Let kids tell you what they think of Christmas and they will speak of images full of snow, caroling, putting up Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas gifts and the irresistible magic and wonderment. For everyone else, Christmas is a whole 30 days (even more for some) of headaches and stress.
This doesn't have to be so. Who says you can't enjoy the yuletide season like kids can? This article will give you a few tips on how to celebrate Christmas with less of the stress and more of the ho, ho, holiday fun.
I bet you've heard this a gazillion times, but I guess once more doesn't hurt until you take it to heart: do your Christmas shopping early. Beat the mad rush and escape your kid's heartbreak when you find out that the very last (insert name of their wanted toy] that sells like hotcakes here) has been won in a duel by another overzealous parent. So Shop early and avoid the scuffle.
And no, Christmas doesn't mean you have to be a Stepford wife whipping up delicious Christmas goodies from scratch. Doing this will definitely eat up time on your hands to actually enjoy the things you cooked or baked. Order your food ready-made, pop it in the oven for a few minutes, and no one will ever know. It's your little secret, everyone's happy, and Christmas will be full of merrymaking from then on.
If you need help with your holiday preparations, then by all means, ask for it. Is Christmas not a season of goodwill to all men? (And Women?) More often than not, you will come out with better relationships, a long overdue chat, or discovering kindred hearts. There's no better time of the year.
Learn to let loose and let the small things go. Trust me, no one will care about whether the food's a little late as long as they're enjoying each other's company. Hey, it's Christmas. In fact, you might get carried away by the excellent time spent with each other yourself. Just don't forget, there's still food cooking back in the kitchen. I mean, Christmas will cause you to be a little more cheerful and forgiving than most other days. Your guests are really there for the joy of your company - not just for the food.
K.I.S.S. works real well. In other words, keep it simple, sweetheart. Sure, your guests will no doubt be impressed by excellent Christmas decorations, but the whole point of Christmas is to enjoy each other, and pretty soon, after some interesting conversations, they won't even notice the Christmas tree is not a real tree. Don't go overboard on the decorations and preparations. Simple pine-tree scented candles can do wonders to your Christmas-inspired ambience.
Lastly, keep in mind what Christmas is all about, it's all about giving and caring, it's all about the season of happiness and delight, it's all about magic in the winter air. It's about innocent kids secretly staying up all night so they may have a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer. Remembering what this season is all about will keep you from going overboard and from going crazy with endless preparation. Christmas is about each other, not about competition. It's the memories of each other that last in our minds, not the Christmas decorations.
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David Arnold Livingston enjoys shopping online for gifts
and recommends as a Christmas gifts resource:
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