Holiday List Making

by Sara Marchessault

A friend of mine called me several weeks ago and said that she had a journaling idea to share.

Oooh, goody! We love journaling ideas!

Her idea is based on something that happens to a lot of us, but that we don’t always talk about or share with others. Holiday let down.

Ayla with snowflake headband
Ayla’s new tradition is holiday headbands

You know what I mean. It’s when we get really excited about the holidays and we have lots of expectations and excitement for the season. We go through the motions, but that feeling of real joy somehow evades us. We get caught up in the “doing” of the holidays and not necessarily the “feeling” or the “being.”

So, her journaling suggestion is something she figured out that helps with that.

She uses her journal to makes lists. (List journaling is actually really big – I’ll write more on this in another article J)

Many of us make lists of the gifts we are planning to buy others or what we would like to receive.

This list is a list of holiday expectations or must-haves. It’s a list of things that you personally need to experience in order to feel and be in the holiday spirit. Some things that might be on it include:

  •  Specific homemade baked goods (gingerbread or sugar?)
  • Hanging lights outside your house
  • Driving around your city to look at lights
  • Singing a lot of carols
  • Listening to specific music
  • Preparing a special meal
  • Seeing certain faces
  • Special events that you attend that lift your holiday spirits
  • Donating to kids in need

You get the idea. And like most journaling, what you’re doing when you make the list is moving into a space of clarity and focus. Our lives are hectic and busy enough when it’s not the holiday season. When we introduce all of the extras that happen at this time of year, we can easily get overwhelmed.

Use your list of holiday must-haves as your checklist or your guide for this year’s season. It will help you stay on track for tidings of comfort and joy.

We’d love to hear what it is that makes you feel like the holidays are here – leave a comment or share on Facebook!

Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb:

Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, teacher, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit or

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