Tuesday, December 7, 2010

When Christmas Loses Its Sparkle

As kids get older and families get ever busier, it seems that Christmas loses some of its sparkle.

But what are we to do? We certainly can’t stop the kids from growing (although I wish I could freeze time)!

And with so many families having every child in 2 or more extracurricular activities, it’s not likely that our busy lives are going to get any less busy.

Many times, rushing around with all this busy-ness can bring on a lot of stress, strain and tears – particularly during this time of year.

So it seems to me the answer lies within how we use the time we are given. Here are a few suggestions that might help bring your Christmas season back to being merry and bright!


#1 – For those who celebrate Christmas, there really IS a reason why! Remember that reason daily by participating in Advent using an advent calendar (click here for a few examples) or by doing Jesse Tree devotionals (click here for a beautiful e-book you can download). Even though Advent has already begun, it’s not too late to jump right in on remembering the “Reason for the Season”.

#2 – Make a little extra time by NOT slaving over a hot stove every night of the week. If you don’t have a crock-pot, I highly recommend at least TWO in every household! One of our favorite meals, especially this time of year, is a crock-pot roast with potatoes & carrots. Here’s my simple recipe:

Shoulder roast, 6 medium potatoes quartered, small bag of baby carrots, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 2 pkgs of onion soup mix, 2 cups of water.  Place roast in crock-pot, put potatoes and carrots on top, mix together soups and water, pour over entire contents in crock-pot, cook on low 8-10 hours.

#3 – Put on some Christmas music, make some hot chocolate, light a fire and gather around it together – even for just ½ hour. Take turns sharing your favorite thing about Christmas. If you don’t have a fireplace, sit around the Christmas tree. Just be sure everyone gets a turn to share.

 #4 – Bundle everyone up, grab Fido, and go for a walk around your neighborhood to look at all the decorated houses. When you come back, make some S’mores (we’ve done this via microwave even, so you don’t have to have an open flame – although I think that a little burnt marshmallow just makes it so much better!).



#5 – I mentioned this in one of my previous posts, but get out some paper and scissors and make some paper snowflakes. Hang them with string from the ceiling or tape them to your windows.

These suggestions all still take some time to actually do, but hopefully they will prove to be simple enough that they can be slipped in-between some of those busy moments we often catch ourselves in.

What can you think of to do when your holiday season starts to lose its sparkle?


Annie Joy said...

We're planning a Christmas ride (instead of walk) with our Shih Tzu. It's not that we're lazy (although we really are), but it's because there is nothing our little guy loves more than a ride in the car. We think that he'll just love the Christmas lights -- and we know that there's nothing better than Christmas through the eyes of a child (even a four-legged one!)

Leanne said...

Absolutely FANTASTIC ideas, D!!! I actually FORGOT about the crock pot this season ... so I'm pulling it out tonight and getting the ingredients for your din din. Sounds YUMMO and SO comfort foodie!

I spend this whole month of December trying to do little things like the stuff you've written - and Sunday night, we are actually going CHRISTMAS CAROLING in the neighborhood (we do it every year!) Yep . . . haul out the holly and fa la la! No better way to spend a night, to me!

Love ya!

Nicole said...

This is a great post! Isn't it so sad how lives seem to be getting busier and busier and the quality family time is going down. It doesn't seem like it was that way in the 50's but I wasn't alive back then so I don't really know. Great post though!

Laura said...

Great, great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

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