How We Created a No Stress Christmas Day and You Can Too!

December 7, 2016

We saved our family Christmas Day by doing nothing. Six or seven Christmases ago we started doing “nothin’ ” for Christmas Day.   It came as a revelation to my husband and I when the boys were really little. (Affiliate links provided so you can find products and we can support the blog-thank you so much for reading!)

What Are the Two Things Children Want Most on Christmas Day?

  1. Be with family
  2. Play with their toys


What are the Two Things Parents want most on Christmas Day?

  1. Be with family
  2. Rest and not stress

Why We Drastically Changed Our Christmas Day Tradition

At 3&5 our children were far from interested in a big sit down Christmas Dinner with table cloths and china.  Since it was just the 4 of us, I was not sure why I was stressing out to make a big fancy meal that no one cared about anyway.  Plus, the boys did not want to stop playing with toys long enough to sit at the table and eat.

At that time we lived out in the county and packing up the boys to go to a friends house would mean leaving our house for 4-6 hours.  Also not cool with little boys and new toys.

Finally, both Jerry and I worked service industry jobs in a resort town that was flooded with guests during the holiday season.  If we did manage to get Christmas day off together we really did not want to share the boys and our selves with anyone else.

A five minute kitchen discussion changed the way we have done Christmas for the last 6 years.

The “do nothin” Christmas is born!

How we saved our family Christmas


Here is how a No Stress Christmas Day Works

Everyone selects an easy to fix or fix yourself favorite food for Christmas Day.
We open presents and make short phones call to family members.
We eat when we want where we want.  (This is a Christmas treat as we are stanch believers in family meals.)
Cuddle on the couch and watch movies/ play with toys and play a family game.

Just think if you did not have to visit with family or cook a big meal you would not have to worry about time or getting dressed.

Do “Nothin'” Christmas Day Stopped All the Stress

A messy house Christmas day – no problem
Frito’s and chocolate milk for breakfast–knock yourself out
Want to spend 6 hours with your new hot wheels race track–go for it
Need to nap after breakfast–great
Want to go for a walk–super just pull on your snow pants over your jammies

The shear decadence of not being scheduled to do anything all day makes the Do “Nothin’ ” Christmas Day the biggest, “bestest”, family present ever.  It fits the top two wishes on both kids and adult Christmas Day Lists. Now when friends do ask, if we would like to join them for Christmas, I just smile and say no we already have plans.

I realize that many of you reading this have family close by and that a “Do-Nothin’ ” Christmas Day may be out of the question, if you want to remain a family member.  My suggestion is to find a day, December 26 when you can “Do-Nothin” “.  Think of it like indoor camping.  All you do is take care of the basics and enjoy being together.

Our Favorite Christmas Games for a No Stress Christmas Day






By Tanya Gioia

Tanya is learning to greet each day with "Ok God, what are we doing today?" She delights in her two sons and husband as they continue a family journey of recovery. Breathing and trusting God through the joys of everyday life is a full time job!


  1. Reply

    Linda Sikes

    This is a great idea! Also, I like the idea of having the “do nothing day” on the 26th if it is not possible on the 25th!

    1. Reply

      Tanya Gioia

      Wish you could be here to celebrate doing nothing with us!

  2. Reply


    Isn’t is amazing that we have to make plans to do nothing? It’s a great way to make memories when you relax the schedule to just enjoy the day. We all just need a reminder that it’s okay to just do nothin’.

    1. Reply

      Tanya Gioia

      It is hard to schedule nothing when so many things take our time. Do nothin’ for Christmas is really a family treat!

  3. Reply


    I love this! We’ve turned to a more and more causal Christmas over the years. We always stay home, invite anyone who’s like to come over, eat what we actually like bs sticking to traditional menu, play a game we buy for family, -and watch movies!

    1. Reply

      Tanya Gioia

      We did just that and had an awesome time.

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