The joy of the Christmas season is something that many strive to keep alive in their heart and in their home throughout the year. Retailers and zealous decorators have begun to bring out decorations, advertise holiday sales and pipe in seasonal music well before Thanksgiving over the years, creating an onslaught that makes many weary. Rather than box up the entire package of Christmas the day after the final celebration, the week between Christmas and the new Year is actually the perfect time to absorb all the messages.

The reasoning is simple: the week leading up to Christmas is usually accompanied with such frenzied last minute preparations that the message of peace that the holiday embodies tends to be lost on the celebrants.

The gifts are unwrapped, the feasts have been prepared and eaten, parties have been attended. This week can be the real week of magic for families to relax, enjoy the gifts of the season, reflect on the year past and prepare for the year ahead. No more last minute shopping or baking is required and the luxury home of your dreams has been carefully prepared for this week. Keep the lights up and on, change the music, keep the candles lit and start a new tradition that minimizes planning and maximizes the company of your loved ones.

Plan family activities:

Children have another week free from school, college students usually have two, and many lucky adults have a light work week or minimal commitments. It is the perfect time for carefree days of sledding or other Wisconsin outdoor activities that get pushed aside due to holiday preparations.

Play with those new games or gadgets:

Young and old usually receive interesting new gifts over Christmas. Take them out of the boxes, figure out how they work and enjoy them.

Have a special family meal:

Don’t let Christmas dinner be the last meal of the year that engages your entire family in your new custom kitchen, enjoyed in the dining room with special dishes and decorations. Take advantage of all the planning that went into the holiday and prepare a simple, stress-free feast with your loved ones that utilizes the holiday finery, even with leftovers, focusing on togetherness and conversation.

Start a new tradition:

Each New Year symbolizes transitions and new beginnings, and new homes are the perfect opportunity to create, revive or reinterpret family traditions. From a tree-burning party to a special meal or game night, start a new tradition of life and love in your home for generations to come.

Christmastime traditionally brings families and friends together each year. Sometimes expectations, schedules and commitments allow for the true message of the season to be lost in the bustle. Let the week between Christmas and the New Year be the peaceful week that allows for relaxation and reflection with your family, in the home you have designed, built, remodeled and/or lovingly created together.