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Finding Our Joy This Holiday Season By Being Present

December 5, 2016

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After spending a 10 days in Sonoma with the kids and then Ryan, I came home to start December feeling like I had a million things to get done. Work is at it’s busiest, life is at it’s busiest. Before December 1st even came we had already put up our Christmas lights, decorated the tree, ordered the holiday cards and started blowing through the checklist of things I wanted to get done. It took me through the end of the week and being so exhausted that I was starting to get sick to realize that although I was plowing my list and we were getting through all the holiday stuff at lightning speed I wasn’t finding the joy in what we were doing. I wasn’t crushing it and I wasn’t present.

On Friday I was writing in my journal a list of “things that would make today great” and I put down spend more time with the kids. To many this would seem silly since I get to spend so much time with then on holiday and having the luxury of working from home. But in some ways, the advantages of my schedule are a double edged sword and can prevent me from spending quality time with my kids.

That same day we had big plans to join the 300,000 other people in San Diego who to go December Nights in Balboa Park. From the music to the decorations it’s something that I see as filled with Christmas magic and another holiday adventure that I wanted checked off my December to do list. But as luck would have it, we failed big time. With Cal’s nap off schedule and other things getting in the way, our opportunity to fight the crowds and make it there started shrinking. As I sat on the couch with the kids starting to feel defeated and that we were missing out, I was reminded of what I had put in my journal that morning. My kids just needed us to be present and my attempt to bundle them up and take them out with hundreds of thousands of other people, was not going to accomplish that goal I set out for myself.

In a moment of self reflection, I knew the best way to turn our day around. I quickly filled my water bottle with hot cocoa, grabbed Dixie® To Go cups and with no effort, no clean up and no worries I knew I would have more time to focus on things that matter – spending time with the kids at the beach!

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Whether it’s August or December the beach is always my favorite place in San Diego. It’s always open, you’re never late, it doesn’t cost anything, everyone is welcome and when you are there you entirely devoted to the people you are with. Pretty much the second we stepped foot on the sand, we were having a good time. The kids were running up and down the dunes, we all played games in the sand, we made friends with people having a bonfire and we sipped hot cocoa from our leak-resistant lid & insulated layer Dixie® To Go cups just as if we were at December Nights.

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While I missed out on December Nights and our old tradition,  I can already tell from these pictures of the kids drinking cocoa from their Dixie® To Go cups that the new traditional taking its placing is filled with just as much joy and a lot more presence.

I was selected for this paid opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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