Well it’s December, and the Christmas season is fast approaching.  We hustle and bustle about getting the Christmas cards written and sent, baking exuberant amounts of goodies, shopping till we drop, decorating the house, the dog, and everything else in our paths; attend parties, concerts, etc.   So much to do, and we worry there won’t be enough time to do it.  Christmas comes, whether we are ready for it or not, and it always turns out.  So why do we put ourselves through all that STRESS?

A few years ago, I realized that all the stress just wasn’t worth it.  It zapped my energy, and robbed me of enjoying the season and it’s meaning with the people I love.  I decided I had to make some changes. 

So many of the things I was doing were family tradition, many things my mom always did at Christmas time.  Things I thought had to be done in order to celebrate Christmas.   I decided it was time to make my own traditions and do things my way, the way that would fit in with my busy lifestyle and help me enjoy the true meaning of Christmas.

I stopped writing and mailing out the 50 or so Christmas cards – I reverted to writing one letter to my friends and family and emailed it instead.  Some may think this is not as personal, but I am still able to connect and share my news with everyone.  It saves in postage and those cards don’t get dumped in the landfill come January.

I stopped doing the mounds of baking that I was doing.  I found that my Christmas guests ate very little of it, and most of it was eaten by me.   Now I make one or two favorites that allows for a little indulgence, but I also ensure there are healthy options like the traditional Japanese oranges and assorted nuts.  I can just buy these at the store.  Not only am I healthier, but my family is too, and I don’t have to worry anymore about all the extra pounds I have put on over the holidays.

I stopped buying gifts for all my friends since high school, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, the doctor, vet and mailman, and concentrated on my immediate family only.  I plan one day for shopping.  I make a list so I do not have to run around several times.  I invite my friends and family over for a visit and they don’t seem to miss the gift giving.  I buy gift cards when I can.  I think people like to buy their own presents; they don’t need to worry about receiving another ugly Christmas sweater from me. 

There are times when tradition needs to be put in perspective and new ones created that fit with our lifestyles today.  No one seemed to mind the changes I made, and no one seemed to notice--only me.  By simplifying and spending less time rushing around in the preparation, I have much less stress, much more energy and am able to enjoy more time with the people who make my holidays rosey. 

Stress-free and Care-free,



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