For Christmas 2021, “I think it’s lovely when you can say, ‘we’re not going to meet on zoom, we’re going to meet in real life, face-to-face,’” shares Arlene Pellicane with a deep smile in her voice.

For many families, indeed this Christmas will be ‘no zoom, real life,’ as they reconnect in person after the artificial feel of last Christmas due to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions. That’s not to say people won’t take precautions about the virus now, but life has opened up more.

Arlene is host of The Happy Home podcast, which focuses on marriage and parenting on the curated website of podcasts AccessMore.

“I think, as a mom, what I’m really striving to create is this happy home, happy atmosphere, that the kids, when they’re grown and they’re adults, they want to come back to.” One facet of that is keeping the Christmas season as stress-free as possible. “It’s not like everyone going crazy…working on baking and decorations, and everyone’s fuse is short.”

How does someone do that? 

“I think many times we have to recalibrate as moms and say ‘you know what, I don’t have to cook as much. I don’t have to make this as fancy. It’d be much better if I was a saner person with my children (laughs)… they would probably appreciate that a lot more.” 

Arlene shares that on an upcoming AccessMore podcast, she talks with Sandra Stanley (wife of Pastor Andy Stanley), who says even though their children are grown, they all love to come back home. The Stanleys succeeded in creating the kind of home that their kids ‘want to come back to, when they don’t have to.’ 

The Happy Home podcast
[Photo Credit: AccessMore] 

Arlene has prepared an eBook, a free resource to help you make the most of this Christmas season. You can get that here.

Faith factor

When Arlene’s children were younger, they’d invite kids to come over to the house for hot chocolate, and then sing Christmas carols around the neighborhood. “And I was always amazed that these kids didn’t know these basic songs that I thought everyone knew, Joy to the World, Silent Night…they were looking at me like, ‘we don’t know these songs,’ which was very revealing. So, Arlene stresses the importance of sharing powerful Christmas classics. “Make them about the Christ child…O, Little Town of Bethlehem; O, Holy Night. Make them songs like that because they will stick in the heart of children.” 

In our complete K-LOVE News podcast interview below, Arlene shares practical and fun ways to help your kids or grandkids come to appreciate giving, maybe even more that getting. And you’ll hear about the great Christmas get-together peacemaker: food! 

Arlene & the whole family
[Photo Credit: Provided] Merry Christmas from Arlene & the whole family