As you get involved in the holiday season this year, let's not forget what's really important. It isn't the presents, it isn't the food or the decorations. It's the people in our lives who are important to us.

I have watched people get caught up in the hype, busyness and resultant stress of the holiday season, only to lash out at the poeple we love. We tend to heap all kinds of unrealistic expectations upon ourselves and our family members only to be disappointed.

I remember making a list of the things that needed to get done for the holidays back when I was a single mom with two teenage boys. I remember sitting them down and asking them if there was anything they would be willing to help with. Remember, they were boys! They didn't want to help.

So my next question was what can we do without? If I can't do it all by myself, then what would they be willing to give up. Their answers surprised me. They didn't care if their gifts were wrapped as long as there were gifts. They told me they didn't need a tree or Christmas cookies. They couldn't care less whether or not I sent out Christmas cards.

When I looked at what was important to me and what was most important to them, I was able to take many things off my list, reduce the stress, and enjoy the holidays more.

What are the former "must dos" that you can do without with holiday season?

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