It's my theme this year. Many years I just let the busyness take over and end up getting frazzled. Not this year. I love Christmas. I love my Christmas decorations, but we're still in the little house. I've got 6 kids here all day long including little ones who just love to touch the ornaments. So, this year, instead of fighting keeping the ornaments on the tree and worrying about things getting broken and squeezing for space - this year, my only Christmas tree is a little one on top of the entertainment center. And I'm really OK with it. All my other decorations were downsized a bit, too. I don't feel cluttered. Dusting is not overwhelming. Life is good.
Christmas shopping is also not stressing me out. We coordinated with my parents and got most of the Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving. Everything is stashed away, waiting for wrapping. And - I only gave the idea. My husband got the job of "researching" the main gifts and buying them! No running around for me except for the things I WANT to go shopping for.
I'm cutting waaaaaaaaaay back on holiday baking. I love baking. But, believe me, my booty does not need baked goods lying around for me to munch on. Everyone gets a slew of cookies and candies at Christmas time. I'm not doin' it! I will bake a treat that is not cookies or candy - that is a nice meal addition for friends; something I cannot get into and munch on.
We are in the midst of a super-busy week with our church's production of Christmas According to Scrooge, but really, it's not too bad. I've taken some time each day to make sure everything keeps running smoothly at home - during the day and the evenings. I'm staying really on top of keeping the house neat (except this morning as I'm updating my blog instead....), keeping up with the laundry a little every day, keeping the bed made and bathroom neat as that just makes everything seem calmer, working really hard to make sure all homework is done right after school so B doesn't have to try to keep up with it in the evenings, all costume prep is done at naptime - the ironing, it never stops!, and I've got a week of great-tasting, warm, crock pot and oven meals that T and I can eat real quick before we head out and the rest of the family can easily dish up when they're ready. For being gone for hours each evening (and both days this weekend), it's really going pretty well and I'm able to enjoy being part of the production (mostly).
I wanted to be sure to start some new traditions with the kids at Christmas this year, too. We always drive around to look at Christmas lights, add a new ornaments to our tree for each of them (this year's are mini-ornaments), sprinkle reindeer food for Santa's reindeer... This year I know that one tradition we are adding is to mark each of their gifts with an assigned reindeer name for each of them - instead of their names. They are very good at digging through the wrapped presents for the ones with their names on it and guessing what it is. Well, not this year!!! I'll probably find other things I want to do as well, but that's one I know for sure.
Happy Holiday Season - take it easy, keep it simple and enjoy!