Taking the stress out of Christmas

I just saw an article about de-stressing as you prepare for another holiday dinner. No problem, I already made our reservations.

Fifteen years ago, on Christmas Eve, I reached in the oven, pulled out the ham, put it on the counter and then stood, watching in wonder as the heating element in the oven broke in half. So much for the Christmas turkey.

Having lived in China, I learned that where there is no Jesus, there is no Christmas, so while the ham rested, I went to the phone. When I asked the lady on the other end of the phone at our favorite Chinese restaurant if they still had reservations for Christmas, laughter was her reply.

Christmas day was wonderful. I enjoyed the morning, read my book, (the spiritual importance is a given, but you can’t really call it Christmas if you don’t unwrap an new book), and then about an hour before we left for the restaurant I got dressed. We were the only family in the place for the first hour. As we left another family was arriving. We tipped well.

That day was so wonderfully relaxed and stress free, a tradition was born. We watch A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve, but have yet to have the staff sing “Fa la la la” as we eat our Christmas dinner.

My son-in-law told us last year that a Chinese restaurant on Christmas is his favorite tradition in our family. Fair warning. Others have discovered the joy of making reservations instead of cooking. It is a very good idea to call your favorite restaurant and reserve your space.

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