Stress free Christmas traditions | Living with Gleigh

Here it is the weekend after Thanksgiving and I don’t see one Valentine in the store. How is a mother supposed to plan properly when the Valentines stuff isn’t out yet?

I hope you understand I’m being sarcastic. With the holidays overlapping more and more, there is no time to recover from one before the next one starts. I even saw a Christmas aisle in one store next to the Halloween aisle. I am as against holiday seasons overlapping as I am sports seasons overlapping.

When I was a kid there seemed to be a definite baseball season, football season and basketball season. I’m not a sports fan, but when all three sports are on different channels at the same time, I have to wonder how sports fans get anything else done, much less Christmas shopping.

I can’t imagine one would have a chance to camp out in front of a store waiting for what the commercial world is now calling greyThursday when they are busy watching sports on TV. Of course, in the day of smart phones, ipads and other technology, sports fans can probably watch their games while camping out in front of department stores. More overlapping.

It’s the same with clothes. If you don’t get your bathing suit in January, forget about finding one in July when you can only find sweaters for fall. It’s a lot to take in – all this overlapping. It’s no wonder we are a distracted, disconnected society, we never have time to relax and take a breath.

If you are reading this now, you have survived another black Friday. It’s an ominous name for the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season (so they say). What’s the rush? Why does it have to be done all in one day? There will be sales until Christmas.

I personally do all my shopping online and at a few local, small businesses. I don’t do a lot of shopping to begin with, preferring to keep gift giving as low-key as my Thanksgivings. My kids are past the age of toys, but I try to keep these holidays stress-free to teach my kids the real meaning of Christmas.

I haven’t always been stress-free during the Christmas season, because there is a lot to pack in a few weeks with tasks to do, people to visit and parties to attend. But I am surprised at how much my daughters have embraced all the traditions we have this time of year now that they are in their late teens. I always ask if they still want to continue traditions before I spend the time organizing them; they always do. It’s what makes the season magical for them.

We make gingerbread houses Thanksgiving weekend, almond roca early December as presents for family and friends, we see the Nutcracker with grandma every year, I let my girls decorate the tree by themselves and we see our favorite family band, Erwilian, in concert every year.


Their minstrel-type, Christmas music really connects me to the joy of Christmas. I mention them every year, so maybe by now, they are a favorite of yours too. So my Christmas present to you is their Christmas concert schedule. Have a joyful and blessed Christmas season!

7 December 2013. Acoustic Set - FREE

Covington Library, Covington, WA. 2:00-3:00p

8 December 2013. Acoustic Set - FREE

Kent Library, Covington, WA. 2:00-3:00p

10 December 2013. Acoustic Set - FREE

Burien Library, Covington, WA. 7:00-8:00p

14 December 2013. 7th Annual Christmas Concert - $12

Carco Theatre, Renton, WA. 7:00-9:30p

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to seeing Erwilian again this year. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Lifestyles section.

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