December is a whirlwind of a month. Between shopping, decorating, attending holiday parties and baking, it’s a wonder we have enough time to sleep. It’s no surprise the holidays can be stressful for a lot of people. I know I have found myself worrying about the superficial aspects of the season and ignoring what’s most important–spending time with family and friends.
I know many of you are chuckling to yourselves right now as you read this and thinking, "if only I could!" I know there are traditions you have to follow through with each year (big holiday dinner, wrapping and exchanging gifts, making the house look festive), I’m just suggesting you don’t overdo it and miss out on the real joy of the season. For example, if decorating your house for the holidays is a cumbersome, time consuming task, how about toning it down a bit this year? Or, better yet, make it a family activity and involve everyone in the decorating. It will take you less than half the time and you’ll be spending extra time with one another.
For your holiday dinner, instead of preparing everything yourself, try asking everyone to bring a little something. Have one guest bring a side dish and another bring dessert. It will trim your kitchen time if you get some help from those attending and most people enjoy bringing a dish.
If you can manage to reduce some of those hectic activities this year, make sure you spend that extra time relaxing and enjoying the season with your family. I love to watch the various versions of A Christmas Carol and who doesn’t like It’s A Wonderful Life?? We’ve even got some healthy holiday entertaining ideas, including some terrific recipes like our holiday beverage, Pear Nog, which you can enjoy while spending time together. It’s got all the flavors of the holidays, but none of the guilt.
No matter how you choose to spend your holiday season, just make sure you slow down and actually ENJOY IT with those you love. Before you know it you’ll be taking those decorations down for another year.