This Christmas was so unlike the others that have come before it, it took me a while to figure out what made everything seem so effortless and tasty. The turkey was moist and delish, the dining room was relatively clutter-free and all the gifts, though purchased over the course of a few months, were easily located and wrapped.

Okay, there was the trouble with the ultra-cheap "foil but more like cling-wrap" dollar-store paper, but at least we had lots of tape. We'll save the environment next month, we promise!

Seriously though, not once did I attempt to kill DH during holiday preparations. This is huge for me, as normally he goes through about 17 lives before it's time to carve the turkey.

I think I finally figured out the key to successfully beating holiday stress: enjoying the moment instead of worrying about how it will all turn out. ;)

Mom did an awesome job by bringing over all of the vegetables, so all DH and I had to do was the bird and stuffing. And Mum brought over mixed nuts for nibbling and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. The fathers did their part by eating as much as possible and refilling wine glasses when necessary.

Yeah, a trip to the gym was definitely in order. (And finally accomplished yesterday; the elliptical machine and I are not friends.) Mum also brought over the best Christmas crackers ever -- the little prizes were top quality and most of the jokes made us laugh!

Oh yes, hilarity ensued as we each donned paper hats and noshed on 500-calorie dessert. ;)

Zaphod, bless his little purring heart, even stayed off the dining room table most of the time. Well, he did sneak onto the table between dinner and dessert to nestle among the wine bottles, but he did place himself on a napkin.

The poor kitten waited patiently until all the dishes and other dinner-related items were removed before claiming the spot he's sorely missed since we turned the table into a wrapping station in mid-December.

And no, I haven't moved any of the clutter back into the dining room yet. My wee goal before the turn of the year is to send some of that stuff packing so that there's room for the new stuff that arrived on Christmas Day.

Then I'll take a stab at my goals for 2009.

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