We spend a lot of time building up to Christmas, not just the spiritual side of preparing our children’s hearts, but also the physical side of family traditions and celebrations. I find it helpful to take an hour or so while the family is relaxing on Boxing Day (or the day after) and take stock of how things went – my Christmas Debrief.

Debrief Questions:

I ask myself:

  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • What lessons can I learn from that?
  • What changes do I want to make for next time?

 

I ask myself these questions for every aspect of our celebrations –

  • The traditions we maintained
  • New activities that may become traditions
  • How I managed our time – both in the build up and on the day itself
  • The spirit in our home, in our hearts
  • Our devotional time
  • Our community involvement and service opportunities
  • Gifts we gave
  • Parties we threw
  • The way we connected with extended family

 

I want Christmas to be simple and yet significant; I want to be intentional – to use the season to teach hearts, to show love and to worship God. My goal with my debrief / review is to learn from my mistakes and to continue in the things that were a success. Once they are written down I can refer to them next year as I start to plan the coming celebration.

 

My Christmas Notebook

This is the last part of my debrief – setting up my notebook for next year’s celebrations. Originally I chose a small (a6) spiral bound notebook so it can fit in my handbag. I chose the spiral binding so I can tear pages out as I accomplish things next year. The first entry is my Debrief thoughts, this way these notes will be there to help me set realistic goals for next year.

As I take down my decorations I will take note of any that need repairing (ideally repairing them before I put them away) and writing down any decorations that need replacing (such as lights). I could possibly pick up replacements in sales that are happening now saving both time and money come December next year.

Any books or movies that I’ve seen but didn’t purchase I list. Along with any devotional thoughts that have been going around in my heart – this way I’ve got some thoughts to start with when I start thinking Christmas again.

Setting up my Notebook now means that I have somewhere to start recording
gift ideas (and purchases) for presents as the year progresses, new activities that I want to introduce to my family and any other thoughts that come across my mind such as community service and the like.

In this day and age of apps and Pinterest my Christmas Notebook looks a little different. I record my thoughts using One Note which is available on all my devices – you could also use Google docs and keep your files on Google Drive. I do have an app for recording gift ideas and purchases. And I use Pinterest (a secret board) to record ideas for activities, decorations and gifts.

I encourage you to find time to reflect on the build up to Christmas, on Christmas day itself, and even Boxing Day – write down what worked, what didn’t, what you learnt and what you dream for Christmas in the future – this activity alone will give you a kick start for Christmas next year!

 

Further Reading:

My 2007 Christmas Debrief – excerpts from my 2007 Notebook

How We Celebrated in 2013 – a blog post reflecting on our 2013 celebrations

Get Ready for a Heart Focus Christmas – This is the starting place to help your Christmas reach the hearts of your children.

Throughout the week I share with other blogs – check out my Link ups and Party page

Be Intentional

 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

Thank you for joining me. You have successfully subscribed and will receive an email from me shortly. (You never know which folder emails will land in so keep an eye out for my "Thank you" email.) Stay in touch... Belinda - Live life with your Kids!

Download your worksheet and start working on your family vision statement.

Get the Family Vision Worksheet

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

Get a copy of the Jelly Bean Story

I will email you a download link.  You can print and share this story with your kids and their friends.

The download link is on it's way.

This parent guide helps parents plan family bible study and use discussion techniques to teach the important lessons.

Bible study Guide for Parents

Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts. I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Obedience looks a bit different as our kids grow older. Download this parent/teen discussion guide to understand this issue of obedience in teen years.

Download your Free Discussion Guide

Don't assume your kids are rebelling - instead talk to them about what Obedience looks like now they are older.  I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Over 20 different verbal expressions divided into heart or self control to help parents discern these behaviours.

Download your Cheat Sheet

I will send you the link to download this cheat sheet that will help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Pin It on Pinterest