1. I’m all for making Christmas as stress free as possible. I have sweated many Christmas days because my kids haven’t looked like they were enjoying themselves (they were 20 something and home for the holiday under sufferance) I now have a streamlined minimal tree (thinking of going for the spray painted branch idea in the future – less baubles) and I make sure everyone brings something for the meal. It’s all about making the day a pleasure and not a pain – nice to meet a like minded Christmas person 🙂

  2. Hi Laurie! Good for you for learning to celebrate Christmas in a way that fits YOU–instead of trying to compare yourself or keep up with the Martha Stewarts of the world. I too know some of those women and frankly it looks exhausting. Besides, after my husband and I began “rightsizing” and simplifying our lives about 5 years ago, we learned that experiences are always more fulfilling and satisfying. That’s why we are going to Egypt this year for our “Christmas!” Definitely one to remember. May you have a wonderful day yourself–and yes, let the real reason for Christmas win! ~Kathy

    • Laurie Stone

      Wow! I like your style, Kathy. Going to Egypt? How exciting. Yes, one of these years I’ll do the ultimate easy Christmas and go somewhere else! Have a wonderful time.

  3. I so believe that trappings get in the way of spirit. The more I drop from the routines and the more relaxed about the people around me, the goofier I get and the more fun I have. Right with you on this.

    • Laurie Stone

      Couldn’t agree more, Susan. I think women take too much on themselves to provide the “perfect” Christmas, instead of good enough. I know being easier on myself has changed my enjoyment of this holiday for the better.

  4. Christmas and I made a new arrangement. After the Christmas I found out my husband was cheating. After the Christmas I found out I had breast cancer. Yeah, Christmas and I had a serious coming to Jesus meeting.

    Christmas helped me understand that it was about SPIRIT. Christmas helped me understand that it was about BEING. Christmas helped me understand it was about FAITH.

    It was entirely up to me how much or how little I decorated or spent or over obligated myself.

    Ever since the Christmas of 2005, when I redefined my part in the agreement, Christmas and I have gotten along very nicely.

    • Laurie Stone

      Wow, Peggy, you went through a lot. I’m sorry. But you gained wisdom. Learning to be easy on ourselves is probably the biggest lessons women can learn with this holiday. It should carry into regular life as well.

  5. Great advice for all those who get worked into a frenzy this time of year. Stressed out by major decorating, cards, cooking and Baking etc. It should be about peace, and often that peace is elusive because we get too busy!

    • Laurie Stone

      Darlene, I’ve learned the hard way to keep what works and discard the rest. I’ve never regretted that. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  6. I totally agree. Got family pics taken on our trips so used those for the card, let my daughter hang the ornaments, my hubby will make dinner and Amazon.com is great for presents so I don’t have to gift wrap!

    • Laurie Stone

      Estelle, Got all my gifts from Amazon! I took my laptop in front of the fireplace and shopped away. One of the easiest Christmases ever. Have a wonderful holiday.

  7. I think Christmas is a lot of work. But I have “down-sized” as well. No cards. Tree and a few decorations – not EVERYTHING. And this year I’ve ordered the prime rib from our favorite restaurant. These small changes make it much less daunting.

    • Laurie Stone

      Cathy, Sounds like you have it down. I think it takes several years (decades?) to discover our true “Christmas selves.”

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