I’ve just finished reading a most inspiring book, “Unplug the Christmas Machine,” by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli. The authors conduct workshops to help people explore what might be missing from their holiday celebrations, and guide them to make some thoughtful adjustments to put the love and joy back in the season.
What the authors discovered is that most of us long for a simpler, more joyful expression of the holidays — with fewer presents, less shopping and debt, less pressure and stress, more relaxed time with our families, and a deeper sense of the spiritual meaning of the season.
But what about our kids? Won’t they be disappointed if we don’t have all the trappings of Christmas? Interestingly, the authors have determined that these are the four things children really want for Christmas:
- A relaxed and loving time with the family.
- Realistic expectations about gifts.
- An evenly paced holiday season.
- Reliable family traditions.
In our family, we’ve discovered that the more we simplify our holidays the happier we are and the more we enjoy the season. In the coming weeks, I’ll share some tips and ideas about whittling down your holiday ‘To Do’ list without missing out on any of the special aspects of the season.
In the mean time, I’m giving away a brand new copy of “Unplug the Christmas Machine” to one lucky winner. To enter, simply comment below. (Make sure you enter a working e-mail address when prompted, so I can contact you if you win. Your e-mail address won’t appear online and won’t be shared.)
If you include a tip for simplifying the holidays in your comment, you’ll receive two entries in the contest. If you link to this page in your blog or website and mention that in your comment, you’ll receive five entries in the contest. I’ll do the drawing and announce the winner next Wednesday, November 10.
P.S. You might enjoy this article from the archives, “One Real Family’s Real Simple Christmas.“