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Enjoy the Simplicity of the Holiday Season

By: Joshua Unseth-- 2010-11-11 5:00 am --

The holiday season is once again upon us and what was once in youthful times a joyous and happy time has become a dreaded season of commercialism, overspending and unmitigated stress. Many people can only recollect the magical feeling of joy during the holidays of their youth. They are exceedingly jubilant watching carefree children blissfully enjoying the spirit of the season devoid of responsibilities and free of stress.

Thanksgiving and Christmas bring families and friends together every year to celebrate the exalted traditions of the season of thanks and good will. For those who spend hours working to make everybody else’s experience wonderful, their own often comes up short. There are several ways that some of the work and stress can be reduced, and the enjoyment extended to all by simply increasing everyone’s participation and contribution in the preparation of the victuals. Planning a Pot-Luck or partial Pot-Luck allows for the delegation of many of the smaller tasks, such as providing desserts or appetizers. After all if everybody always has to hear about Aunt Betty’s famous apple pie, she might as well bring it. This way, everyone can enjoy the pie, and make Aunt Betty happy by showcasing her gift of culinary artistry.

There are many ways to consolidate work, stress and expenses of the holidays. There is no way to avoid the expense of buying gifts, but it can be stretched over the course of time. Picking up a present here and there during the course of the year is the smart way to shop but few people are inclined to practice this. For those who enjoy Christmas shopping, buying the first present for themselves is a veritable reliever of stress. This may seem a bit cynical, but it is a delightful incentive to go shopping without the anxiety brought on by the pressure. Perhaps buying a decorative piece to use every holiday can lower costs for future holiday celebrations.

Decorating can be simple for those inclined to the creative arts. Simple pine cones, fallen leaves, pine needles and other natural gifts of nature, combined with glue, interchangeable colored ribbons, wrapped up gingerbread figures, and other decorative items purchased at the dollar store can serve as both Thanksgiving and Christmas wreaths and table settings. These can easily be transformed between holidays with a few minimal changes like candy canes and assortments of figurines and trinkets. Getting the children involved with these kinds of projects not only gives them the opportunity to participate, but also stimulates their creative instincts, and can lead to the elevation of their spirit of the season. Children will appreciate their own creations over the artificial store bought decorations. It also endows them with a sense of pride as they have made a contribution in a direct and personal way. This is far more satisfying for them than just participating in the perfunctory tasks of placing artificial nick knacks in designated locations around the house. Creative thinking is the key to abating costs and stress.