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The most wonderful time of the year?

Considering this is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” I’m always surprised how frazzled it can get; how rude people can be, how rushed they are, and how some simply don’t take the time or make the effort to savor all the amazing things about this season.
Christmas Tree
So having said that, I made a short “bucket list” of a few things that would add more joy to my Christmas Season, and I hope to yours.

Let the kids stay up late. Relax a bit over the Christmas break and let children enjoy the special times. I get pretty strict about bedtime but I’m going to ease up a bit on non-school nights.
Take a few drives to nowhere.  As in, get in the car and drive around seeing as many Christmas lights and singing as many Christmas songs as you can. Don’t forget the Hot Cocoa and cookies.
Read together. Get a family Christmas book or just an awesome classic story like The Wizard of OzHarry Potter or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Then grab extra pillows and blankets and take turns reading (if the kids are old enough).
Unplug! There, I’ve said it. But on the Holiday itself, leave the phone in a drawer. Same goes for dinner time, decorating the tree, family movie time and any Christmas event you are at. Give complete attention and savor it.I know it’s not easy, but I shut mine down as often as I can.
Make a new tradition and follow through on old ones, no matter how old the kids get. Ok, maybe when they’re 18 they won’t leave reindeer food anymore (but I will!). Whether it’s leaving the  reindeer food on the front lawn (one of my most treasure memories was dancing around the front lawn a few years ago with my kids, while it flurried on Christmas Eve and sprinkling reindeer food) or baking cookies, or singing together, or family movie nights, do it every single year and enjoy the familiarity of a wonderful family tradition. Priceless!
Do a random act of kindness. Or do many. This year I have donated some items to families with very ill children rather than try to sell them on Facebook pages. I’m making a tray of cookies for a neighbor who I think would love them. I’m being extra kind to cashiers, leaving larger tips, letting drivers merge into the Holiday traffic, saying Merry Christmas to strangers (with a smile!). What can you do to be extra kind today?
Buy 1 unbelievable, I -can’t -believe-you-did-this-gift for someone and make their season a little extra special. I have just the person in mind. Do you?
Have a family campfire. If you don’t have a fire pit, try an old wheelbarrow. Set it out back somewhere safe, bundle up, bring the marshmallows and if it’s snowing lightly, you get bonus points for making amazing family memories with the kids.

Buy a new Christmas ornament whenever you take a trip or day out this season; to the city, to a farm, to a museum, even to the mall. So when it’s hung on the tree, you will all remember just what you were doing and where you were when you got it. Ornaments with meaning are more delightful to hang than plain store bought balls.

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