So the holiday season has arrived in full fury!  The time to shop, wrap, bake, can, and plan is upon us.  Right about this time every year we are ready to call off Christmas..doing ridiculous things like counting gifts to make sure we are being equitable in our giving...stressing about whose place to stop by first, fitting everyone in and taking into account that the weather is usually the embodiment of the whole "when hell freezes over" saying.  We used to be in some sort of holiday induced madness.  Until I decided that I would have no more of it..it was literally making us turn on each other.  So we made the decision to minimize and prioritize.  Making the most important thing each other and our kids.  The next..just that everyone we love and who is important to us knows that they are loved and remembered.  We will spend time traveling a little if we can, or invite others over if we can't, we will bake..as long as it can be fun..no holiday deadline or quota.  I try to remember the model for this approach throughout the year.  When I am cooking and someone tugs on my skirt asking me to play...or when I am on my way out the door in a stressed fury and someone asks for ONE more lingering hug, or when it is bedtime and ALL I WANT is to sit DOWN and the request for one more story or song is made.  I remind myself dinner-well truthfully sometimes it can wait, and extra hugs will be what I hold onto when my nest is empty-and all those extra bedtime stories and songs are a quiet chance to regroup and rest WITH my kids. These times will not last forever and the "the hustle" will always be there.  There will always be something to hurry off to, to take you away from what is truly important if you let it.  And most of the time..what is of secondary importance is what is outside that front door-while what is the most precious of all is right under your own roof!....enjoy your holiday and remember to love and live your life!