Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Countdown ~ time to de-stress!


Let's see... December 22nd...  then the 23rd, then Christmas Eve!  And then, Christmas Day!!!

Are you looking forward to Christmas?  or are you looking forward to Christmas being over?

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year - probably my favorite time.  It's the time when I pause and think about the the birth of Jesus and all that He means to me.  There are also many family traditions that we will enjoy and maybe some other celebrations around town.  I have even known several people who were not Christians and yet they enjoyed and participated in the fun and traditions that surround Christmas.

There is one thing that I refuse to participate in, though - Christmas Stress.  Nope, no Spirit of Christmas Stress is going to visit me!  And, here's how I make that unwelcome visitor vamoose ~
  • I keep a list and I check it twice - well, maybe more than twice.  A list helps me to prioritize the days activities and to be more productive.  Each day I go through my list and I update it.
  • The only items I put on my list are the ones that need to be done.  I don't want a list so long that I can't accomplish everything.  Also, I don't want to spend time doing things that I may want to do when I should be doing what I need to do.
  • I keep gift giving simple.  I am fortunate to be part of a family that agrees that gifts are tokens of our love.  Many of our gifts are handmade treasures or simple purchases with special meaning behind them.  In some cases, items are even re-gifted, including the gifting of family 'heirlooms' complete with the history behind them.  Gifts do not have to be expensive to express love!
  • I keep decorating simple.  I will set up the Nativity that my mother painted when the church choir members painted them and sold them to raise money for choir robes.  I will set up my tree with antique ornaments from Grandmother, handmade ones from family and friends, and special creations by my darling granddaughters.  I have the wreath that my parents used hanging in my window.  That's all I do any more.  Not a lot of lights and glitter, but a lot of treasures and memories.
  • I keep cooking simple.  Keep stress at bay by preparing simple things that you have made before.  Running out of time?  Pick up something from the store that is all ready to serve.
  • I have learned to be flexible.  In that flexibility, I have discovered some wonderful new Christmas traditions were created.  Not being flexible will lead to disappointment and stress, so relax and enjoy some surprises!
  • I listen to Christmas music and I watch fun movies.  Currently playing while I write this ~ "A Christmas Carol" with Reginald Owen ~ a great 1938 movie!  I avoid Scrooge, wherever he may lurk.  I won't listen to snarky DJs on the radio, read sad stories, or hang around with people who enjoy being grumpy.  Bye-bye, Scrooge.
  • I take time to slow down.  When I make that list, I plan time to slow down and enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas.  There is nothing quite like just sitting and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate while you admire your Christmas tree.
Hope you are enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas and enjoying your traditions, both new and old.  If you stroll around Arizona, you might just see some Christmas lights on cactus plants and palm trees ~ one of our local traditions!

Merry Christmas!
Blessings,
Kathy

19 comments:

  1. Sounds like the kind of Christmas more of us should have! I stress over Christmas but I think it's because I don't really want it to get here since tax season starts a week after and life as I know it ends until April 15th. But I've also learned not to dread something because then I miss the joy of the here and now. Easier said than done though.

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  2. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I love this post of yours - being organized and stopping the stress - focusing on what's important, these are good reminders at this time of year!!!
    Merry Christmas!

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  3. Excellent suggestions. I feel better already.
    Jane

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  4. Great Christmas post Kathy. I loved all of your ideas for keeping Christmas stress free.

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  5. Wonderful ideas Kathy! Have a Wonderful Christmas. Thank you for all the extras you included with my purchase for the adoption that was very generous of you and I love them all.

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  6. Kathy,
    wishing you a merry and blessed Christmas!
    Those are excellent tips! This time is usually stressful for me because it is selling season. I'm better this year however. I've thought of a few things I can do to lower stress in the future--and they basically involve being more organized ahead of time.
    Gift giving in my family is fairly simple. My kids are grown and want "big" things. That usually means ordering online--simple. Then I add a few simple goodies for a personal touch.
    Thanks for a thought-filled post!

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  7. I like the drawing--so cute.
    I feel more relaxed this Christmas than I have in the past. I think we made more effort to keep gift giving simple and to work on spending more TIME with people. And baking:)

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  8. great tips Kathy! I think I need to shorten my list to want needs to be done, lol! too much stuff cluttering my mind these days.
    I like the idea of buying foods from the store and not worrying about preparing them
    have a Merry Christmas!

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  9. Love those Christmas Lights!

    Great ideas all! I will need to savor a shot of hot chocolate with my mini tree! :D

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  10. Very good! That is pretty much my pattern during the pre-Christmas days. I have always given handmade gifts and my decorating is even more simple - just the Nativity set. I don't have little ones around anymore, so I don't bother with a tree. Instead we concentrate on what we can do for those less fortunate - we are happiest when we are sharing the blessings the Lord has bestowed on our family. Merry Christmas everyone!

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  11. You are defintely right, Beaded - Hope your tax time goes really well for you this year!

    Thanks, tamdoll!

    Hey, Jane - Thanks!

    Thanks, Linda - glad you liked them =)

    Marlene - Merry Christmas to you, too! Glad you liked this! Thanks for contributing the idea to stop and the store and make things a little easier! Selective baking is a really good idea! You are welcome - so glad you enjoyed your goodies! Thanks again for visiting the Adopt Art page and helping Tim and Cynthia with their adoption expenses =) Court Date is Jan. 24!!!!! Blessings to you!

    Splendid - Great comment! Thanks =) For those working in retail either online or in a 'brick and mortar', Christmas can be really stress filled. It takes a concious effort to stop and remember what is really important at Christmas - and it is ALWAYS worth taking the time to do that!

    Thanks, Erika! Spending time with people is one of the best gifts there is, in my opinion!

    Have a Merry Chirstmas, pink! It is hard to keep focused - LOL - without my list, my mind runs away!

    *roflol* Lee, I am sure your mini tree is worth at least two shots!

    What a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas, Karin - it lets the true meaning and the real importance really shine through the busy season!!!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! Thanks for all the comments!

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  12. Great post Kathy. Yes getting rid of stress is a good idea. I love lists, I think sometimes I make too many! lol
    Oh Hot chocolate, I keep forgetting to make some! lol I love it this time of year, will have to make some the next few days for sure!

    Thank you for all the wonderful ideas!

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  13. Thank you and you are welcome!!! LOL - funny, Pam - I have found remnants of lists months later and sometimes the same things are still on the list =p or they are there again! LOL!
    *passes cup of hot cocoa to Pam* Cheers!

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  14. hehe - want a 'nother cup, Pam? LOL!

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  15. mmmm yes please. Don't forget the marshmallows and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream! lol And if you haven't tried it that way you must! :)

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  16. Oh, Pam - I am in trouble now! LOL! I have never put ice cream in my hot chocolate and that sounds way past yummy!!!

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  17. lol Kathy, you have to try it, just once. You'll love it! And if you don't have ice cream a Wendy's Frosty works just fine too! lol

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  18. Hehe - this is totally in my future! Maybe when daughter makes icecream... mmmmmmm!

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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