The Christmas season is no joke, yall. It can eat you alive and siphon away your entire month of December concentrating on one or two days towards the end. That is, if you let it. Everyone has reasons for doing certain things at certain points in their lives, whether its to appease new family members, or to make Christmas magic for younger children. Other times, its crazy because its your job(s) that get incredibly stressful or require a lot of overtime to make other peoples Christmas magic happen. Thank you Amazon delivery people! For me and my smaller family with no children, we have the luxury of making the days what we want them to be. This is how we made Christmas easy this year.
No Christmas ornaments
We have two big tubs full of ornaments, some mine, some Patricks from when he was a kid. I love these ornaments, especially his long-running classic car collection of Hallmark ornaments. They are the best, but they also require a lot of fussing with small boxes and matching the car to the box when putting them up. As I was looking through all of the boxes when putting the rest of the decor up, I was like hmm nah. And its been just fine. Maybe theyll come back next year. For you, maybe axing the outdoor light display is the thing thatll make your Christmas better. Either way, find something that doesnt matter to let go.
Ordering pre-made food
This might sound insane coming from a food blogger BUT hear me out. We spend a lot of time at Christmas baking, and cooking Christmas dinner, and cleaning and buying presents and going to parties and and and. Supplementing your dinner with some pre-made options to keep your sanity is highly appealing. This year I ordered small pans of sides that feed 4-6 people from Primal Gourmet: collards, sweet potato gratine, cranberry apple stuffing, and a squash casserole, plus two types of macaroni and cheese.
This all cost less than $60, they got popped in the oven for 25 minutes, and that was all. This was supplementing creamed corn, rolls, deviled eggs, ham, and desserts. This turned out to be a huge gift in disguise though, as my aunts who were hosting had some other issues that morning, including a car accident (everyones okay though!). Without the pre-made food, dinner may not have happened. I even had leftovers to snack on through the next day!
White elephant gifting
Look, its weird to feel like you need to buy Christmas gifts for all of your adult relatives, and your adult friends to sustain their affections for you. We all know the holidays are a stressful and expensive time, so isnt the best present two adults could give each other is the release of having to buy one another presents? I think so.
There are very few adults I buy gifts for, and two of them are my dad and my husband. My dad and I buy experience gifts for one another, which means that twice a year, we do something super awesome and fun together. Buying each other these things is buying guaranteed quality time together, plus amazing experiences like skydiving, driving a stock car, and going to concerts.
Patrick and I buy each other gifts because well, it gives us something to do on Christmas morning. It gives us a chance to surprise one another, and maybe sometimes its subtle hints to one another that maybe its time to wear new pajama pants for once. Also, having new presents, especially things we can play with, makes for a memorable and fun holiday where everyone else is busy. Its a chance to stop and say, I like and listen to your wants and needs, lets enjoy something together.
Like for instance, this amazing inflatable hot tub Patrick got me this year! It was a huge surprise, and something Ive been wanting for a long time but never thought Id get to have. Weve been in it a LOT since Christmas Day!
Everyone else gets no gifts, GOOD white elephant gifts, or the gift of going out to dinner together. And were all the happier and less broke for it.
As soon as Christmas is over, the countdown is on to the next season, and each year it seems to come faster and faster, rendering the phrase, Youre moving slowern Christmas, hurry on up! pretty much useless. Think about this past holiday season and what youd do to make it less stressful on you, since women are most frequently the ones who are tasked with making Christmas happen.