My guest posters just keep getting better, and more dear to my heart as this time progresses. For the many of you who have emailed and asked about my hand and how it is improving, let me thank you. I am doing well, enjoying this extra time with my family (or my pillow since I normally blog after Littles are in bed) and healing quite rapidly.

Today, for my last guest poster before the holidays,  you get to hear from someone who is a gem in real life. Amy, from Amy FritzWrites is a very dear, very old friend who truly was a roomie in College. She can sing like an angel, has a heart for the less fortunate among us, and left the cold North to settle in Nashville TN with her whiz of a hubby, Nathan. She has endured great pain, and great joy, and I love to read what she writes because it is just as if she is in the room reading a letter to me. I am blessed to be honored to share this page with her, and pray that you will do her the honor of sharing, commenting, and taking her very appropriate advice to heart this coming week and beyond.

Blessings to you and yours,

PicMonkey Collage


I’m so honored to be offered a platform on my dear friend,Heather’s, blog.

In honor of the holiday season, I thought I would share a few things I’ve been thinking about doing with my family so that we can enjoy this season.

5 Ways To Add Meaning and Eliminate Stress During The Holidays

1.Dump the unnecessary traditions that create more work than

Here’s a secret. That sweet potato casserole that you make every Thanksgiving because it’s “tradition”? Your kids hate it. Ok, maybe they don’t. They might love it. Maybe it’s homemade Christmas cards, a complicated recipe, or going to a thousand parties. Take a hard look at those traditions that are a lot of work. Ask yourself, “Is the payoff at least equal to the effort I’m spending?” If not, maybe it’s time to create a different tradition.

My husband just read this tip and said if it was creating too much work for me to “do the cranberries” he would be happy to open the can and dump them in a bowl for me. He’s thoughtful that way.

2. Leave white space on your calendar.

Have you ever looked at your spouse and asked if anything was on the calendar for that day and then high-fived each other because NOTHING was scheduled? If so, you’ll understand the peace that can come from having room to breathe in the middle of frantic busyness. Leave room for downtime.


3. Give Jesus something He wants for His birthday.

Matthew 25:34-40 reads like Jesus’ Christmas list. There really is no
mystery about what he wants for his birthday. If you reallocated just $11 from your Christmas budget you could help a family receive nourishment and provide a source of income.

4. Consider buying gifts for your kids that aren’t toys.

I’m not naive. Your kids will likely be disappointed if there are no toys to open on Christmas. But what if there were less toys? For our family, we’re considering, taking some of the money that would have gone towards toys and getting a family zoo pass or science museum membership. The result is less toys to clutter the house and and a gift that encourages family time.

5. Shop locally and ethically.

If you want to know the money you are spending on gifts is going
to a good cause, you can’t go wrong by choosing to support a
friends’ home business. You can also find a great list here of companies making “positive efforts in environmental stewardship, no forced labor in the
making of products, and ethical treatment of employees”.

I’d love to hear what your family does to make the season special.
What do you do to make it meaningful? How do you keep from
getting stressed out by all the demands for your time and

Amy blogs about faith, family and homeschooling at Amy Writes at
She is a native Minnesotan who recently relocated to the
Nashville, TN area. She and her husband, Nathan, have three
children: Ethan-8 ½, Audrey-7, and Isaac-4.