My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

Top 5 Christmas Joys

This is the time of year when we get wrapped up…wrapped up in the endless lists, the decorating, the fa la la-ing, school concerts, even the wrapping! I find myself moving away from lights and cookies and gifts to cleaning and shopping and grumbling — oh my!

I was inspired by Lori Schumaker to look for the things that bring me joy this year. Not just the things I’m supposed to do. Not the things I feel burdened by, but the things that bring me joy.


1. Books!

I love to read, both for myself and to my family. Christmas is filled with great opportunities for beautiful books. You can find my two favorite kid books here and here. As for me, I love a quick read, after all, we’re busy this time of year. But it needs to draw me in and mean something. Richard Paul Evans is the perfect fit. Check out my favorite here.

(And if you’re looking for a devotional type book for you or the family Ann Voskamp has done a beautiful job with both. See them here and here.)

2. People

It’s really simple for me. I need my people. It’s important for me to make time for them instead of letting the holiday to-do list take over (it was never going to be done anyway!) Enjoy your people. Sit with them. Laugh. Be in the moment together, even if it’s not perfect!

3. Our Thing

We all have family traditions. Some are amazing, and some are just routine. Find the things that make your family come alive. We love going to the Journey to Bethlehem at a church near us to remember what the season is really about. Find one or two things that are favorites for your family and get those on the calendar!

4. Movies

Holiday movies run the gambit from funny to sappy to meaningful. Find ones your people love and watch them without any guilt! Our very favorite for the whole family is Elf. I’m looking forward to watching a few new ones based on favorite books this year. (Check them out here and here)

5. Food

This one is tricky for me. I love to bake, and the holidays is the perfect time for that. Except I’m trying (so hard) to be healthier. And when I bake I struggle. I’m looking to find a balance this year so I can still do something I enjoy without giving up on my health goals. I will not eliminate baking completely because it does truly bring me joy!

Find the things that bring you joy and embrace them! Fit the other things in if there is time. Click To Tweet

There are other beautiful, wonderful things I could add like gift giving and twinkly lights under the snow and the way those light projectors look in the trees. I will celebrate those beautiful things as they come, but finding what brings joy helps us remember what to focus on.

What would be on your list? Share it here because we could all use some true joy!

Sharing words with these great writers today!

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About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

8 Replies

  1. I love books too and am looking for children’s books to give my nieces and nephews. I know they have plenty of toys, but no one can ever have too many books, right? 🙂 Thanks for sharing your Christmas joys, Becky. I agree with all 5 myself!

    1. Becky Hastings

      Too many books? Simply not possible 🙂

  2. I love the food at Christmas time too. cookies and snacks are everywhere so I have to be careful too. I love all the traditions as well. We have bought a special ornament that is in some way indicative of something that happened the previous year (sometimes it has to be more than one!) and after 26 years of marriage, we now have a second tree that just has those ornaments on them. it’s so fun to go through them one at the time and talk about what each of them means.

    1. Becky Hastings

      I love this Karen!

  3. Don’t you just love how joy shows up in so many ways, shapes, and forms? What an encouraging post …

    Advent blessings to you, Becky.

  4. Love how you referred to #3: Our Thing.
    I feel the exact same way — it’s so special to establish traditions as a family that become special just because they’re ours!

  5. This is a fun and thoughtful list as the calendar races towards Christmas.

  6. Christmas carols and lights would definitely be on my list.

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