Holiday traditions

While shoveling my driveway for the third time in one day, I spent some time thinking. Quite a bit of time actually. It’s a double-wide driveway and we get an awful lot of snow in Glenrosa.

Normally, when I commune with nature (aka shovel) my mind goes to the clients I am working with. I think about different options and ideas to solve challenging files. I think about things I’ve learned and consider more effective ways to help people.

Tonight, was a little different. I slowed down enough to appreciate the beautiful crisp evening. I found myself reflecting about what the holiday season means to me. I realized how truly blessed I am.

Whatever your religion and however you choose to celebrate, my guess is you have family traditions that have evolved over time.

Christmas is a time of celebration. Christmas is a time of giving. Christmas is a time of togetherness.

Christmas can also be a time of great stress and pressure. There’s a line from a Jo Dee Messina song that popped into my head, and it goes something like this:

“I’m above the below and below the upper … stuck in the middle where money gets tight but I guess I’m doing alright.”

I was raised Catholic, and my mom has always been very active in our church choir. Midnight mass has always been an important part of our celebration. For me, there is something truly joyous and peaceful about mass Christmas Eve.

From the time my girls were little, they were allowed to open one gift Christmas Eve. Spoiler alert – that gift was always matching pajamas from their Nani. Christmas stockings were (and still are) perhaps their favourite part of Christmas morning.

I come from a family of amazing cooks, so, of course, the holidays have always involved an inordinate amount of time spent in the kitchen. Sometimes it feels like a never-ending cycle: cook/ eat/ clean/ repeat. 

My family was spread out between Vancouver Island and Northern B.C. For Christmas, we alternated homes so that we could spend the holidays together. Once I moved to the Okanagan and my older daughters moved to Fort McMurray, travel logistics became even more challenging.

About three years ago, we made a decision as a family to approach the holidays a little differently. As my girls are getting older and our family is expanding, the pressure of trying to find the perfect gift for everyone was beginning to feel a little overwhelming, both physically and financially.

We decided to put all our names in a hat and each pull one name. We set a limit on what we would spend, and talked about picking up a few things for each other’s stockings. We talked about the importance of spending time together doing fun things, instead of packing in activities we felt obligated to do.

I didn’t realize how much pressure I felt about the holidays until we made this change. Life is busy at the best of times, and the holidays always seem to amplify the busyness. 

I remember feeling like there weren’t enough hours in the day to organize everything that needed to be done to make Christmas perfect.

Taking it down a notch by changing the focus from “Have I picked up everything I need?”  to “Who’s up for a game of Rummoli?” was the best thing we ever did. Don’t get me wrong … there will still be a lot of time spent in the kitchen, but now the holidays are so much more about the love and happiness of being together. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed during the holidays, take a deep breath. Take a look at how you are spending your time (and your money). Maybe there are some ways that you can change things up too.

I wish you and yours an amazing holiday season filled with much love and laughter.



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About the Author

Tracy Head and Laurie Baird help busy families find mortgage solutions. Together they have more than 45 years of experience in the mortgage industry.

With today’s increasingly complicated mortgage rules, Tracy and Laurie spend time getting to know the people they work with and help them to better understand the mortgage process. They support their clients before, during, and after their mortgage is in place.

Tracy and Laurie work closely with their clients, offering advice and options. With access to more than 40 different lenders, Tracy and Laurie are able to assist with residential, commercial, and reverse mortgages in order to match the needs of their clients with the right mortgage package.

They work closely with their clients to find the right fit, and are around to provide support for years down the road!

Contact them at 250-862-1806 or visit http://www.okanaganmortgages.com

Visit their blog at https://www.okanaganmortgages.com/blog


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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