Every year after the holidays happen, I say to myself “Next year will be different” but sadly it never is. I am always stressed to the max, running around and I never feel that I am able to fully enjoy the holidays like everyone else around me. I am up late wrapping gifts, or cleaning and cooking for everyone while they enjoy play time with my kids. The living room is always a mess because of all the paper wrappings from the millions of gifts that the kids get and they “need” to open every last one of them, right away.
It’s a battle that I think a lot of moms deal with every year. We want our lives to be pinterest perfect, to have that ideal Christmas we feel our children will remember for their entire lives, well guess what, they don’t. I have a feeling that the ultimate gift you can give your child is your time. Time together as a family, mom sitting down with them Christmas morning and playing together. This is why this year I vow to do better.
I have been thinking a lot about how I can make the Christmas holiday season more simplistic, really trying to embrace being more intentional and mindful in all areas that surround the holidays. So I have come up with a list of 8 ways that I hope will help you embrace the simple and say no to the commercialization that Christmas has become.
8 Simple ways to Embrace a Simplistic Christmas
- Set a budget/limit: Do not spend what you do not have. I know that sounds simple, but more than often so many people dig out their credit cards and charge during the holidays, often taking months to repay it all back.
- Talk to your family about what gifts: You would be surprised at how many people actually want to be more mindful and intentional with the holidays, My sister in law and I decided a few years back that we would stop exchanging gifts between the kids and ourselves. We decided when they come to visit during the holidays that we would do something together. Last yer we ordered pizza and the kids went sledding in the yard. We all had so much fun and it only cost us a pizza.
- Keep your decorations minimal: This will be hard for me but I am determined to do this. Last year it took me 2 days to decorate. We had 5….yes 5 Christmas trees (seriously, no one needs 5). Although, if 5 trees is your thing, then go for it. I think the thing with being minimal is completely up to you and what you feel is minimal. Maybe you have had 8 trees in the past and now 5 is minimal to you. Just do what makes you happy!
- Make it homemade: If you are going to exchange gifts then have the kids help and make them homemade. I have some wonderful ideas for grandparents already lined up and I can’t wait to share them with you.
- Step away from technology: Social media can be your best friend but it can also be your worst. Take a step back from seeing what everyone else is doing and remember the reason why you are doing this.
- Keep cooking/baking simple: Don’t feel that you have to create a 5 course Christmas dinner with the perfect table scape. Guess what, your family came over to see you and your family, not to see how you decorated your table. Stick to recipes that are easy to make and that you know your entire family will love. Also, if you really do not enjoy baking, then buy something at the store. Believe me, no one will care if the pie is store brought.
- Create a Vision: Decide what you want your ideal Christmas season to look like and create a vision board, this way you can look back at it if you start to get over whelmed.
- Simplify traditions: As a family we love Elf on a shelf. I have been doing it since C was 2 and will continue because I love it (and we may be adding another Elf and friend into our traditions) but our elf doesn’t go crazy. We keep it simple because realistically it doesn’t matter what our “Max” does, the kids just like to find him in the morning. Make sure to do those traditions that you love to do, not the ones you feel you “need” to do. If you don’t like to send Christmas cards, then don’t. Do what you want to do because your children will remember it is the time spent together.
Everyone’s ideas of minimal and simplistic can be different and that is something I have learned through this time while on my journey of being more intentional. What I may feel is minimal can be different from what others feel is minimal.
Embrace what makes you happy and you do you.