Mistletoe Madness

Have to admit, I was a little bah-humbug about the holidays this year. Before Halloween had even arrived, it looked as if the Christmas Monster had thrown up on every store display in town, and radio stations were already assaulting me with Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You. Not a good start to the season.

But then I got ticked off. Why should I let the money-hungry mercenaries of the world steal my Christmas joy? I love giving gifts, and I love any excuse to gather my friends and family together. So hubby and I decided to avoid the holiday madness by making gifts that mean something to us. Needless to say, mine are edible, and his are auditory. The trick is to find something you love, and share it with the people you love.

A few holiday alternatives:

  • Hubby’s family brilliantly decided a couple of years ago to stop with the stressful gift giving. Instead, every family member brings four $5 presents, and we play Dirty Santa all night on Christmas.
  • Need gifts for a book club? Draw a club member’s name out of a hat, then give that person a book from your personal collection that you think they would enjoy. (Thanks to The Great Kate for that suggestion.)
  • Take a cue from my friend Lisa. Growing up, her family only exchanged stockings filled with lovely splurges–like fancy candy and makeup you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself. She says she never felt deprived by not having a crazy loot-fest Christmas morning, and she’s now carrying on the tradition with her little one.
  • Feeling homey? Grab whatever delicious fruit is in season and try one of these easy jam recipes. Or make something both useful and fun like these reusable sandwich bags.
Anyway, you get the point. Give yourself permission to simplify and enjoy the holidays. Then maybe our lives can reflect the words of Dickens, “it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us.”
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