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Tis the Season

It is that time of year again. I looked at the calendar the other day only to realize there was less than a week until Christmas. The days have flown by while my list of things undone has only grown.

I love Christmas. I love baking cookies, crafts, making gifts for teachers, neighbors, finding the perfect gift for loved ones, sending cards, baking bread and pastries etc. Christmas could be a full time job.  So as it comes down to the nitty gritty, I’ve had to decide what is truly important for me to do this year.

I may not be sending Christmas cards. My cookie baking list variety will be narrowed down to 6 or maybe 7, and I bought, rather than made, the Christmas gifts for the teachers this year. There may be further cutbacks. As I anxiously wait for the UPS driver, I realize some gifts might be late. Some people might get gift cards this year. And *gasp* I never “adjusted” the ornaments on the trees after the kids finished decorating so it’s a little clustered in areas. But really, is that so bad?

Over the years I’ve realized even if I haven’t done everything I think needs to be done for a perfect Christmas, what I remember is the time spent with family and friends. The laughter and loved shared. Of course cookies don’t hurt. ; )

So what are your must-haves for Christmas? Do you have any traditions you couldn’t bear to do without?


13 Responses

  1. I’ve adopted a more laid back attitude with Christmas lately. I still do some of the same old things – mom and I just made the prailines we always make and I decorated cookies with my neices. Presents still surround the tree and the house is decked out in finery, but I try not to sweat the small stuff. Like cards – they’ll go out a Happy New Year’s cards this year. And we’re serving the homeless at the church on Christmas Day and coming back to steak and baked pototoes instead of traditonal fare.

    One fun thing I did institute about five years ago is our annual Cocktails and Karaoke Christmas Eve party. I’ve claimed that 8-12 time frame for the adults. Sure, kids are there, running around or playing Just Dance 2 in the back, but it’s a true party with food, martinis and karaoke. It’s like a present to myself 🙂

    • Liz, my husband loves Karaoke. He’d love a Cocktails and Karaoke night. Unfortunately, I’ve been told too many times I can’t carry a tune in a bucket so I’m not all that eager to get behind the mic. I am practicing when he’s not home to surprise him. Silly, I know.

      This year, for the first time, we’re following one of his Christmas traditions and going to his aunts house for the big Christmas eve party. They stay up til midnight then open presents. This pregnant woman has not been able to stay up past 9:30 so wish me luck. It’s also going to make getting up early on Christmas a little difficult. ; )

  2. I always thought it would get easier the older the kids got. LOL Seems like I had so much more time, or maybe it was energy, when they were little to decorate, get the cards out, make cookies, etc. We’ve let alot slide this year, but cutting our own tree down from the Christmas tree farm and baking cookies together I hope to keep up every year. Making those special memories and remembering the fun and laughs with family and friends is what I hold close to my heart too. 🙂

    I’d love to have a Karaoke night like, Liz. But I’m afraid I’d be the only one up there singing. LOL

    • Melissa,

      I thought it would get easier when the kids got older too, but it’s the opposite. Maybe it is an energy thing. I don’t know. Gingerbread house and cookie decorating are definitely something I’m not willing to let slide. This year, the kids don’t get out of school until the 23rd. Usually I have the week before Christmas to do all the crafts/baking with them. This year, I have 3 weeks after Christmas when they’ll be home instead. The person who made the school calendar was not a parent.

  3. Our Christmas traditions have died or changed as the family has grown, kids married, new babies born, etc.

    The only one that remains for my husband and me is Christmas Eve church service, no matter where we are (what town) or who we’re with, we do church on Christmas eve.

    When I was growing up THE PLACE to be on Christmas eve was midnight mass even for those of us (like me) who weren’t Catholic!

    This year, we are not with our extended families for Christmas. It’s just me and hubby and you know what? That’s okay too.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    ps…check in on Friday for pictures of our local golf cart Christmas parade. You’ll have a laugh or two.

    • Cynthia,

      My husband and I wondered what we’d do when it was just me and him at Christmas. We decided we’d decorate the tree in 49er colors and make tamales. ; )

      I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and I’m looking forward to seeing the Christmas parade. ; )

  4. You nailed the best of it! spending time with family and just enjoying the holidays. more and more I’ve started letting somethings go to focus on other things. and we will not call this lazy doing on my part!

  5. we used to make tons of cookies and candy for Christmas and give them out to everyone as gifts. My favorite candy mom makes is plain almond divinity and she tries to make me some every year. We don’t spend every weekend from Thanksgiving making candy anymore and I miss that sometimes.

    Mom always comes over and helps me decorate my tree and we have our big family Christmas on Christmas eve then we usually will open 1 present when we get home before we go to bed. Then have Santa on Christmas morning. This year Lilly won’t be home on Christmas day until 2:00 – I’m sad about that but we will just have Santa when she gets home.

    Merry Christmas everyone – hug your friends and family and be thankful for everyday,

    • We do the one present on Christmas eve too. There have been so many changes that I’m not sure how we’ll keep a few traditions, but I guess life is change. ; ) Baking cookies every weekend sounds like fun. Too bad you don’t live closer, we could do a few weekends. ; )

  6. We’ve had various changes every year but my 16-year-old has become a die-hard traditionalist and when I proposed mixing things up this year due to all the football games being on Christmas Eve, she about threw a fit. LOL

    Growing up, I was always home on Christmas morning. My husband was NEVER home. Santa came while they were at church on Christmas Eve because they had to drive to Toledo on Christmas morning (a huge undertaking back then, that 2-hour drive LOL). So it’s always been really important to him that as soon as Number One was old enough to “get it,” we be home on Christmas morning.

    I couldn’t care less, really, about decorations and cookies and stuff. But I love that we do present opening one at a time, going around the room until we’re all done. Stretches out the anticipation AND the enjoyment, and I’m proud to say my kids have always been into it, too.

    • Hi Natalie,

      We do the present thing too. My grandpa used to play Santa. Now my oldest daughter does and we pass out presents one at a time. It still gets a little crazy sometimes. And my grandma used to wait until everyone had their presents before she’d open any of hers so she could just watch. (I found I do that now too) We have had scrambled eggs for Christmas breakfast since I can remember. One year I proposed a type of casserole. My kids about came unglued and they don’t even really like scrambled eggs. It was kinda nice to see the tradition was important to them too.

  7. We do presents one at a time too, but our only tradition is probably that we don’t have one. About half of our Christmases we’re gone on vacation instead of visiting family or staying home.

    We have the travel tree and stockings up, but now that the kids are older, we’re all a bit too lazy to really deck out the house much. When we’re home we usually have Mexican food on Christmas Eve. That’s something both of our families did growing up.

    Happy holidays, everyone!

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