Teaching Our Girls the Holidays Don’t Have to Be Harried Plus a {Give Away}

The winner of Magnetic from Wednesday’s Wisdoms Tip: The Top Reason Your Daughter Shouldn’t Date in High School is Cindy H in Texas who posted at October 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm. Email me your full name and address Cindy and I’ll get it sent right out!

What was your home like during the holidays growing up?

Since I was number 7 of 8 kids, Thanksgiving and Christmas meant my older siblings came from afar bringing many, many nieces and nephews with them. I know there was no way of getting around it, but my mom didn’t do much celebrating. Literally day and night for days before, during and cleaning up afterward, she was buried under preparations for all those people living under our little roof for several days.

I guess I thought that is just the way it was supposed to be. Mom did the work; the family enjoyed her work.

Fortunately, the past few years, God has brought into my life some women, who believe investing in your family doesn’t mean you land in crazy land after January 1st. Learning from their que, I have so learned to curb back. Do a few things that are my family’s absolute favorites and let the rest fall away.

We can pass onto our girls:

The holidays are about people;

not projects or parties.

If the projects and parties are part of celebrating and investing in “our people” – great! Let’s do it! But if the projects and the parties are more about doing what we’re “supposed” to be doing and actually take us away from our people during the holiday season – let it go! Let’s focus on enjoying those we love not fixating on having it all.

My friends, Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer are two of the people who have really pointed me in this new thinking. They have a fabulous free resource to help us get our priorities about our people in the place just before November hits!


It is called 7 Days to a Hassle-Free Holiday

To sign up, simply enter your email address and for the next 7 days you will receive ideas and encouragement for taking the hassle-out of the holidays in your cleaning, decorating, cooking and baking, gift-giving, and traditions. You’ll also be given some great out-reach ideas to help your family focus on giving and serving rather than getting and “stuff”. And finally, as an added bonus, Karen and Glynnis share 25 easy and delicious recipes as a PDF that include:

  • Holiday get-together (or take on the road) dishes

  • DIY food gifts

  • Quick and easy dinners for those crazy-busy holiday-prepping days

  • Fun foods to make with kids

  • Retro Christmas cookies

(Don’t forget – these are ideas you can pick from, not a list to do!!)

CLICK HERE to sign up for the free resource 7 Days to a Hassle-Free Holiday.

And, please leave a comment telling us what most casues you hassle at the holidays. Karen and Glynnis will be giving away two copies of their book Everyday Confetti: Your Year-Round Guide for Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions.




  1. Kim Morgan says:

    Trying to pick out gifts for everyone is the hardest thing for me.

    1. I agree Kim! I love to think of create gifts but run out of ideas as the years go by.

  2. The hardest part for me during the holidays, unfortunately, is having to spend time with family. Everything is so superficial and materialistic. It’s all about the latest fashion, where to shop, where to find the best discounts, and how smart your kids are while sipping on a glass of wine. The guys all talk about sports, business headaches, and issues that happened on their last flight for a business trip. I come from a wealthy family who is so focused on worldly things and we hardly see each other but when we get together for holidays we act like best buddies. My husband and I are so different than them. God is hardly mentioned except at prayer time before the big meal.
    We might even skip the family parties this year.

    1. Wow Julie– That is rough. Whispering a prayer for you right now. I love how you want to stay focused on the real meaning of Christmas.

  3. This is SO true! I LOVE the holidays, but used to get SO caught up in everything being ‘just perfect’. It took a lot of the ‘fun’ out of the holidays! Now, I try to do little pieces at a time, and allow some time for fun holiday ‘things’ I used to enjoy, like looking at lights, going to a movie or having a ‘Christmas movie night’ at home with popcorn! After all, it IS about family and friends, and LOVE!

  4. This is something we started to do as a “family” of 7 when my youngest was about 3. Christmas Day was about getting out (I lived in Montreal, Canada at the time) and enjoying the outdoors. We went to the local park and skated on the frozen pond, we went sledding, we hiked, tried to cross country ski. Now, with living in Mid-MO, our 1st Christmas here, we hiked the backwoods to my sisters house. By car, her house is 6.2 mi. away. It took us 2 hrs., over the same creek 3 times, grabbing at vines to pull us up ridges. It was a blast and my youngest son got to “lead” for a change. I believe it blessed him, it blessed me to hang out with the youngest 2. As a widow, I have had to make new traditions. This is one tradition I won’t let go of that my husband and I had started. I encourage everyone to re-think traditions as your children get older. : )
    Thanks for having us brainstorm this.

