His answer shocked me. "How can I show you love this Christmas?" I had asked my husband. His first words ("more physical affection") I expected. But not what came next: "Quiet. Peace. Less doing and more time just enjoying each other." He looked at me to see if I understood.
His simple Christmas wish was to come home to a haven of rest each evening. In my quest to create a magical Christmas experience for my family, I had overloaded our social calendar and run us all ragged. And I’m not the only one.
A sobering American Psychological Association study showed that 92% of Americans report feeling more stressed during the holidays, the season that's supposed to be about peace and joy. And whatever the other 8% is doing, I know I want to be part of THAT statistic this year.
Perhaps the key to recapturing the spirit of Christmas comes not from doing more but doing less. Here's what we're doing, and I invite you to join along:
1. Nix unnecessary holiday traditions.
Ask each family member what their 1 or 2 favorite Christmas traditions is and plan to make those happen. Then, release yourself and your family of the pressure of having to do anything else. For example, skip the holiday concert that no one really enjoys and grab some popcorn and a movie in its place. Don't put lights up on the house if no one cares for them. Choose one or two cookie recipes to make with your little baker and save the other sixteen recipes for another time. And enjoy your new-found quiet and freedom.