At Christmas our homes are filled with family, friends and hopefully those that we can…
I want to share with you Seven Keys to Simplify Your Christmas. For many people the Christmas season becomes more of a burden than a joyful time of year. Unwanted obligations, the guilt and the exhaustion of the whole season far out weighs the pleasures it brings. Christ’s birth becomes overshadowed with commercialism to many people which only leads to a time-consuming stress. This stress gears up the day right after Thanksgiving or even sooner and continues through New Year’s.
For many people the Christmas season becomes more of a burden than a joyful time of year. The obligations, the guilt and the exhaustion of the whole season far out weighs the pleasures it brings. Christ’s birth becomes overshadowed with commercialism to many people which only leads to a time-consuming stress. This stress gears up the day right after Thanksgiving or even sooner and continues through New Year’s.
So what are we to do to make our Christmas a joyful time if we do not organize all the details?
Simplifying the holidays is not the same thing as organizing them. When you organize, you are just moving around your heavy loads within your own time constraints of life. When you simplify, you are actually eliminating large chunks of these heavy loads. It’s about doing less so you will have more time to do what is really important.
Give yourself permission to simplify and choose what is best so you can keep your focus on the real meaning of Christmas, Christ’s birth.
Let’s look at a few of the traditions that can steal away our focus as we rethink them deciding if they are enhancing our hindering our Christmas season.
Christmas Cards: Do you try to write a personal message in each one to people you have not spoken to all year? How about printing off one newsletter and mailing it to everyone on your card list instead. Personally, around the time I had my 3rd child I gave up doing cards all together. Don’t gasp, but I even took out the stress of sending out that infamous family Christmas picture too. I found carving out time with my little ones was more important than having a stressed out momma.
Kids and Gifts: I learned early on that it was important that the kids did not spend hours poring over the toy catalogs or walking through the toy isles. We got them active in serving others instead. We spent our time buying goodies to fill the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. We also bought and had them help deliver groceries to meet the needs for those that struggle with their finances during the holiday season.
Parties: Specifically, trying to attend all the parties and thus become so stretched and pulled that you start regretting them instead of looking forward to them. It’s ok to say no, reply that I already have plans that day. Your plan can be to stay home and spend time with your family, that’s ok.
Spending money: Simplify your budget. Remember the focus is not on how extravagant a holiday you can obtain, for who’s celebration is it really? Christ’s birth was not an extravagant high dollar party, but a humble focus on the Savior of the World coming.
Food: Do you really need to make 25 different kinds of cookies? Why not settle for letting each family member pick their most favorite and make only those. When it comes to meals, get other’s involved, great memories can be made cooking that special family recipe together. Also, don’t feel like everything during the season has to be homemade. Start some memorable traditions with take out. Maybe Pizza and It’s a Wonderful Life movie night.
Decorations: If it’s stressful to get your home all decorated so other’s won’t think you are slack in the Christmas cheer then this is the year to stop. Simplify your decorating by choosing to do what brings your family joy instead. Another word of caution, don’t look at Christmas idea magazines at the check out of the store. These magazines are great for tips and ideas but they are not measuring sticks as to how our homes should look, feel or smell during Christmas.
Activities: Don’t compare how you spend your time during the holidays with what others are doing. Just because the neighbor next door drives 50 miles to buy their Christmas tree at the same farm every year and then comes back and has a huge decorating the tree party does not mean you need to do this also. If it’s easier and makes your life better run up to your local hardware store and buy one on their front sidewalk. No big deal, our Creator made them all anyway. There were some years when my kids were really young that we did not do a tree at all. Some times for financial reasons and some years it was because we saw commercialism creeping into our Christmas holiday so we spent time focusing on the real meaning of the season, Christ’s birth and sharing that gift with others.
I want you to remember that you do not have to do it all nor should others expect you to. Simplify and choose to do a few of the best things with your time not what you think others expect of you.
For more ideas on how to simplify your Christmas be sure and visit my Pinterest board Simplify Your Christmas
What are some changes you need to make in order to simplify your Christmas season so you can enjoy it more and keep the focus on Christ, the real reason for the season.