Contentment

‘Tis The Season

‘Tis the season for gift guides, must haves, and over-the-top everything. But before we get into all of that this year, and trust me I will, I wanted to address something that is even more important than doing the season to the max: contentment.

Ryan and I have been through what feels like all the things over the past 10 years (you can catch up here!) and even in our toughest seasons, we’ve done our best to keep our eye on what matters most. It’s a daily practice and sometimes we nail it, sometimes we fail miserably. It’s especially challenging during the holidays when the world feels like it’s spinning so fast and everything is candy colored and sparkly. Keeping things in perspective can be, well, hard.

I want to remember that it is MORE than okay to make handmade gifts (those are the best kind anyway), to rewear that favorite little black dress from Target to every. single. holiday. party. and to spend evenings at home with family instead of painting the town red (and green, ha!).

What matters is our hearts, not what we wrap up, unwrap, or wear.

These last two years Ryan and I have only given each other ornaments and love notes for Christmas. Those small tokens still stand as my favorite gifts I’ve ever received. Being together is more than enough and, honestly, an expensive gift is just icing on the cake with calories I don’t technically need! 😉

So as the gift guides start rolling out, the holiday content coming in hot, just know these posts are meant to inspire, to be over the top, to be fun, and to mostly, be helpful.

My hope and prayer for this season is that you come here to feel inspired and excited about the the holidays! Not pressure. Because just like you, whether I buy all the things or I buy nothing, my heart is what matters.

Our Annual Holiday Tradition

Read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

The first holiday season Ryan and I were together he brought over Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. He found an edition that had thoughtful discussion questions and commentary, and had read it the previous year and thought I might like it too! Well, I did, and we decided to make it our own tradition going forward. It’s one of the things I look forward to most about the holiday season. After 6 years our copies are worn, highlighted, underlined, and well loved.

I seriously can’t recommend reading it enough during the holiday season. Even though I know the story, every year it wrecks my heart all over again in the best way possible.

All of that to say, I’m so excited for this season! And just thrilled to have the privilege of doing it again this year with the people I love… which of course, includes you.

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
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20 Comments

  1. Melissa
    November 6, 2019 / 7:19 am

    This is the best post and I wholeheartedly agree with everything!! I love Christmas but I love contentment and my family more. I love that I have a firm foundation with Christ and that is what it is all about anyway.

    xoxo,
    Melissa

    • November 6, 2019 / 10:29 am

      Aw, you are so sweet Melissa! Thank you for the kind comment! xx – AB

  2. Tara
    November 6, 2019 / 10:21 am

    What a wonderful article! Thank you for sharing and keeping things in perspective!

    • November 6, 2019 / 10:29 am

      Thank you Tara, this means the world! xx

  3. Cristina
    November 6, 2019 / 10:30 am

    Thank you for these thoughtful words I. A world where the ‘stuff’ becomes all consuming. It’s great to take a beat and just enjoy the moment.

    • November 6, 2019 / 10:35 am

      Thank you so much Cristina! Your note means the world! xx

  4. November 6, 2019 / 10:55 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I am a big gift giver, always have been. But this year my husband and I both decided not to get any gifts. I’m okay with that! We have a lot going on right now that takes precedence and I know our families will be understanding.

    Instead of gifts we are going to take each other out to eat on Christmas Eve since we won’t be heading home to see family this year. It will be special no matter what!

    • November 11, 2019 / 11:47 am

      I love this Shannon!! Such a sweet idea.

  5. Jane H.
    November 6, 2019 / 2:33 pm

    What a wonderful post! You have captured the truly important part of holiday festivities. Let’s focus on what Christmas is really all about. (Thank you God!) The rest is fluff…..and it’s fun, but it isn’t all necessary to the point of being stressful. Let’s not overspend, overeat, and overbook our time. And again this year, I’m using your gift giving spreadsheet which I found super helpful last year. I tend to start the gift search early in the year and then forget what I’ve already accomplished. That spreadsheet really kept me organized! I hope you and Ryan have a very special holiday season — you’ve both earned it!

    • November 11, 2019 / 11:48 am

      Thank you Jane, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Means the world. xx

  6. November 6, 2019 / 9:03 pm

    So well said! I can completely relate.

  7. Robyn
    November 6, 2019 / 9:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this post, a great reminder!

  8. Leah
    November 6, 2019 / 9:38 pm

    That is such a sweet tradition.

  9. Elizabeth
    November 6, 2019 / 9:55 pm

    Preach! This means so much to me. I’m from a family that doesn’t have a lot and can hardly ever buy from the holiday gift guides my favorite bloggers put out. So this means a lot girl! Thanks for the ideas about the Christmas Carol.

    • November 11, 2019 / 11:49 am

      Elizabeth! Thank you so much, friend. I’m so glad you loved the post. xx

  10. Lily
    November 7, 2019 / 10:48 am

    I love this! I would love to hear more about what you do throughout the day to stay content. Maybe like a day in the life post of what an average day looks like? How you prioritize God, Healthy Eating, Working Out, Work, etc.

    • November 11, 2019 / 11:50 am

      That’s such a great idea! I’ll keep that in mind! xx

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