November 26, 2018

Being Present During the Holidays

Holidays always go by so quickly, how can we practice being present during the holidays to fully experience God’s gifts in our lives?

Christmas is quickly approaching. The first Sunday in Advent is this coming Sunday! Time flies.

It can be so easy to get caught up in all the festivities. There’s tons of shopping to do, delicious food to make, parties to attend. This time of year gets to busy.

And that’s what I don’t like about it. We all run around doing all the things we need to ‘get done’ before Christmas comes. But this time isn’t about checking all the boxes (and then wrapping them). It’s about joyful anticipation and preparation for the most amazing event: the birth of our savior.

So how DO we practice being present during the holidays?


I talked a little about mindfulness in my post about How to Be Thankful (which IS STILL RELEVANT even though Thanksgiving has come and gone). Mindfulness is one solution. Besides being useful for remembering to be thankful, mindfulness can help us remember the season we are in.

It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths during a busy day to remember the meaning upcoming season. Or even taking 15 minutes to sit and reflect on the day. Asking yourself how you prepared your heart for Christmas that day.

Maybe include this simple reflection in your daily prayer time. Anything that gets you to pause and think, instead of just letting the busyness engulf you will provide huge benefits.

Healthy Peppermint Mocha

Daily Advent Reflection

Similar to meditation, a more formal, guided reflection can be extremely useful to practice being present during the holidays. I’m super excited because this year my mom bought my family Advent reflection journals by Bishop Robert Barron (thanks Mom!) It’s going to be so nice to have a special addition to my prayer time where I can specifically think about the daily readings and advent preparation.

There are TONS of advent resources out there — Bishop Barron’s and Blessed Is She’s devotions are two that stick out to me. Either way, allowing time for a formal, guided reflection will help you stay grounded.

Quality Time with Friends and Family

Obviously, the holidays are filled with parties and events where you’re sure to encounter friends and family. But it can be so easy to just show up to a party and casually socialize all night, forgetting about the reason you’re all together in the first place.

This holiday season, try scheduling 1:1 time with close friends or family members. Use this time to ask how the other person is preparing for Christmas. Get advice on how to strengthen your faith during this journey. Spend QUALITY time talking about those details you might forget to remember at all the holiday parties.

Intentionally scheduling time to connect with your friends and family can help both you and your loved ones to pause and reflect on your preparation.

Healthy Peppermint Mocha & Bible

Daily Mass

The more often we can take time out of our weeks to see Jesus, the better. Daily Mass is even more important during this holiday season. As we prepare for Jesus’ birth, we should be extremely focused on developing our relationship with Him and listening to what he has to say.

Taking extra time to encounter Jesus in the sacraments is one of the best ways to prepare your heart for His coming.

Spend this week reflecting on which way(s) Jesus is calling you to prepare for his coming and practice being present during the holidays. What are you going to do this Advent?

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