I’m Making A List…

Multiple friends, acquaintances and coaching clients have lamented to me that “the holidays are so busy and stressful that they no longer hold the magic that they did when I was young.” I’m paraphrasing. Yeah, we learn as adults that it takes a lot of work to create that magic for others. The good news is that it doesn’t take so much work to create the magic for ourselves.

There are so many traditions (both family and cultural) that it would be impossible to try them all. Think of all the countries in the world where people celebrate Hanukah or Christmas or New Year’s. In each place, there are regional variations. All special and delightful and they are fun to learn about, but we don’t have to do them.

I have personally test driven all* the choices on the above list at some time in my life. This week, I checked in with my body compass and my values and this list represents how I plan to celebrate this year.

* I never actually gave gifts to “everyone else.” But one year, I did give a home-baked cookie assortment to all of my children’s teachers and all the students and teachers in our Tae Kwon Do class, maybe 30 individuals. Let’s just say that it felt like “everyone else.”


  1. Good list Fawn mine is pretty similar.
    I like that there is no pressure or unrealistic expectations in your list.

    We do have a very small and portable Christmas tree. He is known as “Doug” and considered part of the family LOL!. Doug was a seedling we found in a container.
    He is an accidental bonsai’d Douglas Fir, now in a small bucket.
    He is bedecked each year with my late Mother’s handknitted decorations, plus my son’s childhood handmade decorations mainly the “toilet roll angel” who is nearing retirement as her head and halo keep falling off. So where ever we meet on the 25th Doug must be there also.
    Sometimes a picnic lunch of our favourite foods, not necessarily Christmas foods, by a river. Or if indoors prawn cocktail, roast chicken, and veg or salad and dessert. Simple, enough and manageable financially and emotionally.
    And if you want to be with family and friends, you can do that on any of the other 364 days of the year. Don’t be pressured into one day.
    Do Christmas your way everyone, and I’m sure Jesus would give an
    “Amen to that!!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Doug sounds like a charming family tradition: fun, playful, including multiple family members and stories. Well done! I agree that the holiday is to be celebrated when and how each of us wants. If I understand the primary message of Jesus, it is that love trumps rules and we are not to be married to cultural norms. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Man, I’m right there with you on the no secular music (despite being an agnostic myself!), the only exception being “have yourself a merry little Christmas.” If I ever hear another Christmas song written post-WWII, it will be too soon!
    I am a working mom with one young child, and all I hear from other mothers is how stressed, tired, busy, broke they are…but then in the same breath they’re the ones signing us up for secret Santa’s, and cookie exchanges, and tacky lights tours, and botanical garden lights, and amusement park lights, and the nutcracker…an absolutely endless Christmas “must-do” list. I don’t know if it’s a lack of perspective on my part, or because of instagram/social media pressure, but it seems as though the season has really gotten out of hand. I don’t want to seem like a grinch to my son, but I am eagerly anticipating the pendulum swinging back to quieter times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Children, too, get overwhelmed by too much stimulation. You actually create a more pleasant situation for him by limiting it to just a few special activities. Well done!


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