Christmas is my favorite time of year.
I’m one of those people who puts the tree up way before Thanksgiving. I get my shopping and to-do list done months before, so I can just enjoy this time of year.
Creating holiday memories, going caroling with my family on Christmas Eve, and buying gifts for families in need brings me great joy every year as we celebrat.
Here are five ways me and my family create joy each holiday season.
Doing service for others makes me so happy, and I’m trying to teach my kids that now.
My four-year-old son Owen was able to pick out a few of his toys last week to donate to a toy run. We’ve made cards and cookies for our neighbors and bought a couple of children on an angel tree gifts.
I also get him to say “Merry Christmas” to the checkers when we visit the store.
Just these simple and small things go a really long way to bring joy to others.
I started playing Christmas music at the beginning of November. I have it playing when I’m cooking; the kids and I have dance parties. We play carols when we are driving around town, and you can always catch Owen singing “You Better Watch Out.”
Growing up each year on Christmas Eve, my family would go caroling to friends and security guards at my dad’s work. There are seven kids in my family, and we have always loved singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The smile on people’s faces when they would come out of their door to see us sing was priceless.
Even as an adult, I get to continue this tradition since I live close to my parent’s, and now I get to do it with my babies.
Being a mom at Christmas time is magical and filled with happiness. I love watching my kids soak everything in – it really is the best.
We have a Christmas countdown chain and each piece of paper has an activity we do for the day. Owen wakes up each morning with so much excitement to see what we will do for the day. It’s so fun!
I love traditions. I love doing the same things every year. One of my favorite traditions as a kid was when my siblings would exchange names and buy a gift for one another to open on Christmas Eve.
I’m thankful my family has traditions now too: making gingerbread house, dancing to Christmas music while baking cookies, reading Luke chapter 2 on Christmas Eve, and baking cookies for our family to hand out with our gifts.
My favorite people are my family.
I’m so thankful during this season to get to slow down a little and enjoy our family a little more. I love family game nights and cooking together in the kitchen – just sitting around and talking.
The community is more helpful, cheerful, and more together during the holiday season.
My family always goes to many local events during the holiday season, and I love how the community comes together to help others and just treat each other better.
The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, is a way I feel joy each holiday – the simple birth that changed the world.
I feel the most joy because of my knowledge of Jesus Christ. I love being able to celebrate his birth. I know that because he was born, lived, and died for all mankind, I can return to live with him and my Heavenly Father for eternity.
During this season you can also choose joy.
You can choose to celebrate the little things. You can choose to create memories with your family. You can choose to laugh. You can choose to slow down just a bit. You can choose to be happy even on those crazy days. You can choose to not let stress dictate your mood.
When you choose joy you feel good, and when you feel good you do good, and when you do good it reminds others of what joy feels like. It just might inspire others to do the same.
Let’s try to enjoy the moments of the season and the sweet joy it brings.
- Abby Thornton is a homemaker, mother of two, and a lover of all things Christmas. She enjoys making crafts, spending time with her family, and watching “Fixer Upper.” She currently resides in Huntington with her husband, Chris, and two sons, Owen and Cooper.