Looking for ways to simplify this Christmas season? Here are some of the Christmas traditions we are giving up this year in order to try and not get overly hustley and bustley.

Financial Hardship/Job Loss/Major Illness

What could be more fun than finding out you are going to lose your job or take a financial hit in December? Or what about a few days in ICU? How about the church delivering a frozen Christmas turkey in front of your non-member in-laws who have no idea you are struggling?  I am here to tell you, there is nothing like it!

This year we are substituting this tradition with Gratitude For A Great Job/Financial Solvency/Recovery. It’s going to be bittersweet to say goodbye to this longstanding tradition, but we will try not to cry too hard about it.

The thing that I will miss the most about that tradition is visiting with the hospital nurses. They are some of my best friends and it won’t be the same this year without them.

Making Gingerbread Houses

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After seeing what my friend’s family did, I thought, “We can do that….How hard can it be?” We have actually destroyed all photographic evidence of our attempt. It was horrific.

After a brief period of delusion, I have also retired this fun filled event. Nothing says Christmas like mom saying Mormon swear words because she can’t get the graham crackers to stand up in a square.

The Colors Are Vibrant Going Down AND Coming Up!

The Colors Are Vibrant Going Down AND Coming Up!

And it’s just not the holiday season if your four year old didn’t eat four boxes of Dots (which were really meant to decorate the gingerbread houses), and vomits up in technicolor. That is celebrating, let me tell you!

Making The Holidays Healthy

If Only You Could Smell That Through The Computer!!! Mmmmm...

If Only You Could Smell That Through The Computer!!! Mmmmm…

What an awesome tradition! What better way to celebrate than with a Celebration Loaf and a Curried Quinoa salad? Who wants a decadent dessert when you can have raw brownies made out of date paste? It tastes soooooo much like the original that you can’t even tell the difference!!!!!

And who needs greasy chips when you can have your fill of deliciously dehydrated kale chips?!!!?!?!? And nothing says comfort food like Grilled Chikun (not to be confused with actual chicken) covered in a delicous cashew Cheeze Sauce with a side of mashed cauliflower!

Don’t forget to wash it down with some of that delicious non-GMO, organic, free range, gluten free, dairy free, paleo, low carb, Beach body approved water!!! Or maybe some Eggnog Shakeology!!!! Or even a Christmas Green Drink!!!!

THAT'S NOT EGG NOG!!!!!

THAT’S NOT EGG NOG!!!!! For a better taste experience, DRINK REAL EGG NOG.

While we will never go back to a really processed diet, and we really don’t eat a ton of meat or anything, there is no substitute for a delicious Christmas roast and comfort food.

Annual Holiday Fight

Oh, how we will miss the Annual Holiday Fight between mom and dad or mom and teen or dad and young adult, or between mom and dad and everyone. It’s always so enjoyable to watch everyone get pulled in to the drama and hear all the children crying at once!!

What holiday wouldn’t be complete without two or seven of your family members getting into the ring to duke it out over whether or not the fifteen year old has a crush on someone, or trying to find out why your husband decide to buy you snow tires as an “early” Christmas/birthday present, or why the younger kids are more loved than the older, or whether or not they should run away, or any number of life altering, major questions that need to be battled out, to the point of drawing blood, slamming doors, or making holes in the wall, if necessary.

Visiting Friends and Family and Going to Parties With Anyone Who Cannot Go To The Bathroom Completely By Themselves

Ah, the joy of visiting strange relatives you haven’t seen anywhere but on Facebook!! How enchanting to spend an evening in the home of dear family members who have more breakables and stairs than Buckingham Palace!!

What fun to see the fifteen month old nearly knock a tooth out falling down the stairs, or your ten year old break the neighbor’s Star Wars action figure!! How lovely to try and carry on an adult conversation with fifteen toddlers screaming and running around you in circles.

How I will miss those evenings that could rival the decibel level of the space shuttle launch!

We are replacing this tradition with Adults Only Parties and Visiting Friends and Relatives With The Kids In Five To Ten. Years.

Here are some traditions we plan on keeping forever, though. We just couldn’t give THESE up:

Annual Family Christmas Play/Program

We love to perform for ourselves and laugh at our own apparent wit and ingenuity. Put us in front of a camera at home, and we are content to ham it up with reckless abandon! We love a good reboot of such classics as “A Christmas Carol,” or “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” (We changed beheading to Chauvlin wanting to cut off people’s hair. Aren’t we clever?)

Eating

We like to eat at Christmas. This tradition will happily continue. We will eat almost anything. If you have food, there is someone in our family who will probably try it. Last year, after Christmas, my son went from house to house around dinner time offering his services to “take care of” pesky Christmas leftovers.

We will not, however, allow any of our children to eat Dots. Multicolored vomit is “out” this year.

Christmas Music

We will always and forever play Christmas music at Christmas time.

We listen, we sing, we hum, we dance. It is wonderful to be joyful with song. We have a wide and varying collection of favorites including “Feliz Navidad” by the Three Tenors, “Jingle Bells,” by Michael Buble (the kids love to repeat when the girls say, “Merry Christmas, Mr. Buble” over and over and over and over again. Because his name is funny? I don’t know why.), the hilariously grating and migraine inducing “12 Days of Christmas” by the Mormon Youth Chorus. And, there is of course, Joseph’s favorite “Cluck of the Bells,” as sung by chickens.

Please don’t even get me started on the song stylings of “Disney Princess Christmas.” You haven’t lived until you’ve heard fake Snow White singing about Christmas Eve Dinner. It’s truly unforgettable. I will leave you with another favorite…the classic croonings of Justin Bieber in “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”

These are just a few of the mind blowing traditions that we have decided to keep for the coming years. And even though we will miss the old ones, we feel that truly, we are making room for more!