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Challenge: Reducing Holiday Stress

A Simple Christmas.

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A Simple Christmas. 2016 at Home.


We spent my son’s first and second Christmas and my daughter’s first Christmas in New York with my family, but I thought that it was important for us to stay in Indiana and be home for each Christmas since and those in the future. I miss my parents, and my aunt and uncle, but I needed us to be able to do our thing and start our traditions. It is always a little sad, but it is nice not traveling and rushing around. It is nice waking up at home, and having our coffee while the kids open gifts, our Christmas morning breakfast of steamed buns & eggs, and Christmas dinner usually with a few extra people.

Simplicity is something I cherish. It was so nice to not have to rush around and be somewhere else for dinner, or worry about getting the kids dressed and tearing them away from their new gifts. Instead, we were able to watch a couple of Christmas movies as a family while dinner cooked, help the kids put together their new toys, and enjoy each other in ways that we usually do not have time. I value our time together as a family, because I know that these moments are fleeting. To have an entire day where we have nothing to do but hang out with each other, those days are special.

Being with family for the holidays is of course important, but I feel like so many families rush around from place to place just to squeeze expected visits in, and for me that takes all of the joy out of the holidays.

I used to feel like we were letting people down when we were unable to attend something on a holiday, but I have let that guilt go and instead focus on how I want the holidays to be for us. I want our family of four to have our own traditions, things to look forward to, and our own expectations. The traditions families have are important, but it is inevitable that families continue to grow, and with that growth it is only natural for these traditions to change. Just because something has been done for past generations or for the past fifty years does not mean that it has to continue. New family traditions need to be allowed space so they can grow and blossom into something that makes them special. The older members of families need to be accepting of the changes that occur with celebrations and holidays, and they need to understand that those with children need to do what is best for their families. It is so important to be open to making changes to the existing family traditions so that new traditions can be started while still holding on to a bit of the past.

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