Gather your family to ask what is it they would really like to do to celebrate. You may be pleasantly surprised like I was when my 5-year-old son said he wanted to go up to the mountains to build a snowman on Christmas Eve.
Make a thermos of hot chocolate and go up and down your block caroling neighbors.
Take a nighttime walk to look at the December sky. Study up about constellations. It's these kinds of things that your kids will remember years from now, not what presents you bought them.
Camp out in the room where the Christmas tree or holiday lights are. Instant magic.
Put a "closed" sign on the kitchen and take advantage (as more and more families are doing) of the great holiday buffets being served at good local restaurants.
Once the presents are open, is the holiday over? Make sure each family member has one nice "toy" they can share with everyone else as dinner is being made or as you wait for the time to go to the restaurant, church, temple.
The day you take down the decorations and close up shop is a day to recapture the holiday feeling one last time. As you un-trim the tree, gather the family for a picnic-style dinner with soup and muffins. Play seasonal music as you wrap up the decorations. Then ask everyone to tell what their favorite part of the holiday was and what they look forward to in the New Year.
"Choose traditions that fit with your family, not with the Norman Rockwell paintings. Remember, they are just paintings, after all."
"Here's the best advice anyone ever gave me about taking the stress out of holidays: simplify!"
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