This was our family’s smoothest, most comfortable Christmas that I can recall.  No stress, no melancholy, lots of coziness.

    • We bought two presents for each child.  One small, one medium.  The kids didn’t miss the extra presents and it makes it much easier on us.  Less mess, less wrapping, less arrangements.

  • I do most of the wrapping in our house and most of the present buying.  I have the Christmas bug  more than the Lovely One does, so it is only natural.  This year, we had a couple of present-wrapping parties a week or two before, so on Christmas Eve I only had to spend an hour or two.  This was the first Christmas I had nothing left to do after our Christmas Eve caroling and nativity.
  • From past experience, I can say that especially for men, it is easier to learn how to wrap using better quality (thick) wrapping paper.
  • Rub down the masking tape, especially with your fingernail.  It  makes it less visible.
  • After you’ve finished wrapping, crease the edges of the present.  It covers a multitude of wrapping sins.
  • Use boxes liberally.  Only use gift bags if you have to.  They are the gift wrapping equivalent of despairing apathy.  A man who resorts too easily to a gift bag is a man who will soon stop bathing and be found in his PJs drinking cheap wine in the gutter.
  • Our children like doing the 12 Days of Christmas.  It helps with the after-Christmas blahs.  Waking up to a honey stick or a piece of chocolate or some other tiny gift is exciting.
  • We cut our own Christmas tree this year.  Of everything this season, that is the one element I liked the most.  It is a deep and solid brick in our family structure.  It was a family moment and these, I expect, are the greatest gifts we can give the Christ Child.

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