About the book: (from the publisher) The Christmas season is a particularly difficult time for women to slow down and relish what’s right in front of them. An annual marker for many, it is a holiday that can often remind us how life is not going as we’d planned. Our family relationships remain strained, our finances stretched, and our schedules stuffed with too much to do in too little time.
Following the formula of her successful Loving My Actual Life, Alexandra Kuykendall shares with readers her own personal experiment to be completely present in her life as it is during the holiday season. Addressing the themes of Advent and Christmas, she reflects on hope, love, joy, peace, and relishing the season, with practical pullouts on common Christmas stressors, such as finances, schedules, and extended family. Kuykendall’s signature candor helps women go easy on themselves, remember what truly matters, and find joy in their imperfect Christmases.
About the author: Alexandra Kuykendall is the author of Loving My Actual Life and The Artist’s Daughter, and the cohost The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast. A popular writer and speaker for moms around the country, she is a regular contributor to MOPS International’s blog, conference, and curriculum. Alexandra has been featured on Good Morning America and Focus on the Family’s daily broadcast. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, Derek, and their four daughters.
Genre: Non-fiction/Christian Living/Personal GrowthNot too early to plan for #LovingMyActualChristmas! @Alex_Kuykendall Click To Tweet
My take: Ho ho ho already? Oh no no no! If you’re anything like me, you’re nowhere near ready to begin thinking about Christmas, much less begin planning for it. Fall has only just arrived, after all, and we have weeks of laid-back, autumnal beauty to enjoy before we charge into the hectic pace of what’s commonly known as The Holiday Season.
But that’s just it. Since when is that hectic pace something any of us actually love?
Truth is, a little forethought and preparation can go a long way to allowing moms to slow down enough to relish the season. Which is where Alexandra Kuykendall’s latest book comes in.
As a practical follow-on to its predecessor, Loving My Actual Life, Loving My Actual Christmas aligns itself in much the same groove. Part inspirational memoir, part practical guide, it frames itself as an experiment, providing tactics to try and then keep or discard depending on how well they actually work.
For me, the best part of Alexandra’s book is the personal touch in which she shares snippets of her real life that make me feel as if we’re having an open-hearted conversation rather than me reading her prescriptive book. I also love at the end of each chapter her list of “Practices I’ll Continue,” which give me a snapshot of the best takeaways from each experiment.
While I’m still not prepared to begin playing Christmas carols in my home, I am ready to follow Alexandra’s example. Thanks to the ideas I found in her book, I have already taken my first few practical steps toward making this coming holiday season one I will actually relish.
Thanks to the author and Baker Books for providing me this book free of charge. All opinions are mine.
Buy it here.
After words: When do you start listening to Christmas carols at home?