As we approach the holiday season, it’s getting time for us mamas to kick it into high gear. And while things may not look exactly the same this year, I doubt we will completely evade the hustle and bustle that lasts from Halloween until Mardi Gras. During the holiday season, our minds and to-do lists are usually focused on other people. Whether that’s purchasing Christmas presents, figuring out holiday plans, or baking cookies for neighbors, our already precious little time to ourselves diminishes even further.
So, mama, in the midst of it all, here are eight ways to treat yourself this holiday season:
1. Order coffee and a treat from a coffee shop and actually sit down to enjoy them while you’re there. We have so many great local coffee shops in Baton Rouge. Magpie Cafe will always be my favorite: the house-made scones are to die for and the lattes are perfect. French Truck has a great patio and the Iced Nola is my go-to order. Cedar House Coffee is a newer spot and even has a play place for kids plus a yoga studio! Pay hourly for your kiddos to play while you participate in a class or sit and enjoy one of their drinks, the excellent coffee is roasted in house.
2. Take a walk around the LSU lakes in the morning or evening, by yourself! I did this a few weeks ago, and it was such a treat. No stroller, no monitoring kids on bikes or scooters. Pop in headphones for an audiobook or just enjoy the quiet.
3. Wander around Anthropologie at Perkins Rowe. You don’t even have to buy anything to enjoy the experience of being at Anthropologie. Try clothes on, browse the saleroom, and make a Christmas wishlist for yourself! Plus, local artist, Brandee Sandusky is installing beautiful seasonal decor that transforms the store into beautiful artwork.
4. Curl up at home with a good book and a cup of tea. How indulgent does this feel in the middle of the day? If your kids are at school, perfect. If not, put them in front of screens for thirty minutes. My current favorite teas are Tazo Glazed Lemon Loaf, it seriously tastes like cake, or Pumpkin Spice from Red Stick Spice. As far as books go, I love to read not-so-scary mysteries in the fall like Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. Check out the East Baton Rouge Parish Library for lots of selections.
5. Spend money on something meaningful. The Hope Shop, located off Government at 1857, features ethically made goods and local items. All profits from The Hope Shop go to the store’s parent organization, Hands Producing Hope. Their mission is to provide the resources necessary to empower remote communities to rise above poverty. Goods are made by local refugee women as well as artisans from communities in Costa Rica and Rwanda. There are plenty of beautiful items, clothing, home decor, and books to choose from.
6. Cook YOUR favorite meal for dinner. I love curry but never make it because the rest of my family aren’t fans. I’ve had my eye on this Butter Chicken for a while and I am going to make it this fall. If that means PB&Js for everyone else, so be it!
7. Watch a movie of your choice on Friday night. We do pizza and a movie on Fridays, generally rotating between Winnie the Pooh and Frozen 2. And while my husband and I usually pop in AirPods and watch The Office on his iPad, how fun would it be to just go in the other room with my veggie pizza and some popcorn and watch whatever movie I want?! I’m thinking a RomCom classic like You’ve Got Mail or something newer I’ve yet to see like the live-action Mulan.
8. Go through an Advent Devotional. My family grew up celebrating Advent on Sunday evenings in December and this has become a favorite tradition for our little family as well. Personally, every year I read through an Advent devotional book and it always anchors me in the midst of a busy season. Some past favorites include: Richard Rohr’s Preparing for Christmas and Watch for the Light: a collection of writings from various authors. This year I’m really looking forward to two new Advent books: Shadow & Light by Tsh Oxenreider and Honest Advent by Scott Erikson.
I hope you’ll take time to get refreshed and refueled while you’re giving so much to others. And I’d love to know: what’s your favorite way to get recharged?