How To Find Your Holiday To Don’t List

Santa Claus

Yep, it’s the hap-hap-happiest time of the year.

But instead of dreaming of a white Christmas, you’re fantasizing about a swift kick in the shins to dear old Saint Nick.

Oh, dear. Could it be all those tasks on your Holiday To Do List have you a wee bit overwhelmed?

I’ve been there, friends, and know your frustration. But I can help you bring the joy back to Christmas (and save Santa’s shins) with one simple exercise (and here’s where the writing comes in):

Make a list of what you remember that filled you with joy from your childhood holidays. I’ll go first:

*My mom would buy a case of Cokes and Sprites. This was a big deal because we weren’t allowed soft drinks when I was a kid. (Yes, kiddies, it’s true!) There was no baking, no Christmas cookie exchange; Mom just brought those Cokes in the house and wheeeeee! Christmas was here, baby!

*Gong out with Dad to find the “perfect tree.” We’d run and play tag in the Christmas tree lot while Dad tramped back and forth, looking for the tree. I suppose we decorated the tree and enjoyed looking at it, but yeah, it was the trip to the tree lot that I remember fondly.

*We’d do our Christmas shopping at a drugstore, like a Walgreen’s, and we’d buy gifts for everyone. Since we were all together, we had to develop ninja stealth skills to keep our gifts a secret. We also probably learned a lot about budgeting, because Dad did not give us much money. And since we had to get something extra special for Mom and Dad, that left gum or Lifesavers for everybody else.

As for my wish list…I don’t remember ever going to see Santa, telling him what I wanted for Christmas. Β And I can’t remember many of the gifts I ever received. My Easy-Bake Oven and …well, that’s about it from my kiddie days.

I think you can see where I’m going here. What made my Christmas wonderful wasn’t a four-star decorated house. It wasn’t chef-inspired goodies or toys stacked to the ceiling. How about you?

Try the exercise and see if you don’t gain a new perspective on that Holiday To Do List. You might be surprised to find that no one will notice what you don’t do this Christmas, except maybe you.

As for my Christmas, as long as I have Chex Mix for the Junior Halls, it’s pretty holly-jolly. (Hope yours is holy-jolly, too!)



16 thoughts on “How To Find Your Holiday To Don’t List

  1. What a terrific post! You’re absolutely right, as usual. The only gift I can remember getting was a Happy Hippy stuffed animal. (Yes, that was eons ago.) The rest of what I remember is the food and the caroling. We actually went door to door caroling. We don’t do that anymore, but now, with our grown children, it’s still mostly about the food. πŸ™‚ That’s funny that you mention the family doing their shopping at a drugstore…we did too! It must have been common about that time, because all the kids I knew did that. Then we’d hide out in our bedrooms and have a wrapping fest. One year I sewed an apron for my friend’s mom, and I remember how good she made me feel when I went to their house and she was wearing it. Great memories! Have a super happy Christmas!

    • Oh, thanks, Suzanne! Yes, we also hid out in our rooms for a wrap fest! And I remember how it was a race in the store to get to the handkerchiefs first (because we could never think of what else to get Dad). πŸ™‚

      See? We remember the important stuff. β™₯ Happy Christmas to you and yours, Suzanne!

  2. Ah, you brought back memories for me of Christmas tree lots on Christmas Eve–my dad was an old German, which meant we put the tree up on Christmas Eve and left it up until March. And also of my Suzy Homemaker oven. I got it the year I was eight and my brother and I lied and said we were sick so we could stay home from church and bake cakes. Apparently Christmas was over and we weren’t worried about being on the naughty list anymore.

  3. I am DONE with everything! All kids are officially on Christmas break and there’s nothing left to do but wrap a few presents and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” (Doing that tonight while we eat popcorn for dinner.) But i LOVE your advice and am taking it even if I have no particular desire to attack Santa. πŸ™‚ My favorite Christmas memories are Mom’s frosted sugar cookies, Dad’s homely tree choices, and going to church on Christmas Eve. Memories of being together as a family are what I cherish and also what I try to make new each year. It’s easy to forget Christmas isn’t about all the stuff and all the extras, but when someone is kind enough to remind me it’s like receiving an unexpected gift. Thanks, Cath! Merry, Merry Christmas! Hope those junior Halls spoil you rotten. πŸ™‚

    • Oh, I hope for that, too, Debra! πŸ™‚

      And I hope you and all the Mayhews find the joy and peace of that first Christmas when you gather tonight! Sending y’all a big Georgia hug! (Well, it would have to be big, wouldn’t it? There are a LOT of Mayhews!) β™₯

  4. Terrific post, Cathy πŸ™‚ I grew up in a small community and sang in the children’s choir. I loved Christmas eve service and marching down the aisle singing, “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” There would be cider, cookies, and hot chocolate waiting for us. Warm memories held as treasure in my memory bank.

  5. I love this post, Cathy. And you are so right. Our favorite memories have more to do with the love behind the actions than the actions themselves. My favorite Christmas memory was getting to go to my Gram’s for Christmas Eve dinner. She was a fantastic cook, but it really wasn’t even about the meal. It was simply because she was my Gram, and I loved her so. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

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