Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive, or exhausting, full of expectation or perfection. It just needs to be a relaxing moment full of good memories and yummy peppermint hot chocolate’s. Here are some simple ways to clear away the clutter for the season and just breathe…
I grew up with the idea that Christmas should stay more about the meaning of Christmas and time as a family, than about the perfect. I would show up to school after the two-week break and be super embarrassed by the small list we got for Christmas, while my friends had a long list of stuff to brag about. That being said, I loved the simple magic of Christmas we had just being together. There was always some fun practical surprises for us under the tree. And usually a fun gift for the family or just us girls to share. One year we each got a colored towel so we knew who’s towel was who’s (maybe so we couldn’t blame the other for who left their towel on the floor;)). But I loved it! And it really taught me the value of what is important.
One tradition I love to do with our own family now that I am grown up is to wake up on Christmas morning to a beautiful spread of Christmas brunch. I will wake up a bit earlier than everyone else to pop the preprepared casseroles into the oven. I set the table the day before and we enjoy the beautiful meal together followed by presents or just our stockings it if we got too eager the night before with our presents:).
I love the simplicity of this tree from A Merry Thought
I love the whole Christmas season but I know how overwhelming the process can be. Here are some simple ways to create a more meaningful Christmas so you can trade the clutter, expense, and stress, and choose to enjoy the special moments with the ones you love.
HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR CHRISTMAS
Ask everyone for their shopping list
So you know what they want.
Make a budget and stick to it
It’s not about having a bunch of expensive gifts, it’s about the company you get to enjoy it with.
Buy wrapping boxes or gift bags
I got my fun boxes from Superstore for a good price. And look how cute they are! I didn’t want to worry about wrapping paper this year, so this really made things simple. And your gifts must remain small enough to fit in the boxes so it made it less expensive too! No wrapping needed.
Shop during black Friday sales to save money
You can do this online or in store, but if you make your lists beforehand and do your research to know where the best sales are for the items you are looking for, you can get in, get the best price, and get out. I love this way of shopping. That being said, I live in Canada and I think the states may be a lot more chaotic in stores. So you may want to stay behind your computer and have your gifts delivered right to your door:)
This theory resulted in some great savings and everyone had their list filled…ok, some of their list filled as my 16-year-old asked for a car, a snake, a dog… yup.)
Play the white elephant game
Instead of pulling names and going shopping, use what you have that you don’t need anymore and wrap it. Get silly with your gift. It is sooo fun!!! Especially in a large group. If you don’t have something to wrap, go to Bibles for missions and find something useful. Like a classic old game or movie. Even some fun painted picture frames or tools. It still has the fun of unwrapping something, but way funnier! Who knows? You may still get something that you could actually use! It’s great for recycling. You could save the money you would have spent otherwise, or put the money you would have spent towards a food hamper for a local family in need.
Make a dinner menu and then shop for the ingredients
Make a shopping list from your Christmas menu. Go shopping for these items a week or two earlier, so you have them ready to prep when needed. Of course, there is always something to text your husband to pick up on his way home. It at least takes out the need to go out to the busy shopping places right before Christmas saving your sanity.
Spend a day preparing your food
A day or two before Christmas, enjoy the day with your kids and get the meals and appys prepped and cleaned up, ready for Christmas.
Be flexible about what day you meet.
If you have extended family, or your kids coming home for Christmas, set aside another day to get together. You don’t have to get together on Christmas to make it count. We have done our own special celebration on the 23rd or 26th instead. Being that we weren’t rushed and were able to preserve our own family time, it made it a much more relaxing experience.
Pick the important gatherings and skip the rest
Or do a rotation of the extended gathering each year.It’s not worth melting down just to keep up with the Jones’s expectations.
Keep the Christmas decor easy
Have a prelit or even pre-decorated small tree and call it a day. Make it simple and festive. Get the kids to get creative and make your decorations to save money. It can be super fun! Even if it’s hard to motivate them to join in:). All of our stuff was in storage this Christmas, so I had my kiddos make fun decor including our fireplace to hang our stockings on!
Hopefully, this helps you feel a little less stressed about your Christmas experience. And don’t forget the real meaning of the season (watch this cute video for an amazing reminder). In such a simple, humble way, our sweet Savior Jesus came to this earth to bring us all hope, so we can come into His presence for all eternity. What a joy to reflect on!
Don't let striving to create the perfect setting steal your joy from enjoying your loved onesClick To Tweet
And if you are missing your loved ones, know that our Savior wants to meet you in that ache and loneliness and replace it for joy and peace in abundance. He invites you to open the door to your heart and let Him in. To know Him in a deep personal relationship that is more fulfilling than any others. I pray that you all can enjoy your Christmas experience for just the simple lovely that it is. As I say this, snow is coming down for the first time for this season right now! So I will too try to be settled in and enjoy a simple Christmas with my family… even if it’s in our not so perfect basement suite. Now the question remains, when will we actually move in? Check out our story here.
As I say this, snow is coming down for the first time for this season right now! So I will too try to be settled in and enjoy a simple Christmas with my family… even if it’s in our not so perfect basement suite. Now the question remains, when will we actually move in? Check out our story here.
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