a new kind of christmas list

by Joanna on December 15, 2013

christmas mug

Every year, Mike’s mom asks us for Christmas lists. They’re due before we head back to DC after Thanksgiving weekend. I always struggle with this activity–feeling like it’s forced and I’m listing things that I’m lukewarm about.

I decided to make my Christmas list a little differently this year. I was going to make an intentional Christmas list. And I did. I took great care in making my Christmas list this year. And the whole process of making the list was very enjoyable.

I started by asking how I want to feel in 2014. I came up with three feelings:

cozy, pretty, and abundant

Then I thought of things that would support these feelings.

On my list:

throw blanket
Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist (this could also go under abundant)

1″ curling iron
sleeveless blouses to go under cardigans
Sephora Favorite Sampler (hoping Santa can find this…I saw it in store but can’t find it online)

Kate Spade business card holder
Godiva chocolate bars (the small ones they have at Barnes and Noble)
Vase (fresh flowers always make me feel abunant…and pretty too)
Josie Maran Body Butter

I’m really happy with my list. But also, I think this process was really good for me. I’ve been working a lot on valuing and taking care of myself (more to come on that later) and I think this was a great exercise in learning how it feels to take good care and value yourself.

How do you want to feel in 2014? 

What’s on your Christmas list this year?

How would your list change if you first thought about how you want to feel in 2014 and only put things that supported that vision?



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Becky@TheSavedRunner December 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm

I love the way you made your list. I put several books on my Christmas list this year because I would love to try to read a new book every month of 2014. I don’t know if this will happen, but I think it would be great to try! I also just got my first teaching job, so I asked for teaching clothes. I try to think about stuff I need when I make my Christmas list.


2 Joanna December 19, 2013 at 7:53 am

Ooo, what books?? I love books and usually have a ton on my list.
Congrats on your first teaching job! That’s so exciting. A professional wardrobe takes a little while to build (I think I’m still working on mine) so that’s a perfect thing to put on a Christmas list.


3 Meg January 3, 2014 at 9:31 am

Though we’re past the holidays now, I just had to say that I love your idea of creating an intentional Christmas list! I was very selective with what I requested this year (when pushed on the issue!), mostly because I’m also a newlywed and space is at a serious premium in our place. Our friends and family were so generous at our November wedding, and I really felt like we didn’t need a thing this year — beyond the company of our friends and family. It was a great Christmas, but I think I’m going to be even more intentional next year!

Also, I’m just outside D.C. myself — born and raised in Southern Maryland! Always nice to find a local. :) Happy 2014!


4 Joanna January 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Thanks, Meg! It was cool to see the intentional Christmas list in action. I was SO excited for the things that I intentionally put on the list and not as excited to open the things I added that didn’t fit with my feelings.
I love finding locals too. If you’re interested/don’t mind making the hike to the city, I’m starting a book club on The Desire Map and our first meeting is this Thursday 1/9. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll send you all the details!


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