With less than four sleeps before Christmas Day, there is no time for me to write about how to prepare, or what to do with your kids to get them excited, because we have well and truly arrived. If your family is anything like mine, the tree has been up already for a few weeks, the decorations are delicately placed around the house and they will probably stay there well into the New Year. 

So in the spirit of birth and celebration, and all things festive I wanted to share with you 5 ways to end the year on a high note. 

1. Embrace the Christmas Weekend.

We have been preparing for this for weeks and the clock is ticking down. Brave the shops one last time, be there with intention and be kind to those around you. With Christmas a few days away it is time to live in this season with its glitter and groceries and messiness but overall joy. Christmas is JOY. The Bateman’s celebrate the birth of Christ by going to church, being grateful of the story of Jesus being born and sharing that with those around us. We gather. And we love being surrounded by one another. I hope that you enjoy time with your loved ones this Christmas. 

2. Get Outside

It is the temptation of our contemporary society to lock ourselves away and hibernate after being overwhelmed with family, food and places to go and things to buy. Christmas, the New Year and summer are about spending time with people and enjoying a bit of downtime – chances are there might people that you rarely see and before they disappear to their corner of the world again try and catch up, spend some time together. Summer is the perfect excuse to stay outside. To recuperate under the stars at a relaxing barbeque or at the beach or at a loved one’s home. 

3. Be thankful. 

I feel so incredibly blessed by the LM community of parents and wonderful children that we surround ourselves with. This time of year brings gifts not just in the form of those sitting underneath the trees. But we see joy in the faces of those we get the opportunity to do life with each and every day. Be thankful for each turkey, each pavlova, each Christmas cracker and each person that makes you smile this week.

4. Be reflective 

In the rush and the chaos and as we watch the year come to a close, be grateful for this last week of December. Think about what you, your kids and your family have achieved in 2018 and begin to think about what is to come in 2019. If you have photos to reflect on, take a trip down memory road and allow some of the highlights to bring you joy and if there are painful moments, take a breath and exhale knowing that pain is one of the great teachers in life. If you journal, flick back through the pages and allow the words to take you places. Read the entries and you will see growth from the person you were at the beginning of the year. 

5. Be Kind to Yourself

Take time for you. Something that we don’t often make time for is ourselves. As parents we find ourselves just making it to the end of the year, and through frazzled hearts, minds and souls we do our best to dazzle friends and families. Many of us are up until the wee hours of the morning wrapping gifts, preparing the last bits and pieces so everything is perfect and we wake up Christmas Day wishing we could sleep it away. This week find yourself some ‘me time’ and do something that makes you feel great and rejuvinates you, that may be a massage, walk on the beach, pedicure or your favourite coffee. Whatever it is, make you a priority and be kind to yourself.