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 it can all be a bit overwhelming as you buy and wrap the presents, decorate the house, bake the cookies, do the grocery shopping, cook the big meals, plan and host the parties… It’s 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!
Forgotten Brotherhood Book 5
Nothing was supposed to wake half dragon, half human Lucius from his Deep Sleep. Nothing. And yet something, or rather someone has. The unexpectedly attractive human not only touched him. She kissed him. Now Lucius is awake, and more powerful than he has ever been in his 4,000 years of existence. And once he finds out who led her to his cave, he’ll deal with his 300 years of hunger…
College professor Raine Carson spent her life obsessed with myths and legends. And now she’s woken one up. Only, Lucius is nothing like anything she’s ever seen or read about in her history books. Because this man is part sexy badass and part terrifying…monster. Yet she wants him with a hunger like nothing she’s ever felt before.
Lucius used to be part of the Forgotten Brotherhood—a ruthless group of paranormal assassins. Now he’s unsure if his former Brothers are their allies…or enemies. All he knows is that someone is hunting him, and Raine is just as tangled up in this mess as he is. And he’ll protect her—even if it means unleashing his Dragon and all of its power.
Entangled Publishing: https://entangledpublishing.com/books/ancient-desire
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, assassins, 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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