Friday, December 23, 2011

Skipping the Stress of Christmas

I may have mentioned before that I think I have a handle on how to have a stress-free Christmas.  At least this year.

Perhaps a slightly longer explanation -- one that is a little more involved than what can fit on a yellow sticky note -- is in order.

Not only did we move 1600 miles away, but we simplified quite a bit this year.  Not having much of a budget dictated many of our choices, but there were other conscious decisions that we made without the pressure of monetary demands.

* I decided not to bake this year.  Gulp!  I know! 

  I am still slightly freaking out about this decision.  Every year I make a ton of cookies.  There are two problems with that:  1. On Dec 26th we still have a ton of cookies laying around.  And I eat nearly all of them.  B. For days on end, I am making elaborate cookie platters instead of spending time with the chickadees.

I may still hop on over to the refrigerated section of our Wal-Marts to pick up a pre-made roll or two of the Pillsbury dough and let the kids go wild.  Then again, I may not.  Not doing cookies this year could earn me the meanest mom on the planet award.  I am 95% sure that I am willing to take the chance.

We are going for stress-free, after all.  Next year, we can re-evaluate.

* No teacher gifts for Christmas.  I just heard a collective gasp from the world wide web.  Take a deep breath . . . still with me?  I decided to wait and give the teachers gifts when the kids go back to school.  That way, I have a legitimate reason to hit up all the after Christmas sales.  And it extends the gifting season just a bit longer for the teachers.  Who says you can only show teacher appreciation on Christmas?

Stress free holiday, remember?

* I'm not hosting any parties.  Some of you don't have this choice.  I sympathize with you.  Some of you love hosting.  I am confused by admire you.  I am not much of a hostess -- don't really enjoy the process and I am stressed throughout the party too.  Ugh.

So, I am elated that extended family has reached out to us and invited us to their parties.  I am glad to bring deviled eggs, goodies, scalloped potatoes or whathaveyou.  As our friendships and work relationships grow in our new home state, that may change.  I will roll with the strawberry-limeade sherbert punches. 

Until then . . . I am totally taking advantage of the less stress options.

So, you may ask, what DID I do this Christmas if I didn't bake, didn't do Teacher Gifts and bought and wrapped fewer gifts?   Stay tuned and I'll be happy to tell you.

What techniques have you employed for a more stress-free holiday?

Counting it all Christmassy joy,

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