On that note, I wanted to remind us all of the some of the very simple joys of Christmas. These might be the little things we don't even think about or some easy ideas to create a festive atmosphere and to help towards an enjoyable holiday. Here are my 10 simple joys of Christmas:
(1) The smell of a real Christmas tree.
(2) Some simple decorations. You may not have the money, space or inclination to decorate your home extensively but I think a few little things can really help create a nice Christmassy atmosphere. A couple of ideas:
- A red candle as a table centre-piece, surrounded by a few seasonal leaves/sprigs/fir cones looks good
- Display the Christmas cards you receive around your mantlepiece/a large mirror/end of bookcases or hang on long lengths of wide ribbon and pin each card to the ribbon
- A pretty bright red poinsettia always looks festive and natural
(3) Freshly baked festive-shaped cookies. Try an easy recipe like this one. They're fun to make with your children and can be used as decorations, given away to friends who stop by, as well as just eaten!
(4) Playing a game or watching a Christmas movie together as a whole family.
(5) If there's snow, building a snowman or having a family snowball fight.
(6) Music. It needn't be Christmas carols or annoying Christmas songs that all the shops play but put on some music during the festivities. It can be relaxing or can be fun for the little ones to dance to.
(7) Light some candles. As the days are shorter and it gets dark so early now, having some candlelight gives a lovely cosy feel to your home.
(8) See friends. I've always found it relaxing and fun to see friends close to Christmas day. No need to host a gathering at home, meet them at a pub or go for lunch somewhere. It's sociable without any of the stress that can sometimes be experienced around family.
(9) Time off work. For those of us not back at work, our spouse probably will have a few days off work during the holiday so enjoy those extra days together!
(10) Excitement! If like me, your own children aren't yet of the age to understand what's going on, don't let that stop you feeling the excitement that comes with Christmas. Maybe I'm just a big kid but I love seeing all the gifts under the tree on Christmas morning and watching family open fun and thoughtful presents from each other.
It's easy to get caught up in the hectic side of Christmas and especially if you are hosting a family Christmas with parents and in-laws coming to your home. You find yourself worrying about everything from how tidy the house looks to whether you've got all the festive food planned, whilst finishing off your Christmas shopping and maybe attending some Christmas parties along the way!
The truth of the matter is that families don't come to your home on Christmas day to judge you on your hosting skills, food presentation or immaculate-ness of your home. They come to spend time together and share the feeling of happiness and festive fun! That probably won't make you any less concerned about wanting to make everything perfect but try to remember that often the simplest things can make for a happy day.
What simple joys of Christmas would you add to the list?