Learning Our Way Through the Holidays

I am sorry that I have not written a post in a little over a week. Our family has been so busy with this holiday season that I have not had time to post. Israel also has been sick for most of the week and got tubes on Thursday due to recurring ear infections. I have also been sick since the day after Christmas. I think our family has gotten so sick just from the constant busyness of the season. We have had zero time to rest.

Christian and I served in the choir for the Christmas Eve production at our church. We performed in six Christmas Eve services. We had early call times and a few weeks of rehearsal. But it was worth. God showed up during the services and lives were changed. We really enjoyed serving, but Israel stayed with family while we were at rehearsals and performances. Like I mentioned, during this time, he had recurring ear infections and was not well.

Ever since Halloween, the past couple of months have flown by. We have just felt like there were not enough hours in the day. We hosted family for Thanksgiving and Christmas, attended choir rehearsals and performances, went to several parties, and had to buy presents and holiday food for our families. In the midst of all of this, we also were blessed with finding our house! Although we did participate in so many different events and activities during this holiday season, there were several things we planned to do but never got the time to do.

For example, we wanted to bring Izzy to the Pumpkin Patch and Boo at the Zoo during Halloween time. Sheila, our family friend that always watches Izzy, ended up bringing him to the Pumpkin Patch. But we never went to Boo at Zoo. We waited till the last minute to buy tickets and they were sold out. We also planned to go to Celebration in the Oaks and take pictures with Santa. However, between Izzy being sick and with everything else going on, there was never a good time to go.

Izzy’s first holidays were definitely a learning experience for Christian and I as parents. We realized why parents go Black Friday shopping and start buying presents in September. We realized that it’s difficult for us to participate in extracurricular activities and even spend time with friends and coworkers now that we are parents. We’ve learned the value in respecting and having boundaries and the value of saying “no” to people and ourselves when it’s hard.

We know there’s no special book on parenting that tells you exactly what to do and a lot of good parenting is having faith and trust in the ability God gave you to raise your child. Our own conviction has shown us what we need to do better next year for our family. We thought we’d share these with you with hope that you may find them helpful.

1.Planning in advance

Next year, one of our goals as a family is to have all of our Holiday plans decided by September. We are decided this because of our schedules are chaotic. We will have concrete plans to attend everything we didn’t get to do with our son in 2018. Deciding early also makes it difficult for us to change plans last minute especially if we’ve invested money into tickets for an event. Plus, buying tickets early saves us money!

2. Shopping early

If we actually go shopping earlier on, we will be able to save money and catch sales on items we plan to gift. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are great opportunities to save money on gifts and also on items for the next season. For example, when all the winter stuff is on sale, buy the size your kid will be in next year to save money!

3. Setting boundaries and saying no 

You can’t be all things to all people. It’s important to prioritize you and your family’s needs and wants and focus on that rather than focusing on everyone else’s needs and wants. This may sound selfish but to us, we are protecting and conserving our family. Sometimes, that’s more important that people pleasing.

Despite, everything we felt we did not get to do, we had a really blessed Christmas with our son, family, and friends. We are truly grateful for getting to serve our church and love where God has planted us. Izzy seemed to really enjoy his first Christmas and that’s what really mattered. I hope you enjoy some of our Christmas photos below! Feel free to share, comment, and send in prayer requests! God bless and happy New Year! See you in 2019!

How is your Holiday season going?

What lessons have you learned this year?

Share your experiences in the comments and let’s start a conversation!

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