Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stress Free Christmas

We made a commitment, a conscious decision this year that we were going to have a stress free Christmas. If it wasn't fun we weren't going to do it. We were going to focus on family, fun and festivity. If we started to fret about the "perfect" present or getting everything done, we'd just remind ourselves that this was going to be a stress free Christmas, and we were able to let go and enjoy the moment(s). What is even more wonderful - it worked! We had the best Christmas ever, not just in our opinion, but the kids felt the same way too. One of my favorite things at Christmas is the lights on the tree. I love to turn out the lights in the house leaving only the tree lights on, Christmas music playing and a glass of wine with my honey - my idea of cozy. This year we gave ourselves an early Christmas present, Melissa Etheridge's "A New Thought for Christmas". Her "O Night Devine" is a guitar solo interpretation of "O Holy Night" that is completely reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner". Check it out on Amazon or iTunes to hear the clip, I promise you will love it! A friend also gave Carol a mix of Ella Fitzgerald Christmas tunes. Add Charlie Brown's Christmas Soundtrack and that is a perfect mix of music to set the perfect holiday tone.

We didn't put up every decoration we own. It saved some time and was in keeping with our stress free theme. However, we all have one favorite decoration that we always put up and that is "Lynn's ornaments". For years my sister hand painted each family member a one of a kind ornament. On this picture you can see a star and a stocking that are from her, with a close up of the star. These are truly precious treasures and each year as we unwrap the tissue we 'oh' and 'ah' over them all over again. Everyone of Lynn's ornaments will always make it on the tree.

We haven't done Christmas cards yet. We are thinking about starting a new tradition and doing New Year's cards. They were the biggest casualty of our stress free Christmas, but since we haven't decided to "never" do them, we aren't feeling too guilty about it. One other little thing we gave up was putting ribbons and bows on the packages. A couple might have snuck in here or there, but for the most part we wrapped and tagged and called it "DONE".
As a family present we got Guitar Hero World Tour Band Kit for the Wii. (We got one of the very scarce Wii last year for Christmas, thanks to my cousin Paula who braved bad roads to get to Best Buy early one Sunday morning, and then rode the ferry from VT to meet me to exchange the goods. Thanks Cuz!) We rocked out!! As you can see we are almost world tour ready! Truly a fun for the whole family game.
More than anything we found that our stress free Christmas was a state of mind. A decision to be joyful, grateful and to not give into the chaos and frenetic pace that can be Christmas, made all the difference. I'm hoping we can use the same plan to create a stress free New Year - No stress in '09! Cheers!



1 comment:

Greg said...

Oh, congratulations on what looks like a lovely, wonderful, family oriented and fun-filled holiday!

Here's the universe balancing itself out: I sent cards for the first time in almost ten years because not having done so for so long was causing me stress.

Happy New Year, my friends! : )