Evaluate what is most important to you and your family and concentrate on getting that done. For many families its a trip to see Santa ~ if that's a priority then go....but you really only need to go once and not schedule visits to every Santa within 50 miles of your home. When I was little we checked out of school early one afternoon in December & daddy took off work a early. We drove to downtown Atlanta and visited Santa at Rich's and rode the pink pig. It was a huge adventure ~ sometimes they had reindeer you could pet and my sister and I could shop at the secret Santa shop for our parents. Obviously this made a big impression on me since I can remember it 50 years later.
We are always involved in our church's Christmas program or Christmas Cantata. Choir is a priority for that. Our program is this weekend, so it will be busy. If your children are young and involved in childrens church activities, then that's important to them.
Do you love to go to Grandma's house for the holiday? When I was little we would go to my MaMa's house on Christmas Eve, every year. Then Christmas afternoon we would go to my Grandma's house. There wasn't any question where we would be or what time, it was the same every year ~ this was simplified by the fact all our family was local...it got harder and changed when the grandkids grew, married and started having babies. If your family isn't nearby, it will be more difficult.
Do you have a food tradition? For the last 32 or so years, Christmas dinner at Mom's house has been boiled shrimp, ham, baked potatoes, salad, bread and desserts. The drink is cokes in the little glass bottles. Most think we are crazy but it started because by Christmas we were tired of turkey but everyone loved shrimp ~ except James and that's why we have ham too but its usually leftover from another gathering. This is the first year in quite a while that we will be at Mom's on Christmas day & I am so excited! It took Greg and I several years to come up with our own food traditions for the holiday but we finalized on finger foods for Christmas eve, James cooks breakfast the morning of the 25th, lunch was shrimp and grits, and dinner was grilled steak & baked potatoes.....yummy!
Gifts are another source of stress for many. Shopping on the internet is fun and lots of places offer free shipping is you reach a certain level of purchases. Or shop on Amazon and take advantage of their free Prime membership shipping. You can shop all year long or do it all in December. We are all simplifying our gift giving. What do you give the Granny who has everything and when she wants something, she goes out and buys it? You get creative! Who do you need to buy a gift for ~ or who do you want to get a gift for? Don't feel obligated when your neighbors cousins mom sends you a plate of cookies ~ just say thank you.
Relax this month ~
watch a movie
drive around and look at lights
color pictures (the new adult coloring books are cool)
play a game
visit friends & family
read a book
start a hobby
reflect on the meaning of the Season
read the scriptures concerning the Incarnation of the Lord (day 11 here)
sit back & watch the world spin while you drink hot chocolate
order your gifts online & have them delivered directly to the person ( we did this!)
enjoy family time
be thankful for all your blessings & resources & talents
Pictures from my past ~
|My first kitchen! You could really put water in that sink and wash your dishes!|
|Me & my sister ~ matching Chrismas gowns!|
|Christmas morning, I was about 2|
|At my Aunts house, we were teenagers|
|Another teen Christmas at our house with MaMa, Aunts/Uncles & cousins|