Christmas happen" for our families and friends find time of refreshing? Perhaps, like me, you too desire to return to experience the wonder of the season like in childhood.
Is that even possible?
I certainly don't have navigating the holiday season figured out. Each year comes with its own joys, heartaches, and challenges to navigate. But I have been able to rekindle some of the peace, joy, and even a little bit of wonder.
One of the ways I've done that is to incorporate intentional nights of quiet and little to no tech/distractions/appointments throughout the month of December.
I put them on the calendar and treat them as if they were a meeting with my boss or a get-together with friends. Unless an emergency comes up, I'm going to have that Quiet Night.
29 ideas for your own Quiet Night in December
My Quiet Nights in December have turned out to be one of my favorite traditions in the month. 'Quiet' is a relevant term, meant more in terms of a quiet spirit (banish all traces of guilt and anxiety) and ushering in a more merry, intentional attitude.
Banish every ounce of guilt. This night is just as important as getting the shopping done or attending the office party (maybe a lot more important than that office party!)
Some of us are energized by being with people. Some of us recharge our batteries by being alone.
Whatever you choose to do, have fun doing it.
With this list, you might want to schedule more than one Quiet Nights in December. 😊
There are no rules except to do something that nourishes yourself that you wouldn't normally do on your own. And if that's wrapping all the gifts without a single another soul in the house while you watch Christmas with the Cranks, do it! I'm all for a little productivity to go with relaxation.
More than anything, this list is meant to inspire your own ideas on how to create a magical, memorable Christmas evening.
1. Take a walk in a neighborhood and take in the Christmas lights.
2. Watch your favorite Christmas movie from childhood while working on a favorite project.
3. Write out your favorite holiday recipe on an index card. Add stickers or stamps for a bit of festive flair. Tuck into Christmas cards for family and friends.
4. Turn on your favorite Christmas movie and wrap all the gifts.
5. Spend an hour going through the family albums.
6. Put together the family album you've meant to do for the last few years.
7. Turn on the Christmas lights on the tree, cozy up in your favorite chair and read your favorite book.
8. Catch up with a friend at your favorite coffee shop.
9. Have a quiet date night with your honey. Hire a babysitter or swap babysitting with another family.
10. Write out your Christmas cards.
11. Address all your Christmas cards while talking on the phone with a friend.
12. Package all the gifts, mail, etc. that needs to be mailed before the cut off dates.
13. Fill the stockings (or go shopping for stocking stuffers).
14. Go to a local production of a play or musical.
15. Paint your own toes and fingernails a favorite Christmas color. Relax in front of a fireplace and turn on music your favorite movie.
16. Get together with a girlfriend to watch old movies together.
17. Create photo books with the pictures from your Instagram feed or camera. Upload to Walmart and use their fun and easy print option (or even create a book).
18. Write letters to three people who meant the most to you in the past year.
19. Make popcorn, turn off the phone and spend two hours doing the project you've been eying on
Pinterest for the last three years.
20. Make a Christmas wreath. Give it away to a neighbor.
21. Go to a local Christmas entertainment event- a choir at a church, a holiday jazz band or a
22. Walk around looking at the Christmas lights with your honey and/or kids and/or grandkids.
23. Grab the coloring book you received as a gift and color a few pages. Coloring can decrease stress
24. Write short Christmas notes to put under children's pillows, colleague's desks, etc. Hand written
notes of appreciation are a treasure and encouragement.
25. Take an hour to peruse through all the December editions of the magazines (I may not do a
thing from Martha Stewart or Magnolia Journal, but I love to peruse them).
26. Make a family candy recipe like fudge or peppermint bark. Use the candy for gifts or for your signature dish to bring to holiday events, potlucks, parties, etc.
27. Pick up a fiction book from the library (maybe a Christmas mystery or novel by Anne Perry, Richard Paul Evans or Debbie Macomber). Read a few chapters in a local coffee shop.
28. Spend 30 minutes creating 1-2 pages in your journal -either writing things out or printing/pasting pictures. Chronicle the most meaningful times of the year, things you're thankful for.
29. Enjoy a quiet dinner with a small group of girlfriends or your bestie. Reminisce about the past year, laugh, tell each other stories of your favorite/craziest moments of Christmas past.
Scheduling a Quiet Night in December into the December calendar may be the one activity that shifted my heart and mind from pure panic to relaxed and merry.
I still feel the stress of the season, but adding quiet time to the busiest season of the year shifted something inside of me and changed my perspective on busy-ness during the holidays. Spending some time in quiet made me more aware of the gifts right in front of me and that ushered in more of the wonder of the season my heart had been searching for.
Would love to hear how Quiet Night in December has added a bit of wonder to your season. Find me on Instagram @melissauclair or email me [email protected]
If you'd like to download a pdf of this list, click the button below for your free printable.
Here's to a holiday season with more wonder and less stress,