As children, my parents made us sit in rapture at the top of the stairs awaiting an official start to Christmas morning. Until the ripe old age of thirteen, we weren’t allowed in the family room until beckoned. What I’m certain was merely a peacekeeping tactic on their end created a seemingly unbearable sense of anticipation for us. Our minds raced and hearts beat faster at the thought of unwrapping toys, feasting on cinnamon buns, and drinking our body weight in sparkling cider. That day was always uninhibited bliss.

As happens with many aspects of growing older, luster fades. Those enchanting sentiments dissolve into taxing responsibilities: A need to purchase the perfect gift, craft the most delectable meal, and host an unforgettable holiday party. Each year brings with it unique pressures or difficulties which dull our childlike enthusiasm.