Welcome to Articles Club, an online reading community focused on unearthing the art of eating and creating a home. It’s hosted by Andrea DeVries and Abigail Murrish who take turns sharing pertinent articles on their blogs every Monday* and asking questions to spur lively and kind conversation. To learn more about Articles Club and the folks behind it, click here and here.

*This week, I'm a day late. I apologize!

This week's article discusses the expectations—healthy or not—we all have for the holidays. I am the queen of unhealthy expectations. For some reason or another, I assume Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas Andrea must be significantly more efficient in everything. This includes household duties (keeping the laundry under control or cleaning the bathroom, anyone?) to social commitments. I've always been prone to overbooking and overextending myself. 

The baking preparations might have been nice to look at, but....

This is what the cookies looked like coming out of the oven ;) At least they taste good!

On a more personal level, I extend these unreasonable expectations to my family and friends (particularly Nicholas). Not only is this not sustainable behavior, but it's not Biblical or God-honoring. This article offers some practical advice for those of us who "catch" this unhealthy attitude this time of year. Follow the link below to read the rest of the article, and please join in the discussion! (click the title of this post to see the comment section).


Holiday Expectation Management - Liz Holst

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — or is it?

Thanksgiving is upon us, and Christmas just around the corner, and with this coupling come lots of expectations. For years I wrestled with how to navigate the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas with some semblance of sanity. Truth is, I still struggle with managing “the Holidays” well. Who will be home? What are the lingering family tensions? How can I make it special for friends who will walk through the front door? The questions, and stresses, go on and on.

I knew I was in big trouble one year when I fell prey to the jewelry commercials that convinced me my husband loved me only if he gave me diamonds. Really? Well, I bought it — obviously a small, neatly wrapped package with a sparkly red bow represented true love. When that package wasn’t under the tree, and my Christmas Day was ruined, I knew I needed to take a closer look at my heart and try to find out what was going on.

Finish the Article


Discussion Questions

1. How do you prevent over-extension of yourself when it comes to holiday commitments and duties?

2. Are you able to "turn down" media messages that your loved ones must buy you the perfect gift, or that you must have an immaculately decorated home, etc.?

3. Which of the authors 5 steps resonates with you most?

Please join us next week on Abby's blog for another article and discussion!