It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the holidays then the next thing you know it’s all over and you’re ready for a long winter’s nap. So here’s 6 tips for a simple Christmas:
1. Be mindful of the Christmas parties you go to. Just because you’re invited doesn’t mean you’re have to be there. Opt to only go to the ones you enjoy and pass on the rest. This will leave you with more time, more energy, and a whole lot less stress. Plus it will keep you from over indulging in the treats of the season.
2. Cut down or cut out gift giving. For most people this is one of the biggest stresses of the holiday season. We don’t give gifts at Christmas but it’s definitely taken us several years to get here. We eased into homemade knits, then switched to baked goods and preserves, and now we don’t really exchange gifts at all. Oddly it’s just as much fun to say “Hey, I say this book on the internet and it made me think of you”.
This is a huge weight lifted, our families haven’t quite come around to it but it’s so much nicer. I’d much rather my Mom take us out to dinner where we can relax and catch up, instead of trying to figure out where to keep a shiny new kitchen gadget. For those of you with kids you still want to buy gifts for, what about experimenting with want, need, wear, read?
3. Make space. With warm outdoor days behind us and the yard put to bed for the winter our house is slowly filling up with all the things we brought in from summer.
Our hammock is rolled up in a corner, outdoor lights are in a pile in the dining room, dried herbs need to be chopped and stored, and my basket of gardening tools is still by the back door. Then there’s the painting supplies from when I did our closet door, the broken picture frame that needs to go, and the pile of things for Goodwill under the table.
All these things need to go away, or just plain go, before anything else comes into our home or goes on display. Our house needs to breathe.
4. Bake once a week. Instead of rushing to meet the Christmas deadline, why not bake one thing each week? You can munch on sugar cookies for seven days then move on to the next thing. You’ll save yourself some stress and maybe help curb the sugar binge.
5. Go easy on the tinsel. Do you really need all those festive decorations cluttering your house? What if instead you focus on making your home warm and comfy-cozy for the winter season. Think candles, fuzzy blankets, and pinecones. Then you won’t be racing around the week or two after Christmas trying to stuff everything red and green back into the attic, because you just can’t have that stuff out into the new year.
6. Tame the feast beast. How many feasts have you been to where you eat way too much and feel stuffed and uncomfortable afterwards? For me it’s pretty much every Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Food is definitely my weakness! While all we really need is a salad, one main dish, a couple of vegetables, and a nice dessert, anything more will add to the stress of the day and end up sending us to bed early.
Think your family isn’t interested in a simple Christmas? Take a look at this Ikea video that’s circulating the internet, it made me teary-eyed and we don’t even have little ones.
Do you find the holiday season stressful? What is most overwhelming for you? What are your tips for toning things down?