When I was a kid, I’d count down the school days until the final bell rang to signal the holidays. I bet you did, too.
Now you’re the one who buys and wraps the presents, decorates the house, bakes the cookies, does the grocery shopping, cooks the big meals, plans and host the parties… It enough to make you exhausted before you even start.
As women, we put way too much pressure on ourselves to create the perfect holiday for our families. It’s overwhelming. What it comes down to is letting go of some of the control and not worrying if everything isn’t perfect.
Some of my best holiday memories involve being in the kitchen with my mother baking cookies and cakes. She’d let me stir and add ingredients and, of course, lick the bowl and taste test whatever we made. As a result, I have wonderful memories, plus I can now make all those things for my family and friends.
She also involved us in the making of Christmas dinner. Younger kids can mash potatoes and stir the gravy. Older ones can help with the prep. They can also set the table and do the dishes. It gives them an idea of how much work goes into creating a holiday dinner. And do as much ahead of time as you can. I make my cranberry sauce a few days before Christmas. It sits fine in the refrigerator. Remember, you don’t need to have every dish your mother ever made gracing the holiday table. Pick the family favorites and enjoy them. There is always so much food and treats around the holidays, they won’t miss one or two items.
Draft your kids into duty and have them dust and vacuum. Hey, my sister and I had to do it and it didn’t hurt us a bit. Give your spouse or significant other a list and send them to the grocery store. Make the list as detailed as possible, but don’t be upset if you don’t get a particular brand of mayo or cheese. Someone else shopped. Be grateful and move on.
Cut down on your Christmas list. For office gifts, avoid the hassle and buy gift cards in bulk. They’re the right size and everyone likes them. Pick a local coffee shop. Everyone drinks coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice, milk… You get my point. I buy them in $5 and $10 denominations. And, hey, if you don’t give them all away, you can treat yourself to a nice hour out in January.
Above all else, remember what the season is all about. It’s not about presents or the turkey. It’s about family and friends and hope. It’s about counting your blessings and being thankful for everything you have in your life.
So put the merry back in the holiday this year for you and your family.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!
And if you’re looking for a little something for yourself, pre-order Naughty Heroes now for only 99-cents. It releases on December 26th. Price will go up soon after.
NAUGHTY HEROES: In And Out Of Uniform
A collection of UNFORGETTABLE HEROES
MARINE ON A MISSION
When Mitch McCoy left rural Kentucky to join the U.S. Marines he never thought he’d return. Now he’s undercover with a state drug task force. He’s not only facing his past, but also Sara Hawkins, the woman who broke his heart. This investigation will risk their lives and their hearts.
From first sight I knew Marine Lieutenant Harlie Savage wasn’t fragile like a flower—she was fragile like a bomb. Definitely not some princess who needed to be saved, either. She was a queen who only lacked a sword, and I vowed to be her weapon.
HER SOLDIER OF FORTUNE
Leia has no idea who ex-Marine Major Tate McIntyre is when he saves her life in a dark alley. Yet Tate’s certain Leia is his to have, hold, and protect. He vows to keep her safe at any cost. His only price is her heart. Semper Fi!
THE NIGHT WATCHMAN
A disabled vet rescues a woman on a mission to collect evidence, saving her from the men chasing her. As Jace and Shannon race to survive and outwit a traitor, a deep connection grows between them. But staying alive long enough to explore the attraction will take everything they’ve got.
Luke is struggling to recover from a career shattering IED blast that sees him permanently discharged. Milly’s career self-destructed and she’s moved cities in the hopes of starting again. Can this new life and new relationship be a second chance for them both?
About the Author
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
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