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Need some help to simplify your Christmas?
I’ve had to simplify things before and I want to share the top 5 things we did that really helped make things more peaceful and run more smoothly around here.
Yes, your Christmas season can be much more peaceful.
5 Tips to Help Simplify Your Christmas
1 ) Purposely create the Christmas you want
This is by far my best tip. So much so that I wrote an entire post about it.
How many of us have events happen in life, but we look back on them and realize that things didn’t go as well as we had hoped. There was much good that transpired in the events, but we don’t love the stress we felt. We don’t love the over-busyness. We don’t love the pressure or the rush.
I’ve had Christmas’s go that way for me. Unintentionally, of course, but still they were way more on the stressful side than I would have liked. Oh, how I wished they could be different, and better, but I just really felt like I was doing my best each year, yet still, there was too much stress.
That’s when I decided to get serious about saving my sanity and get purposeful about Creating the Christmas season I wanted.
Did you know you can Create the Christmas you want before it even happens?
Yes, you can.
And it’s powerful.
You can learn more about how to do this at this post, and use the free printable I created to help you along with your creation. I highly encourage you to do this exercise and reap the benefits, for they are beautiful indeed.
2) Reduce your Christmas decorations
Oh, how I love beautiful Christmas decorations! I love being in rooms and homes that are beautifully decorated. I also love to make things and making Christmas decorations really makes me happy. I had also been gifted several decorations over the years, and I began to have so many decorations that it began to bog me down.
I simply didn’t have enough room to put up all the decorations in my house. Not enough shelf space to put things on, not enough corners to fill, not enough walls to hang things on. Each year I’d have to mentally go through which decorations to put up and which ones to not put up.
Then it hit me… simplify, Myra. So, as painful as it was, I started going through my Christmas decorations and determined which ones I loved the most, and which ones I could give away to let them bless someone else’s life.
It really wasn’t that hard. Once I decided on my end goal – peace and simplicity at Christmastime – the rest was easy. It was also very fun giving decorations away to extended family and friends who were quite excited to receive them. It provided blessings on both sides.
And, the next year when it was time to decorate for Christmas, I knew that everything I had were things I loved and were also things that had a place to live in my house during the season.
And it reduced the time it took to decorate. My home at Christmastime is beautiful and peaceful.
Ahh… this felt so good.
Related post: How to Make Fresh Christmas Potpourri
3) Get your Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving
Yes, I know. Sounds a little over the top? Well, I used to think that it was simply toooo amazing to even think about doing. Until I got serious about saving my Decembers that I decided to do it! Wow! What a total game changer!
I let my mind start turning to Christmas in October and started considering what gifts my family would like to have. Having this extra time also helped me find ‘the right’ gifts and find the best prices! Yup, this saves me time, stress, and money. Can’t beat that!
It was so satisfying to realize that already at Thanksgiving, I had all my Christmas shopping DONE, and my December was more peaceful, less busy, more focused, and very satisfying. You might just want to give it a try!
4) Think about eliminating or reducing giving neighbor gifts
Several years ago it was very common in our neighborhood and church congregation for many people to give neighbor gifts to everyone. Then one Sunday in church, our Bishop came into our women’s meeting and visited with us for a bit.
He very lovingly shared some thoughts about giving neighbor gifts. He said it had come to his attention that for some women, the tradition of giving neighbor gifts had become a very stressful thing for them. He very appropriately and considerately suggested that if giving neighbor gifts brought you joy, then, by all means, continue doing so. But if it was something that brought stress to your season, then feel free to let it go, and that every woman there would completely understand if they didn’t receive a gift from you.
Wow. I hadn’t really thought about it before that day, but I realized that I certainly was in the camp that felt stressed about coming up with a cute, inexpensive but nice neighbor gift every year. It was so nice to be given ‘permission’ to let that tradition go, and let myself feel absolutely ok about it. I dropped it that year and have never looked back.
Since then it’s been very interesting to see that yes we do still receive some gifts from neighbors and we sure love them and appreciate them. But it’s also been kind of cool to see how many fewer neighbor gifts we receive each year, which signifies to me that there were quite a number of ladies who felt like I did and who were also grateful to let that tradition go.
5) Begin setting aside Christmas money starting in January (or sometime early in the year)
One thing that can be a common stress at Christmastime is the finances. Sometimes there’s not enough money to do what we’d like to do. This one idea has saved me boatloads of concern and stress.
Several years ago I was introduced to zero-based budgeting, and it was a really powerful help in my life. It’s simply a system where each month when money comes in, you tell each dollar exactly where to go.
With this kind of system, at the beginning of the year, I would figure out how much money I wanted to have available to me for Christmas and I’d divide that number by 12 months, then take that number and budget for it in my awesome system.
Each month, that amount would accumulate in my account, already earmarked for Christmas. Then, when November rolled around, I had the desired amount of money stashed away ready to have some Christmas fun with it! There’s a great zero-based budgeting software that I use called YNAB (short for You Need A Budget) that really does a great job of helping people take control of their finances.
Related Post: 5 Uncommon Wonderful Family Christmas Movies
My wishes for you:
I would encourage you to LET the peace of the season fill your heart so you can personally feel the joy that is truly available to you.
This is a great gift to give yourself and your loved ones: YOUR peace. Let yourself choose it and even purposely create the Christmas you want.
However you decide to help make your Christmas a great one this year, I sure wish the very best for you! I know how valuable it is to actually come away from the season feeling like it went really well, and that it filled our hearts and our family’s hearts with joy and happiness.
I wish you a Christmas season that you and your family can really feel the True Spirit of Christmas. After all, that’s what it’s all about.