Sometimes you hear the greatest tips on life from the smallest conversations.

A brief chat on Sunday was just the latest example of this syndrome.  There we were, milling around Fellowship Hall after church, enjoying that great annual feast known as Cookie Sunday.  In addition to the usual tea and coffee table, there were tables stretching to the moon and back,   loaded with a vast, vast array of home-baked cookies.

I believe Malcolm collected and ate six – and that was just his first pass. 

I bumped into a guy, Tom – he and his wife have two teenage daughters.  After the initial chat about how our 18 year olds are doing, I asked about how his family spends Christmas Day.  He said “We love Christmas in our house, and it’s usually just the four of us.”

He warmed to his story.  “But about 8 years ago, I had to put my foot down, in this household of females, and decree that something had to change.  The cookies for Santa had to be perfect . The decorations had to be perfect.  The tree had to be perfect.  And so on.  The production values were out of control, and the stress was ruining all the fun!”

Tom came up with a solution.  It was, he said, just one little detail that he fine-tuned.  “Nothing about Christmas changed, except one thing – and that made the whole day relaxing instead of turbo-charged. ”  Had I been sitting, I would have been on the edge of my seat.  “What did you do, Tom?  What was the detail?”

Tom sagely answered thusly:  “We spend the whole day in our pajamas.   And that changes the whole tone.”

I love the fact that Tom issued a fatwah on getting dressed up, or even dressed, on Christmas.   No one is vanishing to primp for hours.  Imagine!

What a fun family tradition – and think of the great photos that must result.  It’s not too late to call 1-800-pajamagram.  (If you’ve ever done that, let me know.)

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