Written by Jamie C. Martin
Hey there, fellow introverted mama. The countdown has begun.
We can face the upcoming weeks with wonder, delight, and sacred stillness.
OR we can crash and burn–driving ourselves into the ground as we attempt to do more and be more and have more and shop more. Which will we choose?
You see, throughout this season we work hard to create an inspiring home atmosphere for those we love: we bring up the decorations from the basement, we choose a tree, we test the fairy lights. We make to-do lists for the weeks ahead and think about all that needs to be done.
But this year we’re also going to have a tool to remind us that in order to stay healthy as introverted mothers, we genuinely need a little alone time to recharge each day, especially as Christmas nears:
Here’s how the calendar works:
1. Download and print it out! Regular paper is absolutely fine, though you can use cardstock.
2. Cut out all 24 slips–or have a child do it for you! Each one is a self-care “permission slip.” There is also a page of blank slips so you create your own if you prefer. Just make sure you have 24 total.
3. After you’ve cut the slips, fold the part with the self-care suggestion over (see above), so that you can no longer see it. This will keep each day’s treat a surprise until you “unwrap” it.
4. Find a bowl or basket of some sort to keep your advent calendar in. (I put mine in my favorite tea tin!) Keep this bowl by your bedside or in a “Mama only” space.
5. Beginning December 1st, randomly choose a permission slip from your bowl. They are interchangeable so it doesn’t matter what order you go in–that’s the fun part!
Here are just a few examples of the calendar’s self-care suggestions:
- Light a candle & read a favorite holiday poem aloud for yourself. Google “Little Tree” if you need one to start with.
- Write a list of everything good that has come into your life today.
- Go “nature shopping” for a few moments. Bring at least one item back in to enjoy.
- FYI: Some of the slips have web addresses included – carefully type these in exactly as printed for fun surprises!
6. Carve out a little time for you each day. You have my official permission to get the kids’ settled with a holiday audio book, put them in front of a video, or just ask them to play in their rooms–whatever it takes!
7. Enjoy a more peaceful holiday season! The point of this advent calendar isn’t to make ourselves the focus of these days. Rather it’s to keep ourselves fueled so that we can truly revel in Christ’s birth, and in these precious moments spent with our families.