How to Choose Joy this Holiday Season

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How to Choose Joy this Holiday Season // Happily Lindsey blogHow to Choose Joy this Holiday Season // Happily Lindsey blog

It’s December, can you believe it?! Bring on all the Christmas-y things!

I *love* Christmas. Like I love love love it! I love the Christmas music, the Christmas lights, the gift giving, the hot cocoa, the mistletoe, the holiday bustle….you name it, I love it! It’s the most magical time of the year and despite the stresses of family gatherings and the crowds (anyone else hate the crowds?! I avoid the mall at all costs and prefer to do my shopping online, but seems like every year I have to make a trip to the mall anyway!), there’s just something so joyful about the holidays.

Gift giving is definitely one of my love languages, and I’m always wanting to get people things to show them that I care about them. But even though I love giving people gifts and I love shopping for them, it can be a very stressful time of the year, as well. Yes, it is incredibly magical, but it is also a time of intense stress. I know this isn’t news to anyone, but the other day I was having an “aha-moment” where it just dawned on me that in order to be joyful this season, I have to be intentional about it. I was reminded that we to CHOOSE joy.

How to Choose Joy this Holiday Season // Happily Lindsey blog

I have to choose to be content rather than discontent. I have to choose to be thankful for the things I have (and not focus on the things I don’t have!). I have to choose to to be joyful.

Here are five tangible ways to CHOOSE JOY this holiday season:

  1. Disconnect from social media. This one is harder than it sounds, especially as a blogger, but it is crucial for my mental health and for cultivating gratefulness. Scrolling through Instagram can be both inspiring and defeating; if I start to feel “less than” or envious of others, I decide it’s time to turn my phone off for awhile!
  2. Get ready. Sounds super simple (and maybe vain), but I feel happier and more joyful when I have makeup on, my hair done, and a cute outfit on. I don’t find it to be vanity, but for me, it’s a complete confidence boost if I’m ready and put together.
  3. Blast Christmas music. Christmas music gives me SO much joy. If you can’t stand it or are getting burnt out, just find the music that makes you happy and joyful!
  4. Get out of the house. This one is huge! Sometimes even just getting in the car to drive somewhere and back makes me feel better and it’s easier to choose joy! I’ve literally just driven to Starbucks to go through the drive thru and come back home and I’ve felt so much better. Anyone who stays at home for extended periods of time knows what I mean! (I’m talking to you ya stay at home mom/dad, work from home mom/dad, and freelancer!!)
  5. Do something for someone else. This always helps me feel better. One of my favorite things to do for others is to get them a cup of coffee. Ben and I often talk about how crazy it is that a good cup of coffee can literally make our day. It’s the littlest thing but it can have a huge impact! I know that personally, if someone gets coffee for me, it makes my day and I feel so special and so loved.

Wishing you all the joy this holiday season! I’m so thankful for you all!


Photography: Jordan Taylor

How to Choose Joy this Holiday Season // Happily Lindsey blog


Leave a comment

  1. December 1, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    I love this list Emily! I agree with all the above, especially #1, 2, 3, 4, 5…that’s everything! lol I’m currently visiting parents in Seattle and planning to do all the above. I’ve been cooped up in the house for so long, I’m hoping to kick off the first day of December in good spirits. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • December 1, 2016 / 9:22 pm

      Aw thanks Angela!! Seattle will be a great place to get outside!! xx

  2. December 1, 2016 / 6:11 pm

    This is such a lovely reminder at this busy time of the year. I love all of the points you made and it definitely helps to nudge us to reframe how we look at things. Reminders like this are always good for the soul. πŸ™‚

    • December 1, 2016 / 9:23 pm

      Very true. I find these posts are so helpful for me, too!! xx

  3. December 1, 2016 / 6:38 pm

    I loved this post. I so agree that choosing joy is important and essential! I love all your points, but the first one really speaks to me, disconnecting is something I’ve been working on doing around my kids. I have a special holiday series this year, #SimplifyingTheSeason, and I’d love to see this post at the linkup on December 26!

    • December 1, 2016 / 9:24 pm

      Would love to!! It’s something I’m trying to do more, especially when my son is awake. xx

  4. December 1, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    I’m obsessed with these photos! And I love Christmas too! I’m trying to focus on #4 this year, I have a list of Christmas-y things I want to do. <3

    • December 1, 2016 / 9:26 pm

      Thank you! I need them all! πŸ™ˆβ˜ΊοΈ xx

  5. December 1, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Great tips! I definitely need to pull back from social media and be a bit more present. I’m trying to do one Christmasy thing a day with my kids this year, so hopefully that keeps me a bit more in the moment!

