Changing Focus for the Holidays

Growing up, my mother provided my five siblings and me with magical holiday memories that have stayed with me throughout my life. Holiday decorations, cooking big holiday meals, waking up early to see what Santa Claus had left, and spending time with family — all moments I cherish.
Those years also taught me lessons of what I didn’t want to do as a mother myself. Although our meals were elaborate and fun to make together, I often felt sad for my mom. She stayed up late into the night and was too tired to really enjoy our enthusiasm at 5 in the morning to see what Santa had brought. While we were enjoying our new gifts, she was working away in the kitchen to prepare more food than we would ever consume. It was her gift to us, but what we really wanted was her to come sit beside us and just be present.
When I became a mother, I decided right away to keep things simple. I would prepare a few favorites for the holidays and then call it quits. Plus, I would only prepare food we enjoyed. This simple decision is one of the best that I made for my family and later for my rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
To read more on how my family has learend to simplify our holidays, check out Changing Focus for the Holidays at HealthCentral

5 thoughts on “Changing Focus for the Holidays

  1. I love your Christmas burrito tradition! You may know that tamales are a Mexican holiday tradition. I always buy some when they're available in the local markets during the holidays. When my husband and I get home Christmas Day afternoon after our tradition of going to Las Vegas, the tamales get popped into the oven with some homemade chili from the freezer and we have an easy, somewhat unorthodox, but very traditional, Christmas dinner of our own! Seasons best wishes to you and your family from me and mine.

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  2. My husband has been sick this year. Heart failure and now something that we are still trying to figure out what it is. He's from the Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve and he and his daughter start planning this as soon as summer is over. I have really really tried, with a very little success, to simplify our holiday decorating, gift buying and food offerings. I know he appreciates and understands my perspective, but it's very hard for him – like it was for your mother – to not give their children the full holiday experience.

    I will continue my efforts…..there's hope!!!

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  3. Leigh, I am so sorry to hear about your husband. 😦 You are right, giving up holiday traditions is hard, especially ones that you have loved for years. But yes, keep trying. It takes so much energy to continue doing it all. Another thing I have learned is no matter what, those traditions have to change as everyone gets older. My husband and I annually mentally prepare ourselves for the year our kids choose to go somewhere else for the holidays.

    Enjoy your husband and daughter this holiday season and every day.I wish you a wonderful 2018.

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  4. Our tradition is to go to a Japanese restaurant on Christmas eve. We love that we see many of the same folks year after year. I love the sushi, Sheryl, not so much.

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