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The Beauty of a Simple Holiday Season

At this time of year we are often stressed about getting everything done, and even more so by the pressure to do and give and buy more, and to do it all earlier than the year before. We compare ourselves to others, and the marketing efforts of retailers are designed to make us feel less than if we don't give our spouses, friends and children the biggest, best and brightest gadgets, apparel or toy of the season. The worst of this is that we then often feel limited and inadequate, rather than joyful and appreciative.

For the past many years my family and I have practiced a fairly simple holiday season: not too many or too extravagant gifts, small get-togethers, low-key decorations and sometimes going off to do our own thing rather than feeling pressured to all be together for the holiday.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being with my family for Christmas. But, as the kids got older the reality was that they had other obligations with significant others, work schedules and the usual demands of life. This year I will be with my daughter and son and granddaughter on Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day. I am very excited by the prospect, but am also okay with the idea that we may or may not get to do this every year.

I'm grateful for the time we do have together and hope we can embrace the spirit of love and family and heartfelt giving that the season is meant to be about. I wish the same for you and your loved ones. May you have a holiday season of peace and love and goodwill.

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