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 no...it'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?