1. frenchfries dipped in icecream says:

    I buy all my gifts for every holiday, birthday, anniversary, etc, on sale after Christmas. By the end of Feb I am finished shopping for the year. I wrap everything up and put the name tags and card on them. I pack them all away in totes in the basement, with the ones I’ll need first on top. I do all the cooking for both our families. That’s stressful, because the 2 families don’t get along at all, so we have to have 2 separate meals every holiday. This past Easter, my bff came over early and helped me do all the cooking and cleaning. So the day of the meals, I had no mess or cooking. I think that’s going to be a new tradition. I always get excited about the upcoming holidays, but i end up putting up my tree way too early (the 1st week of Nov usually) so by the time Dec gets here, I want to take it down. This year I’m trying to wait till the first week of Dec to put it up. Five years ago we watched everyone rip through their gifts and go to the next, not even looking at their gifts first. That night we talked about it (it was our first Christmas together) and decided that we would focus on Jesus as the reason for the holiday. So we sent out a letter with the thank you cards, explaining that because the holidays are about Jesus’s birth, we will be focused on Him only. We limited the gift amount to 10 dollars, now the families get a box of candy and some homemade gifts, like a blanket, or just food (none of them cook so they appreciate this so much). The children get 3 gifts, to represent the 3 gifts. After we started doing that, it was like everyone’s outlook changed. Including ours, we no longer dreaded the holidays (especially Christmas), and we no longer felt the need to go over the top on gifts. We do 3 or 4 crafts before dinner, we have a couple traditions we’ve started (like sitting around the fire place talking about all the good things that happened that year, and what we look forward to in the coming year) since that holiday. Honestly everyone seems so much happier now when we do the holidays. I still don’t like cooking 2 separate meals at every holiday, but our families are not able to be in a room for 20 mins without starting a fight with each other. That is the one thing I’d change. I really like this post!!! What a great series!

  2. Anonymous says:

    At this point in time of the year, I can’t wait for the holidays! However, by mid-November, the feeling of dread and being overwhelmed start to creep in and I loose the joy of the season. I would LOVE to be able to enjoy the big and little things and celebrate a SEASON not just a day. I am looking forward to your series!

  3. I guess my favorite part of the holiday is the anticipation….much more than the actual day.
    Thinking about the meaning, spending time at home, enjoying decorations, making our home inviting to our family.
    I would like to entertain, but we usually don’t.

  4. I have a feeling my 31days and your 31days are going to compliment each other nicely. 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    I despise them……

  6. I always dread the upcoming holidays. No, let me be more specific, I dread Christmas. How sad is that? Dreading the celebration of my Savior’s birth…Well, That is certainly not the part I dread, it is the finacial part I dread. The expectations, spending money that I do not have, etc. Actually, I enjoy Thanksgiving more than Christmas by far!

  7. After listening to the delight-full lecture, I realized I am one of those terrible gift givers who don’t really understand gift giving(or getting). The best holidays recently were those during extended unemployment because I placed a ban on gift exchange. As the notes of the first Christmas carol peal from the radio or mall Muzak, I am gripped with panic. It is an undefined mixture of guilt and grief and anxiety. What if I don’t find the perfect gift? What if I neglect to buy a gift for someone who surprises me with one? I hate the hours wasted shopping without selecting anything. When I do choose something as time grows short, I dread seeing the disappointment my hastily selected gifts bring. I’m looking forward to any helpful suggestions this group can offer.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I really try to enjoy the holidays but so much pressure gets placed on me that I tend to snap & not enjoy them. This year will be especially hard; DS18 goes to boot camp on Dec 3; turns 19 on Dec 15. He’s my oldest of 3 kids but still my baby. We always host thanksgiving & this will also be his going away party. Talk about stress!
    Heidi J

  9. Holidays? I try not to think about them at all, let alone feel anything. I usually try to see things through my kids’ eyes, but that only carries me so far. I like the Puritans…no holidays. 😀 I’ll be honest, though I hadn’t planned to be this honest, I hate them all coz they produce a level of “fake-ness” in my family that is repulsive. Verbally kill each other all year, be nasty in front of and behind the back. Hate, constant anger, abuse. Then, miraculously, we are supposed to be different on holidays? Yeah, I could probably use some therapy but I have too many kids in school. 😉 Hopefully this challenge will help. I’d like to enjoy them for Christ’s sake and for my children’s sake, not for the sake of people around me who are annoyed that I don’t like them.

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