Loving My Actual Christmas
An Experiment in Relishing the Season
"This is the book you need in order to fall in love with the season again."
--Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of The Happiness Dare
Do you long for a time when you can actually slow down and enjoy the Christmas season for what you feel it should be--a delightful, meaningful time with friends and family--rather than what it is--a tornado of commitments and bills that leave you overwhelmed and exhausted?
The Christmas season is a particularly difficult time for many of us. It is a holiday that can 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 popular Loving My Actual Life, Alexandra Kuykendall shares her own personal experiment to be completely present in her life as it is during the holiday season. Reflecting on hope, love, joy, peace, and relishing the season, she shares practical advice on common Christmas stressors such as finances, schedules, and extended family. With her signature candor, Kuykendall encourages you to go easy on yourself, remember what truly matters, and find joy in your own imperfect Christmas.
"Alex Kuykendall has crafted a rescue manual that will enable you to save your sanity as you savor the Savior, focusing on the true essence of the season."--Karen Ehman, Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker; New York Times bestselling author of Keep It Shut and Listen, Love, Repeat
"I highly recommend this book. In fact, it's going to be one of the first gifts I'll be buying and sharing this holiday season!"--Tricia Goyer, USA Today bestselling author of over sixty books, including Where Treetops Glisten
Alexandra Kuykendall is the author of Loving My Actual Life and The Artist's Daughter and is the cohost of The Open Door Sisterhood podcast. A popular writer and speaker, 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.
"Does the hustle of the holidays threaten to knock the merry right out of your Christmas? Too many tasks and too little time are often a recipe for a yuletide disaster. But before you toss out the tinsel and give up altogether, grab a mug of hot cocoa and read Loving My Actual Christmas. Alex Kuykendall has crafted a rescue manual that will enable you to save your sanity as you savor the Savior, focusing on the true essence of the season."
Karen Ehman, Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker; New York Times bestselling author of Keep It Shut and Listen, Love, Repeat
"Do you love Jesus but secretly dread Christmas? This is the book you need in order to fall in love with the season again. While reading this book, I found myself regaining the same sense of wonder I had when I was a child on Christmas morning. Alexandra Kuykendall is like your personal Christmas elf. With humor, winsome stories, and practical ideas, she will help you put the happy back in your holidays."
Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of The Happiness Dare
"As a mom of ten, I find Christmas to be a much-anticipated time of year. I anticipate joy and fun, but just as great is my anticipation of rushing, stress, and longing to focus on the real reason for the season. Alex's book is like a breath of fresh air. She shares real-life struggles we can all relate to. More than that, she provides practical help and inspiration to help busy moms just like me shape this season into one we can truly celebrate and enjoy. I highly recommend this book. In fact, it's going to be one of the first gifts I'll be buying and sharing this holiday season!"
Tricia Goyer, USA Today bestselling author of over sixty books, including Where Treetops Glisten
"Women give birth to Christmas. (Pant, pant!) Well, actually, one woman literally gave birth to the very first Christmas, and ever since, we women have been cocreating Christmas in our homes, families, and cultures. We long to remember the real reason for the season, celebrate it, and--here's a thought--enjoy it as well. But oh my, how to do so amid the mess of real life? Alexandra Kuykendall takes us on a quick trip to what matters most in her book Loving My Actual Christmas. In this short and practical read, she offers perspective and fun while also ladling out a healthy helping of doable."
Elisa Morgan, speaker; author of The Beauty of Broken and Hello, Beauty Full; cohost, Discover the Word; president emerita, MOPS International
"Slowing down in life is hard enough for women, but slowing down during the Christmas season seems to be the worst. Yet that's the time when there's so much joy, love, and peace to be celebrated within our homes with our actual, real-life people. Alexandra shows us how she took on the challenge of loving the Christmas season and how we can do that as well. As a mama of four, I know that there's nothing I want more than to love Christmastime with my family! Thanks for showing us how we too can take on this challenge!"
Jamie Ivey, host, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey; author of If You Only Knew
"If you ever get the chance to read anything written by Alexandra Kuykendall, take it. She is a gentle, trustworthy storyteller who lives the words she writes about. In a noisy world, I deeply appreciate her thoughtful, grounded voice."
Emily P. Freeman, author of Simply Tuesday
"Of all the Christmas gifts you will receive this year, reading this book may be the most significant. Do you want a Christmas filled with memory-making rather than crazy-making? Do you want the holiday to be about the real rather than the artificial? Then join Alex in her four-week experiment to love (not stress about!) your actual Christmas. Using the pillars of traditional Advent--hope, love, joy, and peace--she offers the chance for meaning and contentment to replace hurry and frazzled. If you want this year to be different--if you want to throw out the old way of doing the holidays in order to invite a better one into your home--then read this book, and more importantly, live out the experiment in your own daily life. The ripple effects of your decisions this Christmas will be felt potentially for generations."
Krista Gilbert, author of Reclaiming Home; cofounder, The Open Door Sisterhood; cohost, The Open Door Sisterhood podcast
"I wish I had read this book eighteen years ago when our family began celebrating Christmas! Be freed from the chains of unrealistic expectations and soul-sucking busyness, while stepping into the beauty and life-giving force that is the celebration of Jesus's birth. Prepare to rethink your celebration and truly love your holiday this year."
Cherie Lowe, author of Slaying the Debt Dragon: How One Family Conquered Their Money Monster and Found an Inspired Happily Every After
"Alex had me laughing through the pain of identifying all too well with the expectations of a perfect Christmas. She reminds us to go easy on ourselves and those around us, offering gifts of hope, love, joy, and peace throughout the season. This book is practical and helps our hearts find a little fa-la-la in the real reason of Christmas."
Sarah Harmeyer, founder and chief people gatherer, Neighbor's Table
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