Christmas lessons I learned the hard way. Maybe someone can learn from these and maybe I can learn from yours - please share My dogs love wrapping paper. It was the first Christmas with my two puppies (Great Dane and English Bulldog). My daughter was young at the time and still believed in Santa so I put all of the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve after she went to bed. It looked so pretty, like a Norman Rockwell painting. By the morning, it looked like something from a comedy movie. Presents all throughout the downstairs, some with holes, some shredded, some completely unwrapped. Thankfully the presents themselves were all OK. Of course, I was completely devastated, but my DD and DH laughed and found it quite amusing. Lesson learned: My dogs love wrapping paper, so on Christmas Eve they get locked in our bedroom! Don't wait to wrap That about says it all doesn't it? Before I discovered the wonderful MHH site I would wait to wrap. I would be up late at night wrapping presents. I would be so tired and develop a bad case of "good enough" if the corner ripped, if I just threw it in a bag, etc...all good enough. One year I ran out of paper and resorted to using Happy Birthday wrapping paper. (It is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, right?) Lesson learned - don't wait to wrap, it will always take you longer than expected, you will be more tired than expected, you will need more supplies than expected. Trust me Do not try out new recipes Christmas Day I am not sure what I was thinking one year. It the first year that I drew the line in the sand and said "Christmas at our house, all invited, we are not traveling with the baby" Maybe I wanted to make a great first impression, maybe I was sleep deprived from having a breast feeding baby with colic, who knows why but I decided to make a gourmet Christmas meal and it was, well.....horrible. First time out of the gate and I attempted Boeuf en Croute, twice baked garlic potatoes, and Beet and Onion Compote. Never tried them before, but my magazine said it was the way to go, I clearly made a wrong turn. Lesson learned....we are not a gourmet family, we are a meat and potatoes type of family, stick to the what everyone likes, and try the recipe months beforehand, a few times. Christmas trees always look smaller on the lot He warned me, he did. DH said that the tree was way to big. Nah I said, its not that big. I should have known I was spatially challenged. I should have known that standing in the middle of the parking lot the tree would look smaller than in the middle of my living room. I should have known that when I picked out the monster ( forever known as the incredible hulk tree) and DH rubbed his hand over his face, sighed, and said OK, if you say so... that it would not end well. I knew there was a problem when we brought it home, but still determined not to admit defeat I said, well lets take out the recliner, and the table, and the magazine rack. We got it in and I kid you not about 3 feet of the top of the tree was curved up against the ceiling, you couldn't see the TV from any seat in the house, I only had enough lights and ornaments for a quarter of it. Perfect, I said, but I couldn't keep a straight face. Lesson learned - go big or go home does not apply to Christmas trees The most important lesson....it is what it is This was probably the hardest one to learn. Sometimes you just have to say, it is what it is and be happy and grateful. Whatever the circumstance.....imperfect dinner.....incomplete decorations....not getting or receiving the perfect gift...not having every nook and cranny of the house cleaned....gaining 5 pounds.....no matter, just say it is what it is. Be happy, Be grateful, Count your blessings one by one, enjoy the day and if with family, enjoy them as well!