You can change the Christmas song you’re listening to by going to the player and picking the one you want (or pause it to stop music).

Here-Be-Dragons-map
Here Be Dragons (Added border so you could find it)

The saying, Here Be Dragons, was put on ancient maps to indicate, “dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of a supposed medieval practice of putting drawings of dragons, sea serpents and other mythological creatures in uncharted areas of maps.”[1]  In other words, it was a warning, “Watch out if you go here!”

This holiday season is one of those areas – dangerous times for a couple. There may be high expectations that can’t be met. There is a lot of stress, mostly self-induced. There are people who beg for your time for this pageant and that project and you feel you can’t say “no!!”. There is money spent too freely leading to a feeling of doom (January IS coming with those many credit card bills). There are meals to plan and kids to wind down before they explode.

It is just a tough time for most people.

christmas shopping

Here be dragons when finances are tight which can lead to arguments. Alpha Hubby and I learned a lessons about this a few years back. We were broke. We refused to use our credit cards. We didn’t have the money we usually did to “celebrate” Christmas and I was getting into the mullygrubs. I was trying to catch depression.

I began cataloging my many blessings. What did I have to be depressed over? That I couldn’t put a bunch of gifts under the tree?  I couldn’t go out and buy new decorations? What a crock. Yes, crock. I had enough containers of Christmas decorations to decorate the entire neighborhood. We have a beautiful home, heat, food, family up the hill to celebrate with, plenty. We had so much more than other people. I got over myself.

Alpha Hubby, Alpha Son and I decided we would focus outwardly that year. We got our home church involved and bought gifts to the local nursing home because so many of them were alone, with family far away, or who didn’t visit, or who were all gone.

It was the best Christmas we ever had, bar none. Why? We thought outwardly. We became a light for others.

christmas shopping

Here be dragons is your alone time with one another, especially if you have children. School kids are home on break. Little ones are wired with the gimmies, “I want this, I want that!!” Smaller ones may sense the atmosphere and be more cranky, whiny and clingy. You find yourself exhausted.

To keep that together, you have to be aware that your stress levels need to be kept under. If you find yourself blowing your top, STOP. Make a point each day to find a tiny haven for yourself, even if it is only in the bathroom with the door locked. But find that place, sit down, take a breath in, release it, and relax. Drink some caffeine-free tea, a glass of bubbly, or flavored water, but relax. Remember what is important.

If you have time in the evening after the kids are asleep, sit down and put your feet up.  Alpha Hubby and I knew if we’d have alone time and we made good use it it! Once that kid was in bed asleep – party!

Santa and helper
Santa and helper

Here be dragons because even with Alpha Son out of the house now, we still have to watch ourselves. Time has a way of slipping away from us during the day. Busy-ness tends to overtake the days, decorating, cleaning, getting ready for THE meal. The stress of decorating, there is no stress for me. That’s Alpha Hubby’s problem since he has declared all out war on my snowmen. Evil Alpha Santa. Evil. Evil.

Jake
Jake

He has threatened them with blow torches. He has offered to send them back to their homeland (North Pole). He has threatened total extinction of the entire tribe. He swears each year he lost the container they are in.  The only ones he likes are Jake and Elwood because they sing and are cool.

Here be dragons when you lose your sense of humor. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you may get into trouble during the holidays. They are CHOCK full of dragons (i.e., traps). Dinners can go wrong, children can become monsters (yes, even yours) and something is ALWAYS missing (“Oh man, I forgot to pick up the …).

white and red christmas fireplace interior

Learn to let it go. Learn to lower your expectations. Sure, you want to put on a perfect dinner but people have more fun at a dinner where the hostess doesn’t make them feel badly because something went wrong. If you are around people who expect perfection, get new people.

Find your joy. You can slay those dragons with joy, happiness, smiling, and laughing. I have learned to let go of expectations that are ridiculous. If my favorite white Irish linen tablecloth or napkins get stains on them? Well, if the dry cleaner can’t get it out at least they have been used rather than mouldering in the dresser drawer.

Find your peace. If all else fails, remember the real reason for this season. It will change your focus and remind you that THINGS aren’t supposed to be it.

Christmas Snowman Decoration

And now, a little something special from Alpha Hubby’s favorite friends: