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Don't Stress the Holidays

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Christmas has always been about family and spreading the love. Every year I could look forward to a few good meals, a nice visit with family from near and far, some deliciously unhealthy snacks, board games, puzzles, playing pond hockey out back with neighbors and listening to dorky Christmas tunes. Every year we picked out a Christmas tree and set it up together, as a family. I remember the smell of pine and the sound of needles hitting the floor while we all watched the pointy wrapped up tree fold down its bows in hopes that it would become a big, jolly monster of a tree. Dad would carry the boxes of handcrafted ornaments up from the storage room and we would all pitch in to set them out around the house. We would listen to our favorite Christmas music, Trans Siberian Orchestra, and drink egg nog. Incredibly fond memories were made spending time with the people I love. Things change as you grow older and your families change and grow. We now have several Christmases to attend and don’t spend the same amount of time together doing the things that made Christmas so special. Our loved ones live great distances away in every direction and attempting to schedule everyone for the same day is nearly impossible. Often it seems we spend more time travelling than actually visiting. We no longer spend time decorating the tree together or skating out back and Christmas music is not blaring at top volume as we dance around like goofballs. We have to pack a week worth of fun and family time into a single day. I would love to be able to exchange every gift under the tree for more time spent with my crazy, nutty relatives.

All across the internet I see blogs and articles explaining how to impress your guests with your fancy table settings and expensive decorations. It all looks so wonderful but I can’t help but wonder how much time is spent decorating and planning vs. how much time is spent laughing with their loved ones and friends. Decorating can be fun but it can also be stressful. I hope that this season you choose to spend your time enjoying your family and friends making memories to last for years to come. Spend less time fussing with cleaning and arranging the perfect table setting and more time visiting over a card game or reading Christmas stories to the kids. The dishes will be there in the morning but your loved ones may already be on their way to the next family celebration. Enjoy every moment this holiday season and don’t sweat the small stuff!

It's not about what's under the tree, it's what we share with our hearts!

 

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