I clicked over and read a post we have here on MNN titled "9 things that could ruin your Christmas." The disasters range from setting your house on fire because of candles to having a heart attack because of stress. Those are definitely things that can ruin Christmas.


There are other things that we think might ruin Christmas, but in reality, they won't. These are usually things that we think are important, even though they might stress us out during the season. The reality is the stress is what can ruin Christmas (see above).


So here's my list of 9 things that most likely won't ruin Christmas, even if you think they will.


  1. Sending out your Christmas cards after Christmas. It's like an after-Christmas bonus to get someone's card after Dec. 25, so don't worry about not getting them done before Christmas. It will all be OK. (It will even be OK if you don't get them out at all.)
  1. Leaving some of the holiday decorations in storage. You don't have to use all of your decorations every single year. Pull out just your favorites and be less stressed when you're decorating.
  1. Letting your kids dress casually for the church service. It took me a long time to feel comfortable with this one, but now my boys wear jeans (hopefully ones without holes) and a nice shirt or sweater on Christmas Eve to church.
  1. Having store-bought cookies on the cookie tray. If you didn't have the time to bake a dozen different types of cookies this year, or even one type of cookie for a cookie exchange, it's OK. Buy some cookies from the store bakery or an independent bakery.
  1. Doing holiday traditions out of order. I'm not an organized person, but for some reason, I have a specific order that I like my favorite Christmas traditions to come in. One of them is watching Bill Murray's "Scrooged" the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, we didn't get to do that, and I pouted. We watched it the following weekend and guess what, my Christmas season has not been ruined.
  1. Un-dyed roots. I was looking through last year's Christmas and New Year’s photos and apparently I didn't have the time to make it to the salon. If the photos are any evidence, I had a good time even with an inch of untouched roots. (Although, in full disclosure, I have an appointment on Dec. 23 this year for a touch-up.)
  1. Not doing what the experts say you should. I watched sadly last year in the grocery store as a young woman was having a breakdown in the aisle with what appeared to be her husband. She was practically crying and I heard her say something like, "This is the first time I'm cooking Christmas dinner, and I read in Martha Stewart that I should…" I wanted to run over and tell her to ignore any person who has a bevy of personal assistants who tells you that you should do something. This year's not-so-perfect holiday whatever will become next year's holiday story that's told around the dinner table with smiles and laughter. It won't ruin anything.
  1. Your child choosing not to participate in the holiday concert at school (or some other event). My oldest hates to be in the spotlight. Every year I noticed he kind of mouthed the words to the songs (not very well, either). His last year of grammar school he told us that the teacher said the concert was optional, and he really didn't want to do it. We told him he didn't have to. He chose not to. Nothing was ruined. In fact, it made the week before Christmas less stressful for us all.
  1. No snow. Okay, this one is directed at my boys. I don't know where they get the idea that it always snows on Christmas, but they genuinely seem surprised when there's no snow. It's like they expect Santa to deliver it with the presents. After their initial shock, they realize that there is no snow but there are presents, and nothing is ruined after all.

The thing is, enjoying the holiday season gets a lot easier when you realize that if you have your friends and family around you, there's very little else that can truly ruin your Christmas unless you decide to let it.


Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

9 things that won't ruin your Christmas
It's OK if your cards don't get out on time or your kids wear jeans to church. Nothing will be ruined.