Christmas: a time for laughter, a time for cheer, a time for family, and a time to share...

Did last year’s Christmas season turn into a big blur? Don’t let it happen to you again this year. Before your “to do” list gets too big, take a step back to decide what this holiday really means to you and how you want to spend it. Then, put the magic back in Christmas and celebrate Christ’s birth at the same time with these simple ideas:

• Slow down. Don’t be in such a hurry to get from point A to point B. Take the time to enjoy the magic of the season.

• Read the story of Christ’s birth. Take time out to remember what the holiday is really about. Read the story of Christ’s birth and explain its meaning to your children, grandchildren, and/or friends.

• Bake a birthday cake. Help your children make a cake, decorate it, and then on December 24, sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus Christ.

• Make a gift. Instead of purchasing an expensive gift that you can’t afford, make your gift recipient’s favorite thing.

• Stay home. Make arrangements to visit friends and family the day before or after the holiday, so that you can spend Christmas day at home, with your loved ones.

• Play games. What games do you remember playing as a child? Are there any games that an entire group of people can play together? Make time to be a kid again.

• Light watch. Is there an area in your town that goes all out with outside Christmas decorations? Nothing brings more cheer to the holiday than watching the faces of young children “oh and ah” at the beauty of the lights.

• Christmas carol. Take your family and friends Christmas caroling. You could even bring along a tin can and get donations for your local charity.

• Donate your time. Take a day, out of the holiday season, to give back to the community. Volunteer in an old folks home—some don’t have family visiting for the holidays. Serve the homeless a hot meal. Hold a drug-addicted baby at your local hospital.

• Delegate tasks. Don’t take on the responsibility of making everything work and look perfect. After making your “to do” list, break it up between family members according to age, maturity, and physical ability to get the task done.

• Request kitchen help. Sure, it’s your home. But it’s your family attending the celebration. Ask them to lend a hand cleaning up after the festivities are over. If you can’t get yourself to ask for help, leave the mess for the following day and hire a maid to come in for a day.

• Pot luck the meal. Just because the dinner is taking place in your home doesn’t mean you have to foot the bill or make all the dishes. Ask each visitor to bring a dish, and don’t be afraid to specify what you would like each guest to bring.

• Prepare meals ahead of time. Prepare one dish a day and freeze or refrigerate that meal. Reheated food really isn’t that bad and you’ll have more time to mingle and laugh with your guests, instead of missing out on all the fun.

Just remember: Creating memories is a priceless gift. Memories will last a lifetime; things only a short-period of time. What’s important is the time you share with those you love—for you never know what tomorrow holds.

Alyice Edrich is the author of several work from home e-books, including Tid-Bits For New Signing Agents—where parents earn $25 an hour. Subscribe to her free newsletter at http://thedabblingmum.com/joinezine.htm to win a free book!