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On Being Present During The Busy Holiday Season

Thank you Shopify for sponsoring this post. Track your holiday shipments in one place with the new Arrive app!

It was ten years ago (and also, I’m certain, just yesterday) that I was waiting for my sweet first born to enter this world.  I can close my eyes and remember the details in our Manhattan apartment while nesting for our Christmas baby.  A few blinks later, the holiday magic is very much alive in our home with two big-ish kiddos during this special time of year.

I suppose that with every year that passes, what I want and value, more than anything, is to be present in the meaningful moments that color Christmastime.

This simple beauty is found in the excitement over the first snow.

beautiful-snowy-night

And the memories built into the mess of baking perfectly imperfect gingerbread cookies and houses.

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It is found in the childhood wonder of seeing New York City’s magnificent holiday lights, and enchanting department store window displays, that stop you in your footsteps.

I’ve learned that I have to be intentional with holiday planning to preserve and focus on the important things that I believe my children will grow to remember.  A few simple steps help to keep me on track.

  • We Can’t Say Yes to Everything: Often, saying “no” to something is essentially saying “yes” to our family.  This is always a challenge for me as a writer who’s invited to a bunch of fun holiday gifting events and activities.  I’m constantly trying to stay hyper-organized with meeting work deadlines while the kids are at school, so I can be there for the in-school invites and throughout the weekends, to fully soak in the family togetherness. We can’t do it all (and neither can I), and sometimes saying “no” translates into a familial win.
  • Shop Online: This is a steadfast time-saver for me! Although stepping into a picturesque holiday-decked-out store can be fun – it’s usually a time-suck.  Shopping online and researching deals helps me stick to a budget, and not throw away precious time.

online shopping

  • Utilize the Shopify Arrive AppAfter singing online-shopping praises, I’m sure you can all agree that the most inconvenient aspect is waiting for a shipment’s (safe!) arrival. With two young kids who are package-inspection-detectives (“I think the doorbell rang, I bet it’s a PACKAGE!!”), a busy mom who may forget something that was ordered – coupled with NYC-living – it isn’t ideal to not be home when packages come to the door. Arrive intuitively syncs to my Gmail account scanning key phrases like “tracking” and “order shipped” to track the progress and status of shipping all in one place – across all my retailers and shipping services. Arrive adheres to strict industry standards for information security management to safeguard sensitive information. It also requires explicit permission before any tracking information is surfaced from my inbox and is organized all in one place.  I don’t have to sift through emails to look up tracking numbers, saving me tons of time along with delivering the gift of peace of mind.

Shopify-Arrive-app-track-packages-bohek-christmas-tree

  • Make a Holiday Bucket List: Lastly, it helps to make a list of activities that we’d like to make happen.  This year, a visual list gave us the push to finally view Brooklyn’s Dyker Heights Christmas lights, along with prioritizing little dates at home, drenched in holiday music and all the good stuff, like simply being together.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Comments

  1. Those are really great ideas to lessen the stress this Christmas and just enjoy the time with your family. I shopped online for the gifts as well, it’s really so much easier!

  2. Kelly Reci says:

    I always make sure that I am always present during holidays. yes, it’s quite hard since a lot of invitation is coming my way during this special day but I always say “NO”. This is a special moment and I wanna spend that special day with my family.

  3. Gladys parker says:

    Great tips! I planned to enjoy more Christmas this year. Listen to Christmas music, watch some Christmas Movies, do some Christmassy things with my children and grandchildren. Jump ahead to six days before Christmas and all I’m doing is rushing. I did manage about 1/10 of what I planned. Package came today at almost eight, no movie …Again!

  4. You are so right! And I totally know that I already struggle with saying no and I overbook my schedule. I am still working on it!

  5. Great ideas you got here. Totally agree with everything you said too! Happy Holidays!

  6. Melissa Bernardo says:

    Great ideas! You are totally right! Have a Merry Christmas!

  7. Clarissa Hiciano says:

    I love that she is such a positive role model! My daughter would love her!

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