Week 4: Stress Less Holiday Challenge: The True Meaning of the Season

It’s now Week 4 of our Stress Less Holiday Challenge! We wanted to focus on the True Meaning of the Season. We each took a couple of days of our favorite ways to remember the true meaning of the holiday season!

The holidays are a great time of year to remember others and to give to those who don’t have as much or those who we love. When I was younger it was easy to get caught up in what we were getting for Christmas, but my parents did really well having us do traditions that taught us the true meaning. We want that for you and your families! You need to start planning now so that you aren’t stressed trying to figure out your activities and traditions last minute!

Challenge 20: Pick 12 days of Christmas Family. This has always been one of my favorite traditions. I remember when we were younger coming up with poems to go with our gifts and running the gifts to the door. I loved the entire process! We would do treats that the families we were giving to love! On the blog, we also have 12 days of Christmas Nativity. Check that out and enjoy this super fun tradition!

Challenge 21: Read the Story of Christ’s Birth. Often times with everything that’s going on in our busy lives it’s hard to remember the true meaning of Christmas. I like to read the Story of Christ’s Birth and discuss with my family the meaning and also what Christ’s life meant.

Challenge 22: Christ-Centered Decor. Add some Christ-centered decor to your Christmas decorations. This will really help bring the true meaning of Christmas to your home and keep your family reminded of what this Holiday really is all about. Some examples might be a nativity scene, a photo of Mary and the Christ child, or a star on top of the tree.

Challenge 23: Learn and Share Symbolism of Christmas Items. Learn about and decide how to share with your family the symbolism of common Christmas items. 

Candy Cane: the shepherd’s staff
Star: the star of Bethlehem that led the way
Evergreen tree: sign of undying life
Christmas presents: the gifts given by the three wise men
Angels: angels brought messages to Mary and Joseph
 
Challenge 24: Service
We all get so caught up in getting and giving the perfect gift. Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s important too, but this is the perfect time to teach your family about service. I’m a firm believer that we all should be doing it all year round. What better way of doing that if we start now! Nothing makes you happier than doing for others and stop focusing on ourselves.
The challenge is to make a list of service. Don’t overdo it because if you try to do too much, you won’t be able to accomplish your goal and it will take away from the spirit of the challenge. One of my favorite things to do is to take my kids to the Christmas tree at Shopko and let them pick a child that they want to provide Christmas for. You can go big on this or go small but it helps drive home the message to your kids how blessed their lives are and how to think about others. Remember, service doesn’t have to cost anything!
 
Challenge 25: Acts of Kindness
This can be alot like our service challenge but I think these are sweet tender things that we can all do to show another human being that they matter. This is something you can do as a family or have each family member make their own list. It is things that we can do with our own family or total strangers. Click here for ideas: Random acts of Kindness.
 
Challenge 26: Give it Away!
About a week ago, I was looking for things to share on Lou Lou Girls Facebook page and I ran across this idea. Have your kids go through their old toys and decide on a set amount of toys that they would like to donate to a local charity. For those who don’t have kids at home, go through your own items.  It helps you clean out their toy chest and it makes them recognize that there are others in this world that are just as important but might need a little help. 


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46 thoughts on “Week 4: Stress Less Holiday Challenge: The True Meaning of the Season”

  1. I like that you introduced the act of kindness into your challenge list. It’s important to think as well to the ones less fortunate then us during family focused holidays, like Christmas.

  2. What a wonderful challenge to take on to embody the true meaning of Christmas – to love and service one another, be there for our fellow neighbors and remember that the Christ Light shines in us all. Certainly, that should not be stressful <3 😀

  3. Awww I love this and these ideas!! My family and I always try and make sure that we keep Christ at the center of our holiday season and it keeps things in perspective!

  4. These are some really great tips! We try to do some more charitable acts like volunteering at our local animal shelter and donating goods to our food bank.

  5. I try to make service to others a regular part of my life because I really like to help others and thats why Jesus came too so we can serve our siblings in Christ

  6. Big thanks to you for this amazing challenge, there is an opportunity to be kind, to come out of your comfort zone. This is not what I normally do but I dared to do and can’t wait to do more.

  7. Great challenges to bring out the true spirit of Christmas! It’s become such a gift-centered holiday and it’s a shame, because the true purpose is lost within all the purchasing and stress. Instead, it needs to be a time of reflection, family, love and service.

  8. These are truly amazing challenges to do this coming Holiday Season! We should bringing out the true spirit of Christmas.

  9. I must say your parents taught you well! These are such a playful but at the same time smart ideas/challenges to pass on to next generation. I like them all!

  10. I love this post!! We try to practice the giveaway part a few times of the year. I explain if they don’t use it someone else who needs it can use it.

  11. This is a wonderful idea. We definitely need to take a few steps back and remember what the season is truly about.
    I learned something new today 😊 I didn’t realize the candy cane represented the shepherds staff.

  12. It sounds very stressful indeed….I am not Christian so to.me all the Chris thing has never made much sense…to.me Christmas has always been a nightmare…hours of travelling to be stuck in a room with my parents and her friends (that I didnt like very much) watching the men getting drunk until they cannot stay awake anymore. Oh yes, and giving expensive presents to feel less guilty about not been so nice to me during the year. Regarding acts of kindness, I prefer to do them all year around.

  13. We’re in the middle of our act of kindness for the year. We’ve collected over $15,000 of new toys & games and are taking them to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital!

  14. As we believe in neither God or Jesus and so forth in our house, we don’t do any nativity – however we do give things away, so this year the kids are going to choose toys they no longer play with or have grown out of – and it’s going down to the local charity shop so someone else can receive something for xmas. 🙂

  15. The holidays are so stressful, but I think we as humans add all that stress on our own because we don’t focus on the true meaning of christmas, we focus on a lot of want more than what we need.

  16. Christmas can be stressful but I think its important to remember what makes it so special and the meaning behind it. I think its lovely that you go your children to find any unwanted old toys for charities, what a lovely message you are teaching them this holiday.

  17. We go shopping for toys and then donate them to kids in need. The random acts of kindness are a super great idea! It also teaches a lot to kids.

  18. I look forward to these posts every week 😀 I love how you care about others! It is about family but it is about sharing and caring as well <3

  19. I think my mom had us do every one of these almost every year growing up! One of our favorite traditions we still practice is opening our presents at midnight Christmas morning. We usually would read the Christmas story just beforehand too.

  20. love this, I feel like Christmas has lost its meaning so its good to take a step back and help others instead of wanting to get things only. I am hoping to do this for my future family.

  21. These activities will really help us get into the Christmas spirit! I love how you included these activities in your challenge!

  22. We’re always happy to serve. We do so in numerous ways and the people we are serving always bless us far more than we bless them.

  23. I like when families have developed traditions among them it allows for bonding and cultural continuation. I also like the challenges that comprised your Christmas traditions. I especially like , however, Challenge 21;when you read of story of Christ’s Birth. This way you don’t get carried away the commercialism of Christmas but rather you understand and appreciate the true meaning of it.

  24. I’m always finding ways to give back during the holiday season. I’m going to be participating in Meals on Wheels in Atlanta this Thanksgiving!

  25. I’ve never given the symbols like the candy cane and the evergeen tree a second thought, even though I love symbolism. I guess I’ve just accepted that they are a part of Christmas so I never questioned their meaning. Eye-opening!

  26. Yay yay yay!! I couldn’t love this post more. The way I stress less during the holidays is absolutely to focus on the reason for the season and take my eyes off of me. Lower the Pinterest expectations.

  27. Great post, it is so easy to get caught up in other things and forget about the true reason. I have to remind myself every year!

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