We've been thinking a lot about how we can live well in this month of December. It's easy for this time to fly away with unfulfilled expectations and disappointed hopes. The truth is, we can't do it all, but we can decide once how we'll prioritize these weeks leading up to Christmas, and enjoy each marker of the season that is important to us.
What December traditions do you love? What things do you want to prioritize this season?
If you have children in your house, we love this free printable by Simply on Purpose that helps take stock of what traditions are important to your kids.
Bake cookies / We love to make Spicy Gingerbread cookies, and celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. This day can be observed a number of ways, most popularly by leaving your shoes out by your door on the evening of December 5th for St. Nicholas to fill with chocolate coins or other small treats. Our kids leave out carrots (for the horse, of course!) and cookies for St. Nicholas. Then St. Nicholas fills their shoes with treats! We love to teach our children about the story of St. Nicholas, a 3rd century bishop who was known for his acts of charity and later became a symbol of the gift-giving, jovial spirit of Christmas and the love of Jesus. If you're looking for a new tradition for this season, it's not too late to add this one into your week.
Make a paper countdown chain / Joanna still loves our childhood tradition of making paper chains to countdown to Christmas. It's simple, easy, and creates a nice visual for any young children (or adults!) who have no sense of time, and keep asking when Christmas will come.
Gather evergreens / Making a holiday centerpiece, wreath or garland is a great way to add beauty to your home. If you're intimidated by the thought of making an arrangement, a simple sprig of evergreen in a large jug or vase will do the trick nicely. Don't underestimate the festive power of fresh greens indoors!
Read a holiday book / We've all had our fair share of Netflix at this point in the year, and although we're mega Christmas movie fanatics, we love some classic Christmas books, too! Try The Best Christmas Pageant Ever or A Christmas Carol. Both are great for audiences of all ages. Consider reading them aloud to those in your household!
25 Days of Christmas / At The Mill, we are making the most of the month of December by hosting 25 Days of Christmas sales. If you are still working on your Christmas shopping, you'll want to know about this month-long event. It's a fun way to keep the "shop small" spirit alive through December, get discounted goods into your hands when you need them, and highlight some of our favorite brands you may have missed. You can find these daily discounts by visiting our Instagram stories each day or by heading directly to our website and clicking "25 Days of Christmas" at the top of the page.
No matter what your plans for this season are, or how they will be different or not, we hope you'll lean into the old traditions that are important to you, and step out to make new traditions where needed.
We wish you a blessed and rich Advent season!