I love the Christmas season (usually when I'm about 75% done my shopping). I definitely romanticize it, but I just the whole mood and atmosphere. Of course, the only way I can get to this point is by letting certain things just not get done. For example, Christmas cards.
As much as I love them, with work being so busy for both me and M3I, and with a 2-hour commute (including to and fro), I realize with the wisdom that comes with being outside the target demographic, that I can't do it all. I can't accept every invitation - even for stuff I really want to go to - the fact is, I'd rather spend as much time as possible at home with Charlie and M3I, wrapping presents, having hot chocolate, being silly, maybe listening to Johnny Mathis, and then turning off all the lights but the ones on the tree.
Other simplification strategies: I'm cancelling 99% of my email newsletters. Since I write them, I like to subscribe to them to see what other people and companies are doing. But my inbox runneth over, so I'm unsubscribing and opting out.
Also, between my brothers, we just buy gifts for the kids (and the grandparents).
Even an inkling of feeling overwhelmed sucks the joy out of what really can be a lovely, special time of year. I think that's a good indicator: the beginnings of feeling overwhelmed. A good sign to take measures to get control of a situation.
That's all. I'm just feeling happy. I better get back to work so I can leave on time to night and zip into Oink Oink and get a cute tea set for my adorable 3-year-old niece.