“Home” for the Holidays: Home Is Where the Heart Is


HOME for the Holidays

I have a confession to make: I don’t like Pinterest.

I have an account that contains mostly recipes I’ve never tried and a few baby ideas from before my daughter was born. I haven’t touched it in over a year.

As a non-crafty, non-DIY kind of person, I find the site a bit overwhelming. With the holiday season approaching (seriously, where did this year go?!), I can see how people easily stress themselves out looking at ideas for gifts, decorations, food, parties, and so much more.

When it comes to the aforementioned items and all things holiday related, I’m a fan of keeping things simple and as low stress as possible. For me, this means sticking with what I know and love the most and not feeling like I have to do it all.

Home is where my heart is, and during the holidays (and pretty much always), my heart is rooted in traditions and creating the space and time for my family to enjoy each other together.

Every year since we’ve been married, my husband and I have decorated the Christmas tree together, each putting up our own childhood ornaments. We’ve added a new one for “us” each year, and last year was the first year we added one for our new daughter.

HOME for the Holidays: Home Is Where the Heart Is

As my husband and I decorate the tree and the house together, we listen to Christmas music, eat holiday cookies, and drink egg nog to get into the festive spirit. I love this tradition, and I look forward to creating new ones with our family. I don’t know if we’ll do a traditional tree this year now that we have a very curious and mobile one-year-old, so we may have to get creative and try something new. (Side note: any suggestions?)

While I greatly admire my Pinterest-loving, DIY friends and am slightly jealous of their abilities, I could never be that person, and I’m okay with that. I find great joy in perusing the Christmas aisles at Hobby Lobby, Target, and other local stores. This year I’ll also be displaying some of my mom’s old holiday decorations that she passed on to me during her most recent visit. While my house doesn’t necessarily look like a magazine spread (whose does with kids’ toys everywhere?), it does look and feel like a cozy and welcoming home, and that is what matters most to me.

Whether you’re more of a homebody like me who enjoys keeping it simple during the holidays or a DIY decorator, wannabe chef, or party planner extraordinaire, remember that home is where the heart is during the holidays, and you don’t have to feel like you have to do it all.

Here are my top three tips for surviving the holidays stress-free (or at least as low stress as possible):

1. Keep it simple.

From the guest list to the menu to decorating to gift purchasing, don’t feel like you have to go all out. Be realistic with what time and resources you have and don’t invest more than what you know you are able to give. Know where you can scale it down, and don’t be afraid to say no to things that you know you don’t have the time or resources for. No one can fault you for your priorities.

2. Avoid social media overload.

Don’t spend hours upon hours looking at ideas for how to make the perfect homemade giant gingerbread house or cyber-stalking your former high school friend’s Facebook page from her recent party wondering if yours will be that awesome (guilty as charged). Have you heard the quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy”? I would argue that social media makes this so much worse for us. It’s easy to feel like we could be doing so much more when looking at what our friends are doing. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Do what matters to you. And your family.

3. Remember the reason for the season.

From this article, you might not guess that I am a Type A person who loves to-do lists and keeping organized and who can stress over the smallest of things. Since I know this about myself, I try to avoid situations where I know I can stress myself out more than I should.

As a new mom, I’m sure the holidays will become more stressful over the years as I have more children and they grow older, and I want my children to remember the true reason we celebrate Christmas. Their impressionable hearts and eyes are looking to me, and I want them to know and understand the love of God through my actions. It is my hope that they will see during Christmas and always that home is where the heart is, and nothing matters more than our love for God and one another.

What are your plans for keeping it simple and stress-free this holiday season?

Read more from our “Home” for the Holidays series!

HOME for the Holidays

About Kristin Schaaf

Kristin Schaaf headshotKristin Schaaf is a blessed wife to her husband David and first-time momma to her daughter Hannah, embracing the ups and downs of motherhood and the joys and challenges each day brings. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, writing, baking, and being involved in her church. Kristin shares her heart and experiences as a mother through letters to her daughter on her blog, Dear Baby with Love.


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