I got a book for the DQ about planning Christmas. It's cute. She's going to love it, but I realized while leafing through it, I won't/wouldn't/couldn't do half of that stuff, and I LOVE Christmas. But I love Christmas for the fun, not for the burden. I want an unbusy Christmas!
So my own "how to have the best Christmas ever" would look a little something like this:
1. BUY LESS STUFF!!! Less time spent in stores, less financial stress, and it's better for the environment too. Win, win, win! The present part of Christmas is for kids. (isn't it? I didn't actually have Christmas as a kid, so bear in mind this is just a theory based on adult observation. ;) I love buying presents for the kids in our family (including the DQ, of course!), but us grown ups...do we really need more stuff?
2. Say "no". No, to the Christmas party I hate going to. No, to the gift that's going to break the budget. No, to the project that will keep me up until 2:00 am on December 23rd pulling my hair out. No, no, no, no, NO. (yeah baby, being a self preserving Grinch is all a part of the Christmas magic too!)
3. Do more of what we love. My favourite parts of the holiday never seem to fall on Christmas day itself. I love the baking (this year I am going to bake my ass off! I have been dreaming of Panaforte and Linzer cookies all year!). I love all the special family activities with Elliot and Liam...the local Festival of Trees and Lights, belting out songs from Muppet Christmas Carol in the car on the way to Gramma's, packing our little shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse, snuggling on the couch and watching unapologetically saccharine X-mas shows, playing in the snow, trimming our tree. I love time with my sisters, unwinding with the DH, and surprising someone with an unexpected kindness. This is where I want my energy to go.
4. Plan well and start early to free up more time in December. My boys and husband start their holidays really early this year (the 19th!). I want as much time as possible free for F-U-N then. Not shopping, not wrapping, not cleaning, not running around keeping this or that social obligation, but cookie-chomping, laughing, playing, sparkly-eyed fun.
5. Accept the chiaroscuro. At that inevitable moment when I am frazzled and tired, there's a mountain of dirty dishes or a family squabble...realize that familial friction, chaos and stress are all actually supposed to be a rightful part of the holidays too. It just wouldn't be Festivus without the airing of the grievances and the feats of strength. Take a deep breath and carry on.
And now that I am done unbusy pep talking myself, I need to get off the computer and get going! Number 4 isn't just going to do itself!
Merry unbusy to you all and to all a good night. x0
Blow by blow report from our Nov/Dec 2011 Orlando extended family vacation of a lifetime. Set to private to protect our superhero alter ego anonymity, leave a comment here or email me @ email@example.com if you want to take a gander. Disney haters need not apply.