With the holiday season in full swing, try to set aside this night to do... nothing! No wrapping, no baking, no last minute shopping -- take a family vow to curl up around the fire and enjoy each other's company without ribbons, wrapping, gifts, horn tooters, or any of the other paraphernalia (in-laws, overindulgent grandparents, your aunt's Jell-O mold) that accompanies the holidays.
What you'll need:
Takeout menu from your favorite place
Firewood or fire logs
Comfy pillows and throws
What you'll do:
Order in some Chinese food or pick up some pizza. Eat off paper plates (everyone will be doing enough dishes in two days' time) and put a moratorium on getting ready for the upcoming holiday. After finishing off the takeout, pull out the comfy pillows and some warm throws, and settle down in front of a crackling fire if you have one. (In the South or Southwest? Light up the outdoor fire pit!) Take the time to catch up on everything that's gone on over the last few weeks -- holiday shows at your children's schools, outings you've made as a family -- or spend the evening looking through all the holiday cards you've received. Perhaps read aloud some of the "family update" letters you've received with cards. Admire all that effort you put into the holiday decorating. Call family members you won't see during the holidays, and have a talk on speakerphone so the kids can join in. Or just sit in quiet, watching the fire -- play a game similar to cloud watching, and have everyone watch the flames to see what shapes they see appear.