Putting the X in Xmas

  santa rushPutting the X in Xmas

Dialing it Down for December

This year I’m putting the X in Xmas. I’m trying to slow it down this December. And I’m not the only one. A good friend of mine skipped out on the school Christmas concert. It had been a long day, her kids were tired and didn’t want to go – and the truth was she didn’t either. So she stayed at home to enjoy a quiet night of going to bed early and doing nothing. No regrets. Another friend cut out early from the party at work. She made a quick in and out for food and headed back home. With all the holiday hubbub, she wanted to just chill at home and hang out with her family.

Holiday Season So Ho-Ho-Ho-Hectic

The holiday season can get so ho-ho-ho hectic. The malls are muggled up with people, parking lots are packed and traffic is terrible. There is a lot of rushing around from searching for hard-to-find gifts to preparing to host Christmas dinner. It’s great there are so many events and invitations for the holiday season, but it can get overwhelming. The Christmas spirit that everything is in the name of can start to feel a little squashed. So in my circle of friends, we’ve all decided to get choosy in what we fill our calendar with.

angelThis Year Mark an X for Xmas

This year I’ve marked Xs on my calendar for things I’m not going to do. And it’s been eXcellent. I did feel a wee bit guilty at first to have to say no, but spending time at home with my family relaxing was totally worth it. We snuggled up with a bowl of popcorn and watched a movie, read Christmas books together and geared down as a family. It’s been totally fabulous for all of us.

candyCaneTree (2)Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

So if you are feeling like you need a break this Christmas, go ahead and take it. Give yourself the gift of saying “No” and go for “slow.” Sometimes we just need to slow down and take time to smell the hot chocolate. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas is Around the Corner…Watching Me with Big Eyes

christmas shopping tipsChristmas is Around the Corner

Christmas is around the corner…and it’s watching me. Staring at my every move.

“Oh, what big eyes you have holiday season!” say I.

“All the better to see you with, my dear!”

“Oh My!” say I.

I do really like Christmas holidays, but stress often comes along with all the celebrations. Here are my tips for making the experience sweet like dancing sugar plums versus getting decked by halls of shopping malls.

See Santa Early for Photos

I usually phone the mall at the start of November to find out when Santa will be at the mall and at what time. It’s generally around mid-November on a weekend. I go on the very first day Santa is there and as soon as he starts in the morning. Every year I’ve done this, there has been virtually no line up. The other option is to find malls that offer a callback service. You give them your cell phone number and you can go off shopping. Staff will call you when it’s time to come back for your pictures. This year I tried this, and it worked well.

Shop Early & Slowly

I try to shop like the turtle and not the hare – slow and steady win the race. Make sure if you are shopping before December, that the store will accept Christmas returns and keep your receipts in case something does need to go back. It’s also a good idea if you are doing this to keep a list of what you’ve bought and where you hid it. Sometimes I find I’m like a squirrel who hid nuts everywhere in the forest and then can’t remember where I put them all. I also like shopping online. Not only do I avoid crowds, I like getting packages in the mail.

Give the Gift of Not Giving

Talk with friends and family so everyone can save time and money – by not getting each other presents. Nowadays, so many people have what they want or will just go out and buy what they want right away. Instead of giving gifts to go under the tree – why not spend quality time together with family and friends. Go ice-skating, sledding, skiing, go for a walk or even have a family snowball fight.

Make Christmas Dinner Potluck

Don’t take on all of Christmas dinner and the rainbow assortment of side dishes. Do the main stay staples of turkey, stuffing and gravy — but after that, parcel out the other items. Have someone bring salad, the potatoes, the dessert, etc. People are usually always offering to help, so let them do so.

These are a few tips for having more merry in your Christmas holiday. Go see Santa early, shop slow and steady, if there is anyone you can give the gift of not giving – go for it. And last but not least, have a potluck Christmas dinner.

Christmas is waiting to spring out sooner than expected, but the good thing is you can prepare for it. Well, if not this year, there is always next year. 🙂