Having a simple Christmas will take the stress out of the holiday season and let you enjoy this time with your family as it is meant to be.
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The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful.
Picking up gifts, planning a massive meal, and making sure your toddler keeps their diaper on while guests are over is exhausting!
But there’s gotta be a way to make Christmas more enjoyable.
Have you considered having a simple Christmas this year?
I know you’re probably thinking, “What the heck is a simple Christmas?”
A simple Christmas is a way for you and your family to not dread the overwhelming Christmas to-do list that takes an entire year of planning.
For so many of us, we start planning next year’s Christmas during this year’s Christmas.
We get so focused on the tree not looking like the one in the magazine or how to set up the newest electronic only to realize you forgot batteries.
Wouldn’t it be nice to relax during this holiday season and enjoy time with your family?
Here are the best ways you can take a breather this Christmas while still having a memorable celebration.
1. Don’t just give
You’re looking around the mall and see a nice watch marked down 70%! You think, “Oh wow! Dad will love this!”
But what you fail to realize is that you’ve gotten your dad 6 watches over the years and he wears them for a bit before going back to his favorite.
Wouldn’t it be a better use of your money to buy him something he actually needs?
During conversations, listen intently to the problems they’re venting about so you can try to find a possible solution.
This way you’re not wasting your money on another gift that’s going to sit on the nightstand collecting dust.
2. Give experiences
One day, my husband and I were sitting on the couch watching our daughter play on the floor. She’s surrounded by toys and we both look at each other puzzled.
We realize she’s playing with the zipper of our decorative pillow instead of the 15 toys that are on the floor with her.
“Why do we even waste our money?”
That started our discussion about our most memorable Christmas’ as children. We tried to remember the gifts we were given.
From our entire childhood, we could only remember a handful of gifts.
But what we remembered the most with vivid detail were the vacations we took as children!
He could still remember the way the ocean smelled as if he were still standing on the beach as a 7 year old child.
I could remember the butterflies I felt in my stomach standing in line at an amusement park waiting to ride the newest attraction.
These are the memories we want to have with our family!
Instead of stockpiling toys that’ll be forgotten in a week, put that money towards an epic family vacation.
3. Say no
This is a hard one for you if you’re notorious for being a people pleaser.
“Hey, could you pick up the kids from their friend’s house on your way over (even though it’s 25 minutes out of your way)?” Sure!
“Oh my gosh, my oven stopped working can you host Christmas this year?” Sure!
“I completely forgot to get Stacy’s best friend’s boyfriend a gift could you grab him something really quick?” Sure!
At some point you’re going to crawl under the blankets and stay there until the holidays are over.
It’s okay to skip the Christmas party this year or let everyone know you won’t be hosting Christmas at your house.
Don’t feel bad about taking a break to stop and enjoy the season.
4. Give your time
We get so caught up in the excitement of house hunting or redecorating the living room for the 13th time that sometimes we forget some people don’t have a home or family to spend time with during the holidays.
Volunteering is not only a great reminder for you, but it’s also a great experience for your children.
When they’re used to only seeing people living lives similar to theirs, they may not even be aware that some people sleep on park benches because they don’t have a home.
This holiday season take your family to volunteer at a soup kitchen or a nursing home.
You’d be surprised how many families drop their mom or dad off at a nursing home and don’t ever come back to visit.
When I worked as a nursing assistant in a nursing home for 3 years it was heartbreaking sitting with a resident listening to her gush about her children and how much she misses them.
Having someone to talk to even if it wasn’t family made her day so much better.
Instead of focusing on gifts, a valuable lesson is giving the gift of time and caring.
5. Help others
As a nurse, it was hard missing out on time with my family, even though I was taking care of someone else’s family member.
We appreciated it so much when someone took the time to thank us for the hard work we do.
Something as simple as cookies or small gifts made the time away from our family easier to cope with.
Consider taking something nice to your local hospital or making care packages for the men and women in the military.
During my husband’s deployments, he said they loved receiving candy and snacks, t-shirts, and water bottles (among other nice gifts).
If you’re interested in sending a care package click HERE to find out how to get started..
6. Skip traditions
Instead of going all out with high end decorations and a feast fit for the royals, keep your Christmas simple.
If your family usually has a big meal, try turning it into a potluck where everyone brings something.
That will take the stress off of you to plan and execute this extensive meal.
If your children are used to coming down the stairs and seeing Christmas gifts flooding the living room, go for a quality over quantity approach.
Instead of getting them an excessive amount of toys that’ll get lost under the bed, get a few amazing gifts that will be cherished and enjoyed.
7. Don’t go broke
Sticking to your Christmas budget may be a difficult task every year.
You’re walking around the mall and remember your mom mentioned her boots are old and she’d love a new pair.
You pick up a nice pair of boots and look at the sale price. Still expensive, but not as expensive as they were.
Only $40 over your budget, no big deal.
That’s how the snowball starts. $40 here, $25 there, and before you know it you’re sitting in the car stressing about how you’re going to afford the grocery trip next week.
Anything over your budget is a big deal.
Here are a few ways to avoid busting your budget:
- Use cash
- Keep track of your spending
- Make a spending limit for each person on your list
- Shop online
- Stick to your list
This will help you keep your budget under control while still getting everything done.
8. Make time for you
Although having a simple Christmas is for you to focus on the importance of giving and spending time with your family, don’t neglect yourself in the process.
Grab a gift for yourself or soak in a nice bubble bath with a glass of wine.
You’ve done so much all year and most of what you do goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
Don’t feel guilty for doing something that brings you inner peace.
Famous last words…
Having a simple Christmas may be the beginning of a new tradition.
Take back the holiday season by doing less and making it mean more.
Leave a comment below and let me know how you plan to simplify your Christmas this year.