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Red, Pink, and Gold Christmas Decorations

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Years ago, our family decided to put up our Christmas tree at the end of November, all in hopes that preparing for Christmas early would mean that we’d get to enjoy Christmas for longer. Problem was, we bickered and argued with each other the entire time we trimmed the tree. We can’t even remember what we fought about, and would probably have forgotten this one particular tree-trimming event, except for one thing: the next day, out of nowhere, our Christmas tree fell over.

As in, it toppled sideways, hit the ground, and crashed many of its ornaments.

Pink Doll House at Christmas

Christmas Take Two

Instead of getting upset, we all looked at each other and laughed. It was as if our Christmas tree had decided that it didn’t like how it had come together, at least energetically speaking.

So much for getting ahead on preparing for Christmas early.

That night, our family gathered around the Christmas tree again, and redid the entire thing, in better moods this time. The second Christmas tree stayed upright throughout the holidays.

This incident reminded us that Christmas wasn’t about getting things over and done with. The holidays had become so much about crossing items off our to-do lists and rush, rush, rush. But what were we rushing towards?

Being forced to redo our Christmas tree was a great reminder that we didn’t have to get stressed out over the perfect tree, dinner, or gift. What mattered was that we were enjoying the process. Most importantly, that we were enjoying and appreciating one another.

It might sound silly, but isn’t that what Christmas is supposed to be about?

Pink Christmas Decorations

Appreciating the little things

We’ve spoken about finding joy in the big and small things, and Christmas is the perfect time to fully embrace that.

We’re all for showering the people who you love with deserving presents, and completing your last-minute work-related goals, but this year, a large part of preparing for Christmas for us is in carving out the time and space to slow down.

Red, Pink, and Gold Christmas Decorations

Slowing down at Christmas

In preparing for Christmas this year, we’ve made an attempt to slow down, and have loosely planned to do the following:

  1. Clean and organize our house so that we can be comfortable. This doesn’t sound fun, but once completed, is a great way to prepare for Christmas so that you feel better and are more relaxed.
  2. Put a spending limit on presents to ensure that our focus doesn’t become on spend, spend, spend.
  3. Revisit some of our traditional Christmas time activities, such as ice skating at Nathan Phillips Square.
  4. Visit a historical site, such as Colborne Lodge in High Park. Many cities provide Victorian-themes Christmas events, so you might want to check out local listings to see what is offered near you.
  5. Watch Christmas movies, including one of our Christmas favourites, The Family Man.
  6. Read. Read. Read.
  7. Bake.

And if none of these get done, then that’s fine too. We’ll happily sip on homemade hot chocolate, cuddle with our chihuahua on the couch, and watch the snow fall. Sounds pretty perfect.

How are you preparing for Christmas this year? Are you carving time to enjoy the small, magical moments? Let us know in the comments below.

-Isabel & Marilyn

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