As I've mentioned before, this Christmas has turned into a storm of to-do lists and busy-ness and not a lot of fun, festivity, and focus on the real Reason for the season.

Next year we plan to do things differently, and I've been discussing with my hubby how we can make that happen.

It all comes down to priorities. What are the priorities we are going to focus on so that Andie learns our perspective on the season?

A few priorities so far:

1. Celebrating the birth of Jesus, not presents
2. Giving, not getting
3. Family & friends
4. Traditions

Some ideas bouncing around in my head now are to only give presents to family, and even scale back on that. Until I can keep things simple, I'm not going to drown myself in the deluge of what to buy, only to be stressed at the end that I didn't get the perfect presents for my friends and even missed some people I love dearly. I may donate/volunteer in their honor. I used to scoff at this idea, but I see the value in it now.

I'd like to create an advent calendar that suggests something to give each day--give a smile, give a plate of cookies, give your time, give a friend a call, etc. 

I've read many testimonies of people who give their time at local soup kitchens and retirement homes. Perhaps we'll look into those options next year.

I heart traditions. I have quite the list for the Christmas season. Perhaps I should scale back on this too. If it again turns into a to-do list for mama, where's the fun in that? The focus should be on quality time with family and friends.

Your thoughts? Your ideas? Your traditions? I think I might just talk about traditions later. We'll see!

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