Christmas use to be my favorite holiday! As a little girl I loved seeing the neighborhood light up with lights and carolers going door to door singing Christmas carols, it was a magical time. I ask myself, why as an adult, does it seem so stressful? After years of trying to make Christmas perfect, I realized it was me that had taken the fun out of my favorite holiday. I started analyzing what I was doing that caused me to dread the holiday’s and how could I change it to make it fun once again. Once I identified the task that made me want to pull my hair out, I then created ways to turn them into enjoyable events.

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards were a nightmare to me. Not only did I feel I needed to send them to my personal friends and family, but I would send them out to my clients as well. After developing carpel tunnel syndrome one year from writing out all of my Christmas cards, I said, “No more!”. Who came up with this idea of sending out Christmas cards every year, anyway? I am sure it was the greeting card companies as a way to make more money. I must say I did feel a little guilty the first year and was relieved to see no one dismissed me as a friend because of it and now I am so glad to take that stress out of my Christmas.

Decorating the Tree

close up of candy cane and holiday decor on christmas tree

family and friends decorating a Christmas tree together

Tree with DIY family Christmas ornaments, heart pillow christmas decor with family member's names

I always loved decorating the Christmas tree growing up and I certainly wasn’t going to let that tradition go, so I decided to just make it more fun! Every year it has become a tradition to have the Brown’s annual tree trimming party. I invite a group of friends to share in the festivities. I make a big pot of my winter chili and hot apple cider drink with cinnamon. My husband pre-lights the tree and I lay out all the ornaments to make it easy and fun for everyone. I have Christmas music playing and everyone enjoys getting into the spirit of the season. After the last ornament and candy cane are placed on the tree, I hand everyone a bag of plastic snow and the throwing of the snow usually turns into a snow fight.  After it’s all decorated, everyone toasts Christmas and I give each of my guests an ornament for their tree. This is how we get together to have a nice and enjoyable party with friends and family.

Shopping and wrapping packages

Christmas tree with ornaments and wrapped gifts

You cannot wait until December to do your Christmas shopping without adding stress to your holiday. I recommend getting together with your bestie before Thanksgiving, to do your Christmas shopping. I like to make a list so I can be most productive and knock it out in a day. Once presents are bought, gather your best group of friends and pick a day every week to sit around, share a glass of wine and have a wrapping party. A party makes everything fun! Every year my friends and I pool paper and ribbon, creating a big assortment, that we share and it really makes a colorful presentation under the tree.

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and talent offering design tips.