    1. Oh Dottie– Reading this blessed my heart. And I agree about rethinking traditions too.

  5. My biggest hassle is that I have a lot a family that live in and around the same city I live in. they ALL have special events on or around the same time frame and a I love going to each one but it means driving back and forth all over town and strict time schedules to keep to try and make it to all of them. The past few years it has been a little better as other have decided to stagger the days and times to make it less of a rush and hurry. But I love the time I get to spend with each of the special people and families in my life and the crazy rush and constant driving doesnt bother me all that much 🙂 cant beat good food and better friends!

  6. Hardest thing about holidays is trying to balance seeing both sides of the family, especially when there are divorced parents – then you have three families who all want to see you on the same day!

  7. The hardest thing for me is the gift buying. And getting my daughter to understand traditions change as families get older and kids get married. We need to start new traditions.

  8. Something that has caused a little stress and is time-consuming is the Christmas letter and family picture.
    After many years, I realized I’m not doing it for myself; it is really for those who receive it. That is when
    I decided to send it every other year, unless there is a major event in our family. I still feel a little guilty
    when receiving cards on my off years, but hope people don’t feel dismayed. Maybe when my kids are out
    of high school, I’ll have more time and energy for it!

    1. Deb– We actually stopped doing a Christmas letter about 4 years ago. With Facebook and all, most everyone knows what is happening with each other in our family and circle of friends. Even my 81 year ol mom and her siblings who are in their 70’s have Facebook and I am “friends” with them.

  9. I am a people pleaser so saying NO to anything is very hard and there are so many requests during the holidays that sometimes we have to say NO or the stress will overtake us. The pespective of making sure it is about the PEOPLE and not just the projects or parties is something I am going to use to try to keep my focus where it should be. Thanks for the insight!

  10. I have been very good at picking and choosing what I want to do. I bake cookies. We have an exchange at church where some go to the local police stations. I bake them for the family night of Awana. And I have in the past made them for friends and neighbors. We dont give to extended family and our family gifts are small low cost low pressure gifts.

  11. What causes me the most hassle is always the money. We live paycheck to paycheck with very little left over and Christmas shopping is usually done last minute, which means wrapping last minute, and one tired momma. Some way, some how, God always provides though, and I’m so thankful for that. Without Him and His providence, I don’t know where I’d be.

    Bless you!

    1. On years when our money is tight (my husband is often laid off from his factory job) we tend to give gifts of service. Maybe a coupon for a home-baked pie of they choice on a day they choose or for a movie and snack in–their choice or even for one car detailing, etc…

  12. It happens every year; suddenly, it’s 4-5 days before Christmas, and I’m not ready for ANYTHING!!! My poor family! I would love to start some holiday traditions that my daughter can remember as she is growing up. HELP!

    1. Robin– I sure hope you’ll sign up for the 7 day challenge! I think it will really help you. 🙂

  13. nancys1128 says:

    My biggest holiday stress comes from myself! Most of my stress is self-induced from wanting things to be “just so” but not even knowing what “just-so” is.

    1. Oh Nancy– I know what you mean! That pursuit of the perfect Christmas. The pressure is even greater now with Pinterest, HGTV, etc….

  14. My wish every year is that I’ll have my gift making and buying done in plenty of time before Christmas. Before I know it Christmas is right around the corner! I love this time of the year. I want to enjoy family time and the true meaning of Christmas.

  15. I’ve learned to say “no” (nicely) to a family member who insists on having a Christmas morning get together at her home when we just want to stay home on Christmas morning with our 3 young children. It wasn’t easy the first year but is getting better and less awkward.

  16. I find it so hard to keep my house clean and presentable during the holidays. I have so many great things planned, but I feel like all of the baking and decorating and holiday activities leaves me with soooo much extra housework to do and so little time to enjoy everything.

  17. It can get overwhelming if we let it! I would love to have the book in order to help myself, and start some new traditions! Thank you, Lynn! <3

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Bobbie – one thing I’ve learned is some of the things that I thought were so important didn’t matter all at to my family!

  18. Cindy H in Texas says:

    I struggle also with wanting everything to be “perfect” for Christmas. A year or so ago, I took an informal poll with my daughter and hubby to see what traditions mean the most to them and which ones, they could care less about. That helped a lot and we were able to take those things off the list that weren’t their favorites.

  19. My biggest issue is usually due to over scheduling.. I LOVE to cook, so if I’m going to some function or gathering I think I just HAVE to make some adorable, one of a kind dish. So that combined with the fact that I’m trying to go to too many different places over one or two days is my biggest problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.