For those of you who are married you might recall people telling you as your wedding day approached how fast that day goes by and remember their advice, “to stop and take it all in.” Sound familiar? Well, I feel the same way about the holidays. This is how the holidays remind me of our wedding day.

There is so much preparation, planning, rushing around, checking lists, checking them again. It’s a lot. I wanted everything to go a certain way, had high expectations of greatness while keeping costs within my spending plan (I don’t like the word budget). So much pressure to plan a spectacular event that will be remembered fondly for years to come. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

The only difference between planning our wedding and planning a Christmas for 2 young children is that now I have my husband’s full participation. Sorry but what guy really wants to be truly involved in all the details of planning a wedding? Looking back there are many little things that really don’t matter at the end of the day. The most important part of either event is bringing our friends and family together and spending time with them. Period.

Don’t get me wrong… I could not have pulled our holidays together without my husband. He is a super Dad and works his butt off to make this all work. I really appreciate all of his help and the thought that he puts into the holidays. The difference is that just before Thanksgiving this year I vowed to make me and my family a priority. To really take it all in. OBSERVE, RELAX, ENJOY & have FUN! The hoidays are not quite over so here is my advice to you. Just do it and let me know how it feels.

OBSERVE – be fully present in every moment. Notice what is going on around you like you are making a movie in your mind. Take in the smiles, laughter, tears and hug a lot.

RELAX – take time to lay around in your pajamas and do the dishes later. Just stare at the fire or your tree. Take a nap, snuggle with your kids, your spouse, your dog. Get those huggles in! A huggle is a cross between a hug and a snuggle. You will love it – I promise.

ENJOY – spend time with friends and family. Really stop what you’re doing and go meet someone just to catch up in person. LIsten to your favorite music and dance to it. You get the point.

HAVE FUN – laugh and play with your kids. Get out that board game or card game that you never make time to play. Your kids will remember these moments more than any present you can buy them. Take the long way home to look at the lights in the neighborhood.

Wishing you a Happy New Year full of fun, laughter and joy!

P.S. I don’t think it is a coincidence that holiday bells look like wedding bells.