Nov 5, 2009

halloween and Christmas

Yes, I need to start with another apology about how long it has been since I updated the blog. I don't know about you, but now that Halloween is over, my mind is on Christmas.

Let me interject a few Halloween pictures here because you know I can't post without some photos or video! And I am reminded once again that I should take their photos the day BEFORE Halloween or some other time because on the actual day of trick-or-treating they have absolutely no interest in having pictures taken! But this year we had Snow White and a hobo (while a perfectly fine, newly bought Army guy costume is wadded up in the boy's closet.)

The kids had a wonderful time and got a huge loot. I have decided to let them eat as much candy as they want, hoping that they will either a) get sick of it or b) run out! So far, neither has happened.

Alright, on to Christmas because even though Thanksgiving is the next big holiday, I don't really have much to say about Thanksgiving. I think I cruise past Turkey Day because we always travel to New Jersey for Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law's so we really don't do any preparation. And this year, we are all terribly excited about only having a 3.5 hour drive vs. an 11 hour drive.

So, as I was saying, my mind is on Christmas. I've been reading a few blogs about how to destress and a few blogs with great gift ideas and I as I find things that just WOW me, I'm going to share them here.

I'm not sure the proper blog etiquette of just ripping off someone else's post, but Karen Ehman says it much better than I could. I'll give you just a taste of what she writes and encourage you to hop on over to her blog for the full scoop. I saw Karen in person at a Hearts at Home conference and appreciated how genuine she is. Hopefully her tips will help make your Christmas a Frazzle-Free Holiday.

from Karen's blog:

Re-evaluating the holidays.

About 10 years ago, I was one frazzled mom when it came to the holidays. The baking, decorating, Christmas cards, shopping, stocking stuffing and such had me in a complete tizzy. I was exhausted trying to create the perfect Christmas. And I wanted to include activities that I thought my kids expected. I also tried frantically to recreate some of my own holiday memories through baking and cooking things my mother had fixed when I was growing up. And, of course, I had to shop for the perfect gifts and stocking stuffers that would draw oohs and ahhs from my family on Christmas morn.

Face it. Moms often fall into this hectic, horrible holiday trap. And it leaves us feeling tired mentally and physically.

Well, that Christmas I had had it!

So, one wintry day, I called a meeting.

I gathered my family and decided to solicit their honest opinions about how we celebrate the holidays.

It was the best thing I ever did.

Holiday Re-evaluation Survey

Gather everyone in your home. Answer the following questions. Encourage one and all to be honest in their responses. The goal is to discover your unique way of celebrating the holidays and help alleviate some of the Yuletide “Yikes!”

* What has been your favorite tradition that we have done over the years and why?
* What has been your least favorite holiday tradition and why?
* Have any adults share their favorite memory of their holidays growing up. Did it have to do more with money or with people, with getting or with doing?
* Can you think of any new tradition you would like to start celebrating and why?
* What holiday foods do you really love and most look forward to?
* What holiday foods could you do without?
* How can we divide up tasks during the holidays so all of the responsibilities don’t fall on already over-stressed mom?

I plan on doing this survey Friday night with my family and I'll share the results here. I'm thinking if you only have little, little children, this might just be a conversation between you and your spouse. But, if you have older kids, I bet they would love to be involved. What do you think? Are you going to to do this survey, too?


Danielle and Clint said...

Holy Cow!! What a fab idea! I wish my poor mom would of had this idea when we were kids. We do not have children yet, but I can feel the pressure of holidays already. This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!!

Rebecca said...

Danielle and Clint: It is not to early to start your family traditions. I remember our first Christmas as a married couple, my mom was like, "So, we'll see you Christmas morning," and my husband was like, "Nope. We are spending Christmas morning alone at our home." I was surprised by his remark but he explained to me that once we had kids, we would want to be home Christmas morning and if we just started now, it wouldn't be a big deal once we had kids. And he was right!