I had an incredibly enjoyable Christmas!

My title should be bolded.

Let me explain.

I love Christmas.  Always have.  It’s by far my favorite holiday, yet I usually let myself get caught up in “stuff” that leaves me uptight and crabby.

This year I did a few things differently, and it made all the difference in the world.

  • I skimped on the Christmas decorations.  Now, don’t get me wrong,  I still put out a respectable amount of decorations, I just didn’t try to put out every single piece of Christmas memorabilia that I own.  Since I don’t like clutter and I like things in their place, this “skimping” made a tremendous difference in my overall mental health.    Day to day I wasn’t feeling hemmed in my knick knacks.  And yes, I do realize how this sounds, but it’s the truth.
  • I shopped with Jeff (thank goodness for online shopping).  I finally learned. And it took long enough, I might add.  Usually I buy a bunch of stuff for the kids and then the week before Christmas Jeff gets involved.  I then get all stressed out about finances because I’ve already spent a bunch of money on “stuff” and he wants to buy more.  Understandably. He SHOULD be involved in the fun that is involved in picking out just the right present for one’s loved ones.  Especially if the loved one’s are one’s own children.
  • I didn’t cook OR bake. I thought I enjoyed baking Christmas goodies until this year when I didn’t.  I love making nice meals for my family, and usually do.  This year I didn’t, and it was really, really nice to not have to prepare and clean up TWO formal dinners.  And really, who can complain when they are treated to a couple of nice dinners where their only requirement is to show up?  I didn’t even have to cook Christmas breakfast.  Jeff did.
  • I got into the spirit of the season with my family.  Remember that post about teaching my children about service? Seeing how my children responded and how good we felt as a family as a result made a HUGE difference in my attitude this year.
  • I agreed to something that I feel REALLY apprehensive about (it’s important to stress REALLY APPREHENSIVE, here), because I know it will make my family really, really happy.  All in the spirit of giving (and by giving, I do not mean financially).  For my children.  And my husband.
  • And lastly, I went with the flow.  I didn’t try to make every situation go the way I thought it should go.  Very liberating.

It helps tremendously that all of the kids were old enough this year to keep their emotions under check (no tantrums or impatient whining), and able to share in the tasks at hand.

And, even if I hadn’t gotten the sleekest, most mind-boggling-thin laptop made by my favorite produce named company from my husband, I’d say that this Christmas ranks up there as one of the happiest on record.


  1. 1


    I’m a little…okay, a lot, jealous of your laptop, but I finally got into the Christmas spirit, too. It took me until Christmas Eve church to stop being such a grump, but at least it finally happened.

      • 5


        Congrats!! You will love having a dog. Your family will, too. Just one tip: Take the time (rather, make the time, and it’s hard to find, I know!) to train him. Dogs, much like children, do not behave by themselves. They need to be taught and loved, and so many families can’t commit to that. We’ve watched our neighbors acquire and cast off three dogs in the last two years, all because they won’t take the time to give their pet the attention it deserves. It breaks my heart.

  2. 12

    Tasha says

    I’m scared that your giving amounted to “giving in” to a dog. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. I got into giving too. Giving Toby away. No more pets for us, ever. I feel okay saying that I am not a pet person. I commend you for your bravery. Unless it was not about pets at all. 🙂 I am so glad you had a Merry Christmas, Ang.

  3. 14


    Merry Christmas.

    Our decorations were toned down, too and I’m so glad!

    And we shopped together, too, and made a list of ideas, and that helped so much.

  4. 18


    These tips are so awesome! I did the same thing this year, cutting back on my holiday preparations as well as my expectations. It made such a difference in my mental well-being.

    It’s wonderful that you had a laid-back, less-stress Christmas!

    Good luck with the dog!

  5. 19


    A dog? That’s exciting! And I understand your apprehension 🙂

    I did the same with the decorations, and not only did it make my life less stressful putting them up, taking them down is going to be a lot easier, as well!

  6. 36


    I’m glad that there are others out there that get a little freaked out by Christmas decoration clutter. I love decorations, but only in moderation.

    I’m glad you were able to find that perfect balance to help keep the holiday crazies from driving you crazy. 🙂

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