10 Ways to Simplify Christmas This Year

10 Ways to Simplify Christmas with free planner printable
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10 Ways to Simplify Christmas with free planner printable

Yesterday we went to pick up a few things at a home improvement store and, wow, the store front was all decked out for Christmas.  

My five year old’s eyes lit up and he wanted to check out  (and comment on) every tree, decoration and gigantic inflatable.  Several customers who were there running an errand stopped to watch and listen to our son.  All of them smiled.   

I started thinking about how differently those people would most likely feel about Christmas in a few weeks when they are checking off what seems like an endless list of to-do’s.  

Does it really have to be that way?  

Let’s set our minds to taking in those sweet moments that make Christmas special, not stressful.  

Let’s simplify Christmas this year and every year!   

 

Simple Christmas Charlie Brown

10 ways to simplify Christmas this year 

1- Keep decorations minimal

Pick an area in your home where decorations are most enjoyed, and skip the rest! For us, that’s the Christmas tree, the mantel and a wreath on the door. That’s all! I even keep a picture of the mantel in the storage container and set it up the same way each year.   

Maybe in your home it’s the dining room and enjoying a set of Christmas dishes. Keeping decor to a certain set of items and one location will save time and keep things simple.  It will also make things easier when it’s time to put everything back in storage. 

2- Create a gift wrapping station

Set up a place in your home where you can keep all of your gift wrapping supplies. A guest bedroom is an ideal location, but you could also keep them in a storage tote to move around and use wherever you can.  

This is when I use up all of the red and green bags from my gift wrap stockpile! Also, remember to ask for boxes when you are making purchases at stores that offer complimentary boxes.  

3- Make one master planning list

It always happens around the holidays that there’s a list for the grocery store, another for gifts to buy, one for errands to run, and they end up lost or in the wrong place when you need them.  One way to solve this problem is to keep a master planning list! Another tip is to keep your list and receipts in a special zipper pouch that you use for all things Christmas planning.  

You can grab the same master list I use in the resource library (in the organization printables folder.)  It is a one page template where you can write down everything from gift ideas to meal plans.  

4- Buy online

If lines, traffic and large crowds are stressful, there’s a lot of  advantages to doing your shopping online from the comforts of home.  Did you know that some of your friends and family might have their Amazon wish lists set to public?  If so, you can take a peek at their lists and get something they’ve had on their “someday” list or get some ideas of things they like.  

This is easy to do- two two simple steps.  

1- Go to Amazon’s find a wish list or registry- 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/search/ref=nav_wishlist_find

2- Type in the person’s name or email-

I keep one of these for all of the books I want to read, so if you search and type in my email- simpleorganizedlifestyle@gmail.com- you can test this out (and tell me what book(s) I need to add  😉 )

5- Cook the same meals each year

I love Pinterest.  You probably do too.  But friends- please don’t use the Christmas season to try out a new recipe that even Martha Stewart would find a challenge! Choose those recipes that you can make without looking at the recipe.  Chances are, these are the ones your family and friends enjoy the most anyway.   

Every year I make taco soup and mini ham & cheese sandwiches for our Christmas Eve gathering and hot wassail (sharing this recipe soon) & a cream cheese danish for our Christmas Day “breakfast for supper” gathering.  I also make wassail and crockpot chocolate clusters to take to work.  Year after year.  These are recipes that I’m very comfortable with and everyone likes- keeps it simple! 

6- Stick to a budget

Decide how much you are going to spend ahead of the Christmas season and stick to it.  Don’t let Christmas follow you after it’s over by getting a Visa statement that sucks the joy out of gift giving.  Christmas is a great time to take advantage of free fun experiences, such as looking at Christmas lights, reading special books and watching classic Christmas movies, drinking hot chocolate, baking cookies… and join me in our boring Elf on the Shelf activities! 

7- Limit the activities

Speaking of activities, they come in abundance at Christmas time.  It seems like there is always a program, a party or a special event going on.  Don’t feel like you have to do it all and be at every event there is… pick and choose the ones that make the most sense for your family and your budget.   

8- Don’t seek perfection

Reason for Christmas

9- Set a stopping point

Give yourself a hard deadline to stop and say no to “just one more little thing” or “filler” gifts.  Set that stopping point date and stick to it so you can be more present in the moment and enjoy the true special moments of the season.    

Think about last year’s Christmas gifts.  If you do remember them, do you remember who gave them to you?  Chances are, you have long forgotten about those gifts and the same is true of your friends and family members.  There’s this idea that we’re looking for this amazing gift, and that’s not realistic.  

10- Make a tradition just for you

For the past 15 years, a good friend and I have set aside one day to use personal leave from work and, although there is much shopping involved, it’s mostly a day for us to just have fun.  I can’t even begin to tell you the adventures and laughs we’ve had on this day of literal non-stop “shop til you drop!”  I highly recommend doing something just for you

What about you?  Any advice for slowing down and simplifying during the Christmas season?  We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments! 

10 Ways to Simplify Christmas

 


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8 thoughts on “10 Ways to Simplify Christmas This Year”

  1. I was all with you on the How to Simplify Christmas, keeping things reasonable and important…..but then your Shop Til You Drop comment led me to doubt the sincerity of your success with the aforementioned. Kinda defeats the purpose. There are blogs everywhere we turn today. I chose to subscribe to yours because you presented yourself with authenticity. As tedious as a statement that “shop til you drop” is….my first and natural thought was of disappointment….you sold yourself out : ( I like to be inspired by people that are impeccable with their word, true to their intent, and walk their talk. I know I know they were only suggestions. . .but in relation to the name of the article, you are really giving mixed messages.

    1. Hi. Yes, every year, I spend an entire day with a friend right before the holiday season gets started. It’s a day that’s part shopping and most of all, a “Girls Day Out” tradition that sets a positive tone before the season. I treasure that day! There is shopping involved, especially on a day when I have childcare arranged, but it is mostly about a fun time with a good friend. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and the time you’ve spent here, and sincerely wish you all the best.

  2. This is a fabulous list and wonderful reminder. I get a little too caught up in the decorations phase that I can feel stressed about the other stuff. We have some great traditions and I love the idea of making your menu one of those. Thank you for getting me in the right mindset going into the holiday season.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post… hope you have less stress and more time to enjoy the people and things that matter the most this holiday season:]

  3. It is fun when you have young kids around during the holidays. They keep the focus on the wonder of the season!

    That is a good idea to not agonize over the gift giving! I tend to do that!

    1. I know- it’s so easy to blow the budget in December… especially with all the new ecommerce promotions! I’m going to try my best to use cash and when it’s gone, I’m done:]

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