8 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas

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8 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas

The Holidays are a time of stress, frustration, exhaustion and even disappointment for a lot of people.  There’s gifts to buy, meals to organize & cook, decorations, and get-togethers with people we really don’t like.  It doesn’t have to be like that.

1992

I was freshly married, with a beautiful little baby girl.  This was her 2nd Christmas, so she was just getting in the mood with all the Santa visits, decorations and Holiday baking.  I was stressed beyond belief.  As a young family, we were expected to attend 9 Family gatherings in 3 days.  The one I was most eager to attend was my Grandmother.  Every year we gathered at her house on Christmas Eve.  She made her famous dinner rolls & Christmas Pudding.  I loved Christmas Eve.  I was also eager for Christmas Morning when my baby girl would be opening her presents all by herself.  I couldn’t wait to see the excitement on her face and the joy when she played with her new toys.

This turned out to be my Christmas from hell.  I received several very clear signs that this was not how I was supposed to celebrate Christmas.

It all started as I was driving to work in the morning.  We had had an ice-storm over night and the roads were slippery.  As traffic was stopped due to an accident a head of us, a lady rear-ended me.  No-one was injured and there wasn’t any damage done to either vehicle, but it was Sign #1.

When I finally got home from work, my baby girl was sick.  She had a horrible cold.  She was all snot bubbles and sweat.  The poor thing.  I called my Grandmother to let her know that we wouldn’t be coming to Christmas.  Grandma didn’t answer, so I went about the task of trying to ease my poor little girl.  Later that day, just about the time, we would be leaving for Grandma’s, my phone rang with the news that she had passed away.  I was devastated.  Sign # 2.

Christmas Day, my poor baby girl was so sick.  Instead of Family gatherings, we spent the day in emerge.  She had asthma.  With puffers in hand, we made our way home.  Sign #3.

Boxing Day, still with a sick baby girl and desperately mourning the loss of “my person”, the phone rang with news that my great-aunt had passed away unexpectedly.  This was Grandma’s sister-in-law.  Sign #4

The week between Christmas & New Years was a blur.  I bounced between the doctor’s office with my daughter and funeral homes for my relatives.  I did this without support from my husband.  This was his week off, and he didn’t feel like going with me.  Sign #5

It was time for a change.

This was the year Christmas took a drastic change for me.  The following year, my marriage ended, my life turned upside down and I made some huge decisions.

I was no longer going anywhere for Christmas.  If people wanted to see me, they knew where to find me.  I was not ruining my Christmas because of someone else’s expectations.  I was going to create new traditions for MY Family!!

Christmas Today

I still don’t go anywhere for Christmas.  My doors are open & the food is hot, come on over!!

As my girls began to explore their own lives, I was aware of the financial burden that gifts would have on them, so as a Family, we chose a new tradition:

Everybody comes with a $25 Gift Card from a store of their choice.  The cards are placed in tiny gift bags with a chocolate bar.  We play games to win the cards.

I love our Family Christmas, it filled with the laughter of my children and focuses on quality time together.  There are no expectations and no judgement.  Just a fire burning, carols playing, family gathering, food eating, drinks pouring and memories making.  That – right there – is the Christmas of my dreams!!!

What does your Dream Christmas look like?

Don’t you think it’s time to put the magic back into your celebration?

Follow the link below to start making your Christmas Dreams come true!!!

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Merry Christmas to you & yours.

May you find peace, joy & love,

Andrea

 

 

 

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