We had a very lovely Christmas, one to treasure forever. It was so low key and relaxing and I think that is what made all the difference. I did not allow myself to get stressed or pulled in too many directions and I did not allow myself to be guilted when I could not meet someone else's expectations.
I have been going back and forth between my home and my parents home with my hubby going back and forth between our home, my parents home, and his grandparents home pretty much all week. But despite all the activity we have managed to make it all work and get some much needed relaxation.
One way we avoided stress was to keep gift giving simple and put the emphasis on family time. For my extended family I bought Zazzle mugs with the kids pictures on them. For the kids we kept it pretty darn easy. My oldest son got a card game, the World of Zoo Wii game (for the console his grandparents gifted us), and a dreamcatcher I got at a thrift store. My daughter got an assortment of Haba play food, and the book Apple-Pip Princess, recommended by a reader. My youngest got an EverEarth Wood ramp racer. I didn't have to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to put anything together either. I actually got to sleep in because the kids tired themselves out playing Wii (which they opened early).
I loved my gifts too.. a bean pot (wohoo!), a crocheted dish scrubbie, a mousepad with my kid's pictures, and books. My peeps know me so well!
At my parents house there was ham or turkey for every meal so I ended up eating lots of salad and my kids ate lots of fruit… it was rather nice though. I didn't feel any guilt when we didn't care to eat the main dishes and I never left the table feeling like a stuffed turkey.
At around noon on Christmas day my husband took the two oldest kids to his grandparents house. I opted not to go because I knew I would just end up shadowing my toddler all day to keep him from breaking all the figurines and tchochkes they have there. I saved us both the aggravation and just spent the day with my parents. I ended up lounging in front of a fire with a book while my toddler played. We took breaks to sip on hot cocoa or read some children's books every so often. It was HEAVEN! The book I read was The Daily Coyote… FABULOUS!!!
When the other kids came back the following morning we spent the day playing the Wii. My son loves the boxing, my daughter loves the bowling, and I love the tennis. Right away I can see that this gaming console is VERY different than most and I can truly see not being so worried about hours spent playing. I mean after an hour of boxing and tennis my arms HURT and I felt like I went to the gym. We also got some games that are educational in nature like the World of Zoo.. where the player gets to be a zoo keeper, caring for the animals.
All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas. It was all about love and togetherness with some gifts thrown in for good measure. It wasn't crazy… it was just fun.
How was yours?