Christmas doesn't have to be an endless stress-headache.
creating, carol singing, baking, present wrapping, and City Mission donating, to name a few. It was a very, very busy season.
By the time we had a bunch of family Christmases under our belts, we had traditions coming out of our ears and December had become manic and exhausting. At some point I fell out of love with the season I had loved best and found myself becoming a real Grinch, wishing we could get it over with and wondering why I even bothered.
In a fit of exhausted annoyance, I stopped striving and gave up on filling our December with Christmas activities and outings. I stopped trying to come up with clever ideas and I stopped using our advent calendar. (Yes, you heard me – no advent calendar.)
I learned that when it comes to enjoying Christmas, less is more. (I also learned that you should always wrap your presents as you go, and not do a big presentwrapping blitz on Christmas Eve. It's so much easier on your back!). From that time on we kept the days before Christmas as empty and unplanned as possible, leaving room for spontaneity. We did Christmassy things when the mood took us, picking and choosing what we wanted to do based on energy levels. We had a list of favourite possibilities which included –
Getting a ‘real’ Christmas tree (for that piney scent) and decorating it together .
Watching favourite Christmas movies while eating Christmas treats.
Grabbing Mcd’s drive-through hot chocolate then going to see the Christmas lights in the car.
Inviting friends over for a day to decorate store-bought gingerbread houses (the mums sipped coffee and chatted while the kids went nuts with the lollies and royal icing).
Sometimes we threw an impromptu Christmas party once school was out.