*This post is sponsored by Chesapeake Bay Candles but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
1. Don’t forget to tell people how important they are to you
I recently heard an encouraging and challenging teaching at church about how we often wait until a funeral to really, truly express how we feel about someone.
One thing that I love about the holidays is that it opens the door for us to be just a little bit more honest and vulnerable with the people in our lives. Don’t forget to give that extra big hug or tell someone how much you appreciate having them in your life. It’s also a great time to go the extra mile to serve and love on them.
Your words and actions may bring a lot of joy and refreshment to their hearts. Sometimes I think we underestimate how many people in our world need just a little bit of hope and joy during the holiday season.
“Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24.
2. Don’t forget to bring a gift for your host
Every holiday host goes through a LOT to put the holiday dinner together. When you bring a gift, no matter how big or small, it shows that you appreciate all of the effort that the host puts in.
One of my favorite gifts to give are these gorgeous and delicious chocolates from Maggie Louise Confections, a gift card to your favorite restaurant or a candle (like this one!) If you don’t have the time or budget for something like that, some fresh Trader Joe’s flowers or a bottle of wine will be just as appreciated from your host or hostess!
3. Don’t get involved in political conversations.
I am all about intellectual conversations between family members. I thrive on them. But it’s important to remember that the holiday table is not intended to mimic a political Facebook post.
If you know that you have long-standing, differing beliefs between you and your cousin across the table, one argument over a turkey surely isn’t going to shift their perspective. It makes the other people around you uncomfortable and darkens the mood of the holiday. I graciously encourage you to save it for another time!
4. Don’t hesitate to impress your guests with your creativity
If you’re the one hosting, don’t hold back. Embrace the gifts that God has given you! If you like to DIY everything, do it! If you like to set up a fancy table, go for it! Whether you decide on a low-key, casual holiday or a fancy, black tie event – your guests will appreciate seeing your authenticity and a piece of your personality.
I’m definitely a ‘fancy’ kind of person. I have so much fun with it; the colors, the atmosphere and the smells! We were recently gifted some candles, courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Candles, and I am in love with them! We have received three total collections and these from The Heritage Collection by Chesapeake Bay are by far my favorite.
I may be a little biased (because holiday smells have always been at the top of my list), but I shared my love for these candles on my Instagram Stories and meant every word!
It’s a tough competition, but my two favorites are the Chestnut & Acorn and the Balsam Fir. The Chestnut & Acorn smells of rich vanilla, roasted chestnuts, brown sugared pecans, and cinnamon. It is absolutely everything that I love in a candle!
Balsam Fir is a classic Christmas scent with its own unique twist. We burnt ours as we decorated our tree as a family! It smells of evergreen pine, fresh balsam and cedarwood, among many other bold (but not brash) scents. We will be burning these throughout the entire holiday season!
We also really love the Beach Bonfire and Pumpkin Latte scents! I’m also always burning candles, so I love that these last 80 hours. They will definitely make your home extra cozy during the holiday season!
5. Don’t forget to make a difference
Make the choice beforehand that you will be a light this holiday season. Whether this means making homemade muffins and taking them out to the homeless on Thanksgiving morning or simply doing the dishes after your Christmas feast, give people a reason to wonder, “What’s different about her?”
Show the love of God not only through your words, but also through your actions.
6. Don’t forget to slow down
You and your own little family need to enjoy the holidays amidst the hustle and bustle of it all. Keep the stress and chaos at bay and focus on one another. That’s the most important thing of all!
7. Don’t drink too much
This one speaks for itself. Quite a few years ago, I used to go into the holidays thinking that we were all going to have such a blast because a lot of alcohol was involved. But what happened is what always happened – there were a lot of regrets, words said that shouldn’t have been, someone’s feelings were eventually hurt and I was left feeling physically sick and emotionally empty the next day.
Remain sober-minded this holiday season and choose to enjoy your family without relying on a crutch to make you someone else or to aid you through the process, even if it’s a hard season for you.
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a rager, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives…” Titus 2.
8. Don’t lose sight of what the holidays are all about
9. Don’t forget to say what you’re thankful for
One of my favorite things that we do as a family is voicing what we’re thankful for as we eat holiday dinners. We start at one end and go person to person. Each member of our family says what they were thankful for this current year and what they are looking forward to next year! It allows us to open up to one another in a unique way and to hear the heart and passion behind those we love! Don’t miss this one. <3
I love you guys and I’m thankful for YOU!
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!