Do you remember being a kid at Christmas time? Wasn’t it just the most magical time of year?! Singing Christmas carols, wrapping presents, going to see the Christmas lights, visiting Santa….nI love Christmas, and I’m trying really hard to make it memorable and special for my littlies. But what I’m noticing more and more as an adult, is the amount of stress that we put on ourselves at this time of year. Buying the best presents. Over-committing ourselves to Christmas parties. Trying to get to every event – the lighting of the Christmas tree, the local Christmas carols, the Santa photos. Making commitments to catch up with family we only really see at Christmas time, and trying to fit everyone in on the one day. And exhausting ourselves in the process….nNot to mention forgetting the real reason we are trying to make everything so perfect. We want the best for our kids and we want to give them extra special memories. Well, we can give them everything, and we can do it simply by our presence. No, not our presents; our presence! I’ve had to remind myself of this several times over the past few weeks.nIt’s so easy to get swept up in the festive season, but at the end of it, life goes back to normal and we need to be able to function! There’s absolutely no use overstretching ourselves to the point where we are sick and tired. Plus, when we’re stressed, our cortisol levels are too high, and this short circuits any healthy eating or exercise we may be doing. When we’re stressed, we put unnecessary strain on ourselves, physically, mentally and emotionally. When we’re stressed, our kids feel it. No amount of Christmas songs or wrapped presents will take that away. So, yes, while this is a magical time of year, let’s remember to focus on the magic that happens when we really connect and enjoy our kids (and each other), simply by being together and creating special memories.