I was working as an SA in an independent bookstore when I got married. While unpacking the seasonal merch I discovered the book ‘Unplugging the Christmas Machine.’ The book motivated me to discuss with my new DH how we wanted to spend our holiday time and break it to our parents that we would NOT be spending it with any of them. At some point in time I gave my original copy to someone who needed it, and procured a new one. When things get a bit crazy, I pull it out for a read.

The biggest take-away for me was what people want most is time with loved ones, but with all the time and effort required to be the ‘Christmas Fairy’, we spend the least amount of time with the people important to us during the 6 weeks around the holiday. DH and I took steps to curtail our social engagements in order to spend time doing simple things with each other and the kids.

The book isn’t about eschewing the holiday pageantry and traditions, but rather how to zero in on what is important to you and the ones you love, and edit out the superfluous. You are encouraged to identify your longings , be realistic about those longings, and create a holiday that gives you joy and satisfaction.

I just pulled out the book for a read, since I feel a few tweaks are in order to reconcile holiday activities with the life DH and I lead now.

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