3 Keys to Joy in Winter

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Some of us find the holidays difficult. Some of us find it difficult when they’re over. Some of us find it hard to get with family while some of us find it hard to leave family at the end. I can remember these feelings at various Christmas holidays along the journey…

I’m one of those girls who just feels all the feels.  And the quicker I’ve come to accept that, the easier life is.

little hands learning

Regardless of which part of the holidays can drag you down low– the before, during, or after– I’m starting to discover several keys to finding joy and beauty throughout. I’d like to share some my favorite photos from these past weeks, along with these 3 keys that helped me to find beauty in every stage of it.

I’m sharing this 2 days after Christmas in hopes that all those holiday-lovers who just plummeted to emotional rock bottom can find a handle or two for living out our potential joy during these cold winter months to come.

1.  Find the beauty.

Make something. Do something with your hands. Start a DIY decorating project with what you have. Color, stencil, paint, take a picture with your dinky camera of those shiny icicles outside (I’ll post mine later).  Stop and take a breath and look at those around you. Find the shocking beauty of the life you live right now.

2.  Choose gratitude.

Keep your sights on how blessed you are. How every little moment and thing is a blessing and not even for a second something you deserve. It will fill your heart with thankfulness and free you from that sneaky little trap of comparison.

3.  Be generous.

I know that Christmas is over and we’ve all spent our last dime, and now is when my family starts our cleanses, new budgets, and we sort of hunker down for winter. Maybe that hibernation gene is still in all of us.

But this Christmas I found that when I aimed to be as generous as possible, my focus changed from me to everyone I was giving to.

It changed to the joy on their faces or how they received my gifts, or it changed to just thinking about what others would like as I shopped. And I want to keep that up. Because this Christmas I had more highs and less lows than any Christmas before.

It’s true.

Out of 36 Christmases, the one where I had the least and gave the most… turned out to be the best. Figure that out!

And if all else fails, friends, just take a good long nap!

Because sometimes that’s just the thing we need to roll over and get out of bed on the right side. That’s what I was forced to do today after losing my voice and feeling terrible, and my mother in law and husband went out to lunch and I crawled miserably back in bed. But I woke up and the sun was shining in despite snow and single-digit-temperatures outside, and the world just felt that much brighter. I’m headed to warm up leftovers for my littles now. And thinking of all my friends headed back to work and the mundane after all the sparkle and candlelight, and hope you still find joy and beauty in these days.

(My man can fall asleep anytime, anywhere!)

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