November 22, 2010

The Holiday Season

via etsy

What do you look forward to most about the holidays?

It seems like so many people get stressed out this time of year.  It is a busy time, to be sure, but it's such a beautiful time as well.  I wish more people could just focus on the beauty and let go of the unnecessary stress.  I guess I should just consider myself fortunate.  I love everything about the holiday season, and I am one of the lucky ones that actually enjoys spending time with my family.  I was even lucky enough to marry into a wonderful family as well, so I have good times on both sides. 

Sometimes I do need to remind myself to focus on the things that make me happy.  For example, I decided not to send cards last year.  With a new baby and just starting back at work, I simply didn't have the energy for it.  I missed doing it, because I love exchanging cards with friends and family, so I'm excited to do it again this year, but it was the right decision at that time.  It's taken me a while, but I've realized that you have to prioritize and recognize that sometimes you just can't do it all.

When I think about the things I want to do as a family this holiday season, these are the things that come to mind:

- Make a paper chain for the Christmas tree with the big boy
- Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas while we decorate the tree (with colored lights!)
- Bake something yummy to bring to the neighbors
- Send holiday cards
- Cut paper snowflakes with the big boy to decorate the house
- Attend the Holiday Pops concert at Symphony Hall.  (This has been a tradition for me and K for years, but this will be our first year for the big boy, and I'm so excited to extend the tradition.)
- Purchase gifts for a child living in poverty
- Celebrate St. Nicholas' Day (Dec. 6th).  (With my son's birthday and Christmas falling in the same month, we have no shortage of celebrations and gifts, and yet I refuse to give this one up.  When I was a kid, I always loved running down to see what St. Nicholas left in my shoes, and I want my boys to remember it too.)
- Watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and cry at the end like I always do
- Drink egg nog.  (I really want to try making a homemade version at some point - do any of you have a good recipe you love?  In the meantime, we'll enjoy it from the store, with a little fresh nutmeg sprinkled on top.  I will drink little tastes while attempting to limit it for my boys - all three of them!)
- Bug my family by insisting we open "just one present!" on Christmas Eve.  (I always ask, they always say's tradition.)
- Enjoy chocolate fondue on New Year's Eve and chocolate chip pancakes on New Year's morning (for a non-chocolate person, I sure do love it sometimes!)

What's on your list?  What do you enjoy most about this time of year?  Do you let it stress you out or are you able to fully enjoy it?


  1. Hi Mary - Oh I love this post (and sweet image too...). I am a complete Christmas lover and every year I enjoy this build-up. I must admit though that in recent years whilst I still love it, I have found it all pretty stressful. For lots of reasons really too many to list, but I am really trying this year to embrace the happiness and the family side of things and not sweat all the other stuff. I decided not to send cards too a few years back and have to say I haven't really missed it! I do a smilebox to keep up with people but for me it was actually an environmental thing - cards that contain letters were great but so many got sent to us saying 'dear x, love y' and that was all, so that seemed to defeat the object for me!

    As for Christmas Eve present opening - I am so lucky as my Mum is Danish and they do it all on Christmas Eve so we get to have some 'Danish' presents then and then do the whole English traditional Christmas on Christmas Day! Hurrah!

    You have made me happy now thinking of this :-)

    Lou xx

  2. I can't give up opening one present on christmas eve either! I adore the holidays and they don't stress me out either. just love both of our families so much.

  3. Hi Mary, wonderful image & lovely post! On my wishlist are Wimbledon tickets (I'm a tennis addict :-), books, a hanging chair, a medium format camera. I love Christmas. It's peaceful time. 33 day till the X-mas day :-)

    Have a happy new week!


  4. Oh yep, I usually have this huge list of ideas for the holidays - and then only get like 3 done on the list! I think it comes down to the ones that feel the most important.

  5. what a lovely photo and a fabulous list. :) xoxo

  6. I think I would just like to come to you for Christmas ;) LOVE your list, every single one of those things would be on mine :)

    I absolutely agree about prioritising and also relaxing and enjoying it all....otherwise it turns into a giant, very stressful shopping spree.

    I love the build up to Christmas though, it's the best part sometimes :)

  7. we are having a community Christmas pageant this year and i am reading my favorite things about Christmas. You and I share quite a few! I will post the list on my blog after the weekend. Don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone! ;)

  8. I love this post, and your list. I'm so glad that I've finally reached the point of making *necessary changes* around this time of year, so that I can truly enjoy my favorite time of the year... and let GO of the unnecessary stress (because it really is unnecessary!). (and btw- I too, am a colored lights person :))


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I really love hearing from the people who read this little blog of mine. Thanks for stopping by!


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