kelly dellinger lifestyle :: making the most of the holidays

2013 has been my year to slow down {somewhat} and try reeeeeally hard to get a grip on what's going on, day to day. The past two years in my life were so chaotic and crazy, between desperately wanting to get engaged (and looking for my Drew on bended knee at any possible opportunity) to GETTING engaged and planning the wedding of MY dreams, and then settling into married life and figuring out how to "do life" as a fully-fledged married adult with a home and two cats, and then planning the launch of this fabulous enterprise.

The past two Christmases flew by insanely fast. The last one, particularly, just went in a blur and was over like the blink of an eye. It snuck up on us. We didn't get our tree until mid-December, then almost as soon as we had hung up our ornaments and the stockings we recently ordered from etsy, we headed off to east Tennessee to spend the week of Christmas. Because married Christmases are crazy and now involve a whole lot of travel (since I have family in Savannah, Georgia, Drew has family in East Tennessee, and we're obviously in Nashville).

We decided this year that we were not going to let "busy" derail our enjoyment of the holiday season. Drew has to travel several weeks in November and December, so he'll be gone for a good chunk of the season. But we refused to let that put a damper on our holidays!!!! Instead, we decided to... Start early. Get organized. and Be Intentional.

One of our "Start Early" campaigns was buying a fake tree (sad day!) and decorating it the second weekend in November to maximize the time we get to enjoy it. Isn't it stunning?!

One of our "Start Early" campaigns was buying a fake tree (sad day!) and decorating it the second weekend in November to maximize the time we get to enjoy it. Isn't it stunning?!

Our first order of business was starting early. If we're gone for two solid weeks in November and December and Drew's traveling for work for 4 weeks additionally, that only leaves us with a couple of rushed weekends and not a whole lot of free time to sit around the house drinking hot cocoa and watching Rudolph. Instead of feeling pressured to keep the holidays segregated to not "cheat the system," we're bunking tradition and spreading out the season to span a longer period of time of enjoyment! Part of the joy of being married is getting to set your own NEW rules and traditions! We decorated our Christmas tree and set up everything in our apartment for December holidays last weekend. We watched Frosty the Snowman while Drew made homemade biscuits, listened to Duck the Halls, and started our Christmas shopping early. I've already got a handful of presents wrapped carefully underneath our tree, and it feels glorious. PLUS I got to visit Christmas Village with my wonderful mom last week and got a couple of fun things to make our home a little more festive, too:)

In order to get organized, one thing I've tried to implement this year is a Holiday Binder. It's not some fancy product I'm trying to sell (although that would be absolutely legit). It's really just a 1.5" pretty patterned binder I got from Target that I am slowing but surely procuring recipes, bucket lists, gift lists, addresses, and other goodies into in order to keep up with everything and not be all over the place.

Our last (and most important) holiday pillar was to be intentional with our time, attention, and efforts. Ain't nobody got time for "busy." We are paring down our holiday calendars to focus on what matters, planning out meals and presents in advance (to avoid last-minute unnecessary splurges or wasting hours trying to find a recipe for that party in two hours), and putting more emphasis on the MEANING of the season:  celebrating Christ's coming to earth for our incredible salvation.


Celebratorily yours,