Your life is about to change. A week from today, your schedule will suddenly be overwhelmed with Christmas shopping, tree decorating, cookie making and about a hundred other tasks that need to be done before the guy in the red suit squeezes his chunky butt down your chimney.

If you’re not careful, you’ll miss the joy and beauty of the Christmas season. For the next thirty or so days, you’ll need to work extra hard to find the present moment and live in it.

How to Find Your Present Moment During the Holiday Season

A few weeks ago, my daughter, Caity, wrote a great piece about how to stay focused on “right now.” She’s a really talented writer and her blog (Morral of the Story) serves up great reads about finding beauty and inspiration in the little (and not-so-little) things in life.

I’m a proud dad. But as a guy who makes his living from the written word, I can honestly say that if you’re not reading her stuff, you should be.

Caity’s point about staying focused on “right now” is simple: Although the past and the future are important, we have to learn how to be happy in the present moment — to be fully invested in the things that are happening here and now.

It’s great advice year round. But it’s especially relevant during the holiday season. Instead of worrying about your long holiday to-do list or dwelling on memories of Christmases past, take the opportunity to pause and experience the rich nuggets the Christmas season has to offer.

Slow down.

Your holiday season doesn’t have to be hectic and chaotic. If you really want to, you can make an conscious decision to slow down and simplify your life during the holidays. Maybe there are a few things on your to-do list that don’t get done. But in the end, you’ll have a more meaningful and more spiritually satisfying Christmas season.

Make time for prayer and reflection.

Advent is a season of anticipation. It’s the spiritual season during which we prepare for the arrival of the Christ child. By setting aside present moments for prayer, reflection and meditation, you create opportunities to encounter Jesus in new and exciting ways.

Serve others.

The most rewarding holiday experiences happen when you serve other people. From giving small unexpected gifts to volunteering at a local charity to doing little acts of service for friends and strangers, there are plenty of ways to dedicate yourself to the service of other people during the Christmas season.

Your life is crazy, but the holidays don’t have to be. Make a decision to find your present moment during the holidays and rediscover what Christmas is really about.

Image CreditMindfulness by Darragh O Connor, on Flickr