    • December 1, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      That’s a great idea. I’d love to do that! One Christmas-y thing a day!! xx

  6. Whitney
    December 1, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    Such easy but really helpful tips! I like to take breaks from social media too- as much as it is part of blogging, being content with yourself and what you have is so much more important!

    • December 1, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      Agreed!! It’s a fine line for sure!! xx

  7. December 1, 2016 / 9:49 pm

    I absolutely love these tips. Christmas music and movies alllllll day long!

    • December 2, 2016 / 3:04 am


    • December 2, 2016 / 3:04 am

      Hahaha I started super early this year, too!

  8. December 1, 2016 / 10:45 pm

    Great post! With all the craziness of everything going on in December, it is easy to forget to stop and experience the real joy of the season and to be intentional about it.

    • December 2, 2016 / 3:04 am

      Amen! So true!! Trying so hard to be present and intentional with my time! xx

  9. December 2, 2016 / 1:01 am

    I especially agree with disconnecting from social media (thought it’s hard to do as a blogger).

    • December 2, 2016 / 3:04 am

      Yes!!! So hard. But so good!

  10. December 2, 2016 / 1:35 am

    I love this. Today, we had the Christmas station on Pandora playing in the background while doing crafts (which I dislike doing) but it made it actually fun!

    • December 2, 2016 / 3:05 am

      Haha it makes things so much better!! xx

  11. reallifewithbabies
    December 2, 2016 / 2:53 am

    These are great tips! I need to do these. My holidays are always so stressful.

    • December 2, 2016 / 3:05 am

      Mine too! I think I make them more stressful than they need to be….;)

  12. Tiffany
    December 2, 2016 / 3:59 am

    Such great reminders! I have been disconnecting from social media more and more these days. And I really don’t miss it.

    • December 2, 2016 / 8:02 pm

      That is so good!! It’s definitely addictive!

  13. December 2, 2016 / 4:48 am

    Once Thanksgiving is through – we are blasting away Christmas music! And I agree about disconnecting with social media. It’s definitely something I need to do more.

    • December 2, 2016 / 8:02 pm

      Same here!! I love Christmas music!! I need to disconnect more…!! πŸ™Š

  14. December 2, 2016 / 4:53 am

    I love this, great list especially the part about avoiding the crowds and taking breaks from social media. I am right there with you!
    xo, Nicole

    • December 2, 2016 / 8:03 pm

      So good to hear! We should take more social media breaks!! xx

  15. December 2, 2016 / 1:48 pm

    #4 is vitally important for me! Even just getting dressed and going to the neighbor’s house is a great pick-me-up. Thanks for sharing!

    • December 2, 2016 / 8:03 pm

      Same!! Glad I’m not alone! xx

  16. Tina@AMindfulFairytale
    December 2, 2016 / 3:24 pm

    Love!! Gift giving is also one of my love languages but it does stress me out a little! This was beautiful and so important for everyone to remember during the holidays. Joy is my favourite word! πŸ™‚

    • December 2, 2016 / 8:04 pm

      Aw thank you :). Yes gift giving is something I love but can also be very stressful! Hope you have a joyful holiday season! xx

  17. Latasha
    December 2, 2016 / 6:52 pm

    Great list for the holiday season! and I totally agree getting out the house is a MUST! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

    • December 2, 2016 / 8:05 pm

      Always helps me to get out of the house!! Glad you enjoyed it! xx

  18. December 2, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    I 100% agree!! I wrote a post about choosing to rest this holiday season. I’m taking the month off from blogging so I can actually enjoy this season with my family. Thanks for sharing!
    Xoxo, Amaris //

    • December 6, 2016 / 7:12 pm

      Sounds wonderful!! Enjoy!! xx

  19. December 3, 2016 / 5:10 am

    This post rings with so much truth. I’m so happy to have read this and I appreciate your words! We sometimes get into a rut and forget that we can just walk out to the car and head anywhere we want. And being in DC.. well we can walk anywhere as well. also.. yes yes yes to getting ready. It always makes me feel so much better! Xoxo merry Christmas!

    • December 6, 2016 / 7:12 pm

      That is awesome that you can walk so many places!!! And seriously, getting ready ALWAYS helps!! πŸ˜‰ xx

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