A few years ago I found Christmas to be overwhelming and a bit chaotic. There was too much shopping, crafting, wrapping, and busyness. I decided it needed to change. I wanted to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, to celebrate the birth of our Savior, and feel the magic and peace of the season. Here are a few ways we keep Christmas simple.
|| I prepare and plan early. This is so helpful. It is a joy to prepare and finish early, it can be drudgery to work on something last minute. I try to start preparing and planning in late September or early October.
|| I go through my children's items and let go of toys and other stuff before the holiday gift giving begins.
|| I focus on 4 main things. My main concerns are gifts, christmas cards, the 12 days of Christmas, and food. I try to keep these as simple as possible.
|| We keep important traditions and let go of others.
|| We realize we don't have to do the same things each year. If we decorate gingerbread houses one year, we don't have to do it the next year. It can still be a tradition, just not a yearly tradition.
|| We limit gift giving tin our immediate family. I started gifting stocking stuffers and one big gift to each of my children.
|| I plan a set period of time to accomplish holiday task. I try to decorate for a couple days. We make Christmas treats for a day. Whatever I haven't completed in that set amount of time, I just don't worry about completing.
|| I let a lot go. If it feels like too much, I ask myself if it is needful, and it usually isn't. If it is something we need to do, I try to let something else go from my list so I have time to do the activity or task at hand.
|| We limit the amount of activities we attend.
|| I indulge in simple self care. I let myself hunker down with a book, a piece of chocolate, and some herbal tea. I cuddle with my kids and watch a Christmas movie. I take a hot bath. I try to be present in the moment.
|| I keep it simple by adding holiday decor to my existing home decor. In years past I have removed my home decor items and replaced them with holiday decor. It has taking a lot of time and effort. Now I focus on a couple main areas where I decorate a lot, then I just add little touches of items, tucked into my everyday decor.
|| I have collections of Christmas decor. It seems simple for me to collect a set of items. I group them together when I decorate and it keeps the process super simple.
|| I limit my trips to the store and order most items and have them delivered to my home.
|| I limit my purchases of new holiday decor to 1-2 new items a year.
|| I take off the week after Christmas. Even when we keep it simple, we are still very busy at this time of year, and a long break helps ground and rejuvenate us.
These are just a handful of ways I keep it simple. The season is about celebrating the birth of the Savior, it is about service, and spending time together. Letting go of the excess stress and focusing on what is most important creates space to truly enjoy this season of peace. I can't believe the difference simplicity can makes.
What do you do to simplify the season?