This month might feel as if every minute of each day has been claimed. The excitement of the season, maybe the guilt of “not doing enough” earlier in the year, or even the unexpected events popping up, be sure to schedule some “slow down for Christmas” time into your week.Christmas parties, Jesus’ Birthday party, Secret Santa, caroling, Christmas Movie Night, holiday outreach, church small group parties, company parties, cookie exchanges and the like all sound so festive! How can one resist? No one wants to be a Grinch. But are all of these busy moments truly adding to our family? I am the first to feel easily overwhelmed when I look at the calendar. If each day has a little dot I become nervous and irritable. How can I keep caught up on school work, house work, and social events around the holidays? Our simple solution has been to slow down rather than speed up. I am going to share a secret. I believe it is okay to say “no” to a Christmas party. Especially if time is limited and financial resources are tight. I love a party. I love the idea of my children enjoying a party too, but we simply cannot attend every single one of them. We decide which parties are the most important to our family and kindly rsvp no thank you to the others. So far we haven’t been tied up with tinsel and forced to eat fruit cake. I believe it is okay to pass on a cookie exchange, and I love me some cookies! I love me all the cookies!! But the time and resources required to make a few dozen and then later have to eat them all? I’d rather pass on extra dishes that need washing. Thankfully, we haven’t experienced a drive-by-cooking yet because of our neglect to bake. Don’t become a Scrooge at Christmas and shut yourself away. Get out and share the joy of Christ’s birth. But be wise in how much time you decide to spend away from home. Your little ones might find themselves on the naughty list because they were dragged from naps and regular schedules to party to party. A wise older woman recently pointed out two words in Proverbs 31:16. ‘She considers’. A virtuous woman considers what is best for her family. This Christmas, consider the option to slow down. Other Christmas posts you might enjoy... Christmas Pillow Box Download 10 Ways To Focus On Others This Christmas Focus On Christmas Giving Instead Of On Christmas Gifts 10 FREE Christmas Gifts How To Survive The Hustle And Bustle Of Christmas ********************************* Stef Layton lives in Orlando, Florida homeschooling two tactile learners. Stef is the Hands-On Learning Columnist for Homeschooling Today magazine. This year she started showing hands-on activities on youtube. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter @StefMLayton. Check out Stef's hands-on learning series.