How To Recapture Christmas Joy




Why does Christmas and all the various Winter Holidays have to be stressful?

In a recent poll almost 50% of peope said they were stressed by holiday chores and expenses. Many people wannted to forego the festivities all together.

Shouldn’t be. Doesn’t have to be.

How to recapture the joys of the season: 


Moderation    ~ Don’t go to excess on anything: food, drink, presents, decorations, money spent,  cooking, baking, expectations.

Expectations ~ Keep them realistic and manageable. Remember Christmas is not going to solve all problems and will not be perfect no matter what and how much you do, plan, or hope.                                             

Realize ~  You probably can’t and won’t do or complete everything you want to before the big day. Cut yourself a break. The world won’t end if you don’t bake 10 kinds of cookies.

Remember you ~ Get enough sleep; set aside time to recharge your own batteries.  When you are well rested you can both do and enjoy more.

Yuletide Cheer ~ Remember to find time for laughter every day. Laughter is the best antidote to stress. Read a funny book or watch a funny movie. Reruns of M*A*S*H and Everybody Loves Raymond help me through many a day throughout the year not just at Christmas.

Count ~ your blessings and give thanks for what you do have.

Have a budget ~…and stick to it.

Remember others ~ A simple thank you, a small token of appreciation, or even just a prayer to those who work on Christmas: doctors and nurses, firemen and women, postal workers, police officers. Remember too those in hospitals, the homeless, the hungry, soldiers, and volunteers.

Involvement ~ in community holiday activities such as ice skating, concerts, plays. Go caroling. Take your children, or other children to see The Nutcracker. This is the easiest way to get young children excited about ballet and classical music. You and your children will be enchanted. I used to show a video of he Nutcracker to my first grade classes. Everyone loved it  and had great fun dancing and dreaming.

Spiritual ~ Don’t forget the reason for the season. Christmas is for giving, sharing and loving, not buying, over eating, and excess.

Turn off ~ Twitter and Facebook and other social media. Interact face to face with family and friends without looking down at a computer screen. Connect in person face-to-face even if only for a few hours. And so what if your sister-in-law is a bore or worse. Tweet about it the next day.

Make ~ your own ornaments and decorations for the tree and house. You don’t have to have the latest popular color of tree ornaments. Make it a family time. Get your children involved in making decorations. One of my favorite Christmas memories was making Christmas candles with my dad one year and watching them burn and shine all season. Make memories like that for you and your children too. These are gifts and memories that last a life time. REALLY priceless!

Ask for Help ~ Don’t go on overload and burn out. Ask for help when you need it. And don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask. None of us can do it alone.

Sleep ~ Get enough. And if you are prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder, get plenty of light too. Sometimes we get over whelmed just because we do not get enough rest or light.

Featured Recipe    Holiday Scent and/or Punch

If you like the scent and the taste of cinnamon you will LOVE today’s recipe! I knew I was going to make this when I made the left over Cran-Apple turkey recipe Monay this week since it used apple cider. The base of this punch is part apple cider. I had lots left over, so this was a fantastic way to use it up.

I love the smells of Christmas and all the Winter Holidays: Cinnamon, evergreen, peppermint, orange, cloves, frankincense, pine to name a few.

What is your favorite holiday scent?

Do you ever wish you could make those scents last a bit longer? If you ever have today’s recipe is for you.

Best part of this recipe is it can also double as a wonderful hot holiday punch with the scent and taste of cinnamon front and center. YUM!

This is what you will need to make 1 gallon:

64 ounces apple cider

64 ounces pineapple juice

2 cups water

16 cloves*

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon or two sticks

Optional 1 orange

*I often use more cloves cause I just LOVE the aroma of cloves too.

Here is what you do:

Put all ingredients [except the ornage if you are using.]  in a large saucepan and mix well………

and bring to a roiling boil.  You can see all those big roiling bubbles, can’t you?

Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

That’s it. Simple and easy. You can serve the punch hot or cold.

You can refrigerate the punch in a non-aluminum container for up to two weeks. See TIP below.

Anytime you want a festive holiday scent in your house, simmer a cup or two or more without a cover on top of the stove.

Optional: If using the orange just slice it and add the slices to the liquid. However, if you are going to store the Holiday Scent for another day remove the orange slices. I like using the orange slices when serving in a punch bowl. They look so pretty floating on the punch. I poke them with some cloves too.

TIP: I save the bottles the cider and pineapple juice came in to store the scent in the fridge. Just make sure you cool the punch down completely or the plastic bottles of today will melt. I so miss glass.

Happy Holidays 


64 ounces apple cider                     $3.49

64 ounces pineapple juice               $2.89

2 cups water                                  $0.00

16 cloves*                                     $0.61                                      

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon        $1.99

Total Cost = $8.98
This recipe makes 16- 8 ounce glasses of punch. That is $0.56 per glass.

Plus you are getting the scent for free. Can’t beat that !!!

Quote of the Day

Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don’t quite know how to put our love into words.

Harlan Miller


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7 comments to How To Recapture Christmas Joy

  • Virginia Urbach

    Thank you, Roberta for reminding me and giving me helpful hints of how to enjoy Christmas. I told myself that celebrating Christmas this year was going to be difficult since my husband is no longer here on earth, your helpful hints reminded me that it’s the children that need Christmas. So, I won’t stress, bake a bit, sing a lot, and go on a budget this year.

    • Roberta

      My sincerest condolences on the loss of your beloved husband. *Hug* The first anything after a death is the hardest. And you will never forget. May your children and the love of friends help you through this Christmas.

  • I’m one of those people who rarely stress about unimportant things and holidays while lots of fun, are not IMPORTANT in my big scheme of things. That probably makes me a heartless creep but so what if I pick the wrong gift or the cookies are just the right sort of crunchy or the tree falls over? There’s going to be another Christmas. 🙂

    I LOVE this scent drink – what a clever idea.

  • A very timely reminder and one I’m sure we all need to be mindful of at times. Thanks for the beautiful acrostic and the wonderful cider recipe. Sounds so homey!

  • […]  Here’s a great post at More Thyme Than Dough on How To Recapture Christmas Joy.  Really good practical advice in a cute list […]

  • […]  Here’s a great post at More Thyme Than Dough on How To Recapture Christmas Joy.  Really good practical advice in a cute list […]