On Sunday, we sat in church as snow silently fell outside. When we opened the doors to leave, we were surprised at how much had come down, blanketing the hill our church sits on, the road out front, and every car in the parking lot. Unlike rain, sleet, or hail, snow is silent. Each time I’ve looked out the window this week, I’ve been reminded of the beauty of silence.
There’s so much noise this time of year, it’s rare to find any silence.
Horns honking in the grocery store parking lot. Mailboxes overflowing with ads. Calendars full of commitments. Your least favorite Christmas song on every time you turn on the radio. Long lines at Target when all you really needed was laundry detergent. (And speaking of laundry, there’s a pile of wet socks, mittens, hats, and thermal shirts piling up on the floor.)
I’ve thought a lot this week about my need for a quieter season this year. There’s a lot of noise I can’t do anything about, but I can make some small changes to things I have control over. So, I’ve turned down the noise in the following five ways:
- Shop online. I’m taking advantage of my Amazon Prime free shipping, Etsy stores, and other online shops to get most of my shopping done. Added bonus? My boys don’t see all the newest toys they didn’t know they were missing out on!
- Stay off Pinterest (or any social media sites that take my focus away from what I have).
- Shelve ideas that just don’t work for my family. Last year I wanted to go to a local state park that decorates with tons of Christmas lights. We stood in line forever, had to pay too much (in our opinion), and were stuck following the crowd instead of going at a pace that worked for our boys. It wasn’t as fun as I pictured it being. So we aren’t doing it again this year. We also aren’t doing big Advent countdowns, Elf of the Shelf (or any variation), or Christmas cookie bake-a-thons.
- Say no.
- Stay focused on the important things. The best ways to turn down the noise? Pulling out your Bible and reading the first chapters of Luke. Writing a thank you note to your kids’ teachers. Forgiving the family member you were hurt by last Christmas. Doing the little things that make the Christmas season special, not loud.
Do you have any tips for a calm, peaceful December?