Ways to Make This the Best Christmas Season

1 . Make Christmas Day last

Instead of ripping into gifts and rushing through the morning, open gifts one at a time. Enjoy each person spleasure of giving and receiving. Light candles, put on music, and intersperse gift opening with breakfast, laughter, and connection.What will make this the best Christmas season ever for you? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments.

2 . No last minute shopping

If you find yourself without a gift for someone at the last minute, dont rush out and buy something so you wont be empty handed. Instead, create your own gift card for someone offering something special they would enjoy a dinner out, a coupon for chores, a back rub, a movie together.

3 . Begin with gratitude

Before you begin handing out the gifts and tearing in to them, take a moment to reflect on all of your blessings since last Christmas. Write them down. Look at all of the good you have in your life and be grateful.

4 . Set a budget

If you know exactly how much you are going to spend this Christmas, then shopping becomes much easier. Dont feel pressured by the media, the advertisements, or other people to spend more than you intend.

5 . Release expectations

Allow this Christmas season to be what it is without expectations or hopes for perfection. We are often disappointed when things don t go as planned during the holidays, so plan loosely and remain open to change. Embrace the reality of life as being part of the season.

6 . Keep it simple

Part of releasing expectations is simplifying your Christmas season. If you over schedule yourself with activities, shopping, and travel, you will be stressed and will miss out on the peace and beauty of the season.

7 . Spend time in nature

Wherever you live, in a cold or warm climate, spend time outside absorbing the natural beauty of this time of year. The smells, the sounds, the climate of December are all part of the joyful anticipation of Christmas.

8 . Listen to beautiful music

Everyone has their favorite holiday music, and it creates background mood for the holidays. Consider music that is peaceful and soothing to bring calm during this hectic time of year. I love the music of Stanton Lanier during the holidays or any of the Wyndom Hill music.

9 . Create and sustain traditions

Traditions during the holidays make us feel connected to one another and to something larger than ourselves. They offer a sense of certainty and comfort. We have a tradition of letting the children open one gift on Christmas Eve, and it s always pajamas to wear that night.

10 . Entertain without perfection

Sometimes we avoid inviting friends over during the holidays unless everything is perfect

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