Nothing says it's the Christmas season like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation! This is not only one of my favorite holiday movies, but one of my favorites of all time. Every year, my family gathers around the TV together to watch the Griswold's fun-filled, old fashioned family Christmas unravel into a holiday mess. It's a movie that everyone can relate to. From the gaggle of in-laws and relatives invading your house to the over-cooked turkey and suprise visits from crazy distant cousins, Christmas Vacation does manage to remind me of what the holidays are all about.
One thing about the holidays that I can't stand is the rush. I tend to avoid the mall and stores like Walmart because they turn into a zoo after Thanksgiving. Jam packed with parties and gift exchanges, the holiday season seems to disappear before I can really get into the spirit. Gift giving is fun for me. I love to spread the Christmas cheer to others by getting them a nice and thoughtful gift. The overwhelming task of shopping for everyone has become such a drag. Especially with growing families and office exchanges. With so many people to buy for, its hard to find the time to put a lot of thought into the gifts we give.
For the past couple of years my in-law family has done a Secret Santa exchange. Rather than buying for the whole family, we each draw a name and buy one special, thoughtful gift for one person. I love this idea. Not only is it budget friendly, but it takes the focus off the gifts and puts it back on the family. We all get together and have food, share stories, and of course indulge in the Brandy Smash!
Has your family changed its gift-giving habits? Perhaps due to the economy or to eliminate some of the holiday stress. Maybe your family doesn't exchange at all. Or, maybe you have a full-blow holiday gifting extravaganza! Either way, I hope your holidays are filled with family, friends and whatever makes you happy. De-stress this year! Holidays are supposed to be happy, after all!