Do you have what you need to cook for Thanksgiving? Did you get your house cleaned yet for company? How\u2019s the Christmas shopping going? For adults, the holiday season is one long to-do list on top of the regular errands, chores and tasks of daily life. Scheduling can be a nightmare \u2014 which set of grandparents do you visit first? Do you go anywhere on the holiday itself? Did you remember to pencil in the Christmas play at church, the school concert and your nephew\u2019s solo performance at their church? With all the rush and extra obligations, it can be hard to enjoy any of the season. I know this first-hand \u2014 I\u2019ve had a couple of years when it doesn\u2019t feel as though there\u2019s been a holiday of any sort because everything became just one more item to be crossed off a list. I don\u2019t like those years. I can\u2019t get them back and I missed so much. Sure, we made it to everything, but it was an unsuccessful year because it didn\u2019t make any memories to remember later. When I start to get into \u201cmechanical mom\u201d mode and approach everything as just another task, I have to almost physically step back. When I need to refocus I look no further than my kids. In the weeks and days leading up to Thanksgiving, my daughter eagerly anticipated the day. I\u2019ve turned over decorating the house to her, so her \u201cwork\u201d for the holiday has been complete since just after Halloween, but the joy kept growing. The thought of seeing widespread family members brought her nothing but joy. The idea of extra dishes to wash didn\u2019t cross her mind once before the dinner was finished. She\u2019s also been hard at work creating presents for family members. She does have a limited Christmas budget but wanted to give more than just what she could spend. It\u2019s all there \u2014 the happiness, the love, the joy of doing for others. That\u2019s what I tend to forget as I try to figure out how to get everyone from point A to point B. When you look at all the things that make the holidays magical for your kids, it\u2019s easy to see what should be left off the ever-growing to-do list. The kids don\u2019t care if there are 15 different varieties of Christmas cookies if they get to help bake and decorate the three kinds you actually can get done with their assistance. (Yes, break-and-bake cookies from the grocery store DO count. You can put sprinkles on them just as easily as from-scratch homemade cookies. Especially if your kids are small, this is a great option.) They also don\u2019t care if you have the carpet deep-cleaned before the family comes to visit or if the tops of the doorframes are dusty. (And if your mother-in-law cares \u2026 well, you don\u2019t have to live with her.) What matters is the time you spend with the kids. Take a moment to look at the season through their eyes and it\u2019ll all be clear.\u00a0 Let\u2019s be honest, I\u2019ve been making up this parenting thing as I go along ever since my son was born. I know there\u2019s more experienced parents out there and folks with different ideas. Respond to my column by emailing me at email@example.com, and you might see your thoughts in print in an upcoming issue of the Herald Review.