Tina Albrecht, author and mother of three, says it may be time to rethink traditions.
Enjoying a memorable and meaningful Christmas season doesn’t just happen, according to Tina Albrecht, mother of daughters aged 10, 7 and 4. The author of the new book FHEasy: A Year of Weekly Teachings and Devotionals (Cedar Fort Publishing) says, “Let’s face it, if we don’t approach the Christmas season knowing what we want to do and experience, the commercialization and chaos will overrun us and we’ll be left feeling, well, run over.”
Albrecht has a three-step plan for bringing families closer during the holidays without the stress that gets in the way.
Step 1: Decide what you want to experience.
Step 2: Plan and prep ahead.
Step 3: Guard your time by being prepared to say no—or yes to spontaneous opportunities.
First, Albrecht advises writing down everything you could theoretically do for the holiday including what you usually do, feel pressured to do, or have never done but might like to try. By laying these out you can begin to see your vision of what the holiday could be and eliminate the traditions and expectations that don’t suit you. For example, she won’t be caroling, cooking, or sending holiday cards, but she will give simple gifts, play the piano for community events, and do a little decorating. She reminds people to prioritize sleep, exercise, creative work and whatever makes you happy.
With your vision in place, you can plan out your time week by week. Albrecht spends one week doing arts and crafts projects with her kids, the next talking about Christmas symbols and wrapping presents, and the final week decorating the tree.
Leave room for spontaneity. Albrecht says, “Ask yourself if participating in a surprise activity will bring more love and happiness into your home or if it will just bring stress. Don’t let things crowd out your priorities. … At the same time, if something comes up that sounds awesome, go for it!’
Tina Albrecht’s book, FHEasy: A Year of Weekly Teachings and Devotionals, published by Cedar Fort Publishing, launched Nov. 8. FHEasy refers to family home evenings, a religious home teaching concept practiced by LDS families like Albrecht’s. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in linguistics and a master’s certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages.