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The holiday season is upon us but that doesn’t mean it’s all happiness and joy. In fact, it tends to be one of the most stressful times of the year as everyone gears up to get their homes and selves Christmas-ready. So to alleviate some of the stress, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are scaling back. Big time.

We already know that Harry and Meghan have opted out of spending Christmas at Sandringham with the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family, which means we won’t get to see Harry, Meghan and Archie do that annual walk from the Queen’s main house on her country estate to the Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene Church. The couple have done it the past two years but this year’s set to be different. Instead, they are doing a small Christmas with Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, celebrating Archie’s first Christmas as a new family. And despite the reports that the Queen is disappointed they won’t be there, the opposite couldn’t be more true as Harry and Meghan have also revealed that they have Her Majesty’s support to skip the royal festivities. But does that include all the celebrations?

Because they won’t be at Sandringham for Christmas lunch, that also means the Sussexes are missing out on the gift-giving that happens on Christmas Eve. The Daily Mail also reported there’s another holiday event from which Harry and Meghan will MIA: the pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace this Wednesday. They reportedly didn’t make an appearance at Monday night’s annual palace party with royal staffers either. “As the couple made clear a few weeks ago, they are taking some time away together as a family,” a source told the Mail. “This means that they will miss Christmas events.”

Harry and Meghan are currently enjoying some down time from royal duties to simply spend time together as a family, with son Archie and Doria. Those in the know have insisted that it’s by no means a snub and the Queen is “understanding of the situation.”

They’re also not the first ones to skip Christmas with the Windsors. William and Kate spent Christmas 2016 with the Middletons at their Bucklebury home. Sometimes a family wants to forego a big formal celebration in favour of a more intimate affair. Ain’t nothing wrong with that and if Her Maj is on board, why wouldn’t they take the time out for themselves?

It’s been widely reported that the Sussexes and Ragland are spending the holidays in the U.S., and may already be there now, but there have been no sightings as of yet.

The last time Harry and Meghan were out together was Remembrance Sunday, though we get regular updates from and about the couple on their Instagram page.

According to the Mail, Harry and Meghan will be back on royal duty in January, to launch their new charity, Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It’s a mouthful, but we can’t wait to see what the couple bring in 2020.

Meghan Markle shares her secret to being happy