In today’s post I wanted to share with you EIGHT WAYS you can simplify your holiday season this year. Over the past several years I have been pursuing minimalism, and it has not just been about decluttering and living with less physical items, it has also been about living a more intentional life. It’s been about eliminating anything that no longer serves me so I can live at a slower pace. One of the things I evaluated was how I spent my time, money, and energy around the holiday season. There are several things that I have intentionally chosen to do in order to simplify my holidays.
The first thing I wanted to share with you is to MINIMIZE YOUR HOLIDAY DECOR. I am all for people doing whatever works for them! If you have the time, energy, and bandwidth to deck the halls all out for the holidays, then you do you! But my guess is you’re reading this blog post for a reason. You long for things to be more simple during the holiday season. Having a more simplified holiday decor collection will definitely help with this. I am now down to two large bins for my Christmas decor, and I feel like this is a good amount. Something else I do is choose holiday decor that could be cross-over into winter. Having decor that is not Christmas specific will cut down on the amount of time it takes you to put everything out.
The second thing I would suggest is EVALUATE HOW MANY GIFT EXCHANGES TO BE INVOLVED IN. I recognize for some people this is really meaningful and important. Just evaluate if there are gift exchanges or people on your holiday gift list that could be eliminated. We stepped away from extended family gift exchanges because we don’t get to spend the holidays with them in person. It didn’t really make sense to purchase something they told you they wanted, wrap it up, then stand in line at the post office to mail it. It felt like at that point we were really just exchanging money.
Third, I would suggest DO AS MUCH ONLINE SHOPPING AS YOU CAN. It takes the stress out of shopping to sit in the comfort of your home instead of hustling and bustling around with everyone else.
Another suggestion I have is to EVALUATE YOUR HOLIDAY GATHERING COMMITMENTS. Are there any holiday parties that you could say no to? All of the extra commitments around the holidays can get overwhelming, so intentionally choosing which parties to go to is wise.
The fifth thing you can do is, DON’T COOK ALL OF THE HOLIDAY FOOD YOURSELF. Does your local grocery store or a nearby restaurant have pre-made holiday foods you could purchase? Sometimes it’s helpful to at least purchase a few pre-made dishes, especially if you are hosting a holiday meal.
The sixth thing you can do is KEEP HOLIDAY BAKING SIMPLE. Instead of making a dozen different types of cookies, maybe choose your 4 or 5 favorite cookies. Perhaps buy pre-made sugar cut cookies to decorate. Or pre-made icing to decorate your cookies.
Next, the seventh thing you can do to simplify your holidays is consider NOT SENDING OUT HOLIDAY CARDS. This is a tough one. At least it was for me. I have been married 26 years and we always sent out a family photo Christmas card up until last year. I started writing Christmas letters about everything that was going on with our family that year as well once our kids got to be school aged. It was fun, but also a lot of work and expensive to send out after purchasing the cards, the paper for the letter, and the stamps. So, last year I finally decided to just remove this from my holiday to-do list.
My eigth and final idea is to KEEP YOUR TRADITIONS SIMPLE. If you have traditions that are time consuming or a lot of work it can be overwhelming. By keeping your traditions simple you are more likely to have follow through, and it will remove some of the stress in your holiday season.
Well, I hope these ideas were helpful for you to simplify your holiday season this year! Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, and whatever holiday you celebrate!