December has a reputation for being the
most wonderful busiest time of the year. All the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is enough to send anyone into a tinsel covered tizzy.
That’s exactly what happened to me a few years ago. After wearing myself out trying to meet the demands of commercial Christmas, I had a mommy meltdown.
Since then, we’ve purposed to simplify our Christmas traditions. This means saying no to a lot of things (some good, some not so good). But it has resulted in a much slower pace for our family. This means we can savor the season rather than rushing through in a frenzy.
Here are 3 ways our family has simplified Christmas:
1. We don’t do a lot of elaborate decorating.
I had amassed a huge collection of seasonal decor thanks to clearance racks and hand-me-downs. I found that all the extra Christmas clutter was adding to my stress, so I picked out my favorites and donated the rest. When it comes to decorations, less is more.
2. We keep our traditions simple.
Our whole family looks forward to these holiday traditions every year. They may be simple, but we have made many fond memories:
- We decorate the tree together while watching Home Alone.
- We unpack our collection of Christmas books and keep them in a basket under the tree. I’ve seen others wrap them individually and open one to read each night. I love the idea, but I’m terrible at gift wrapping. Ask my husband–I make him do it every year!
- We bake tasty treats together and package them up as gifts for extended family.
- When we host family on Christmas Eve, we enjoy a variety of “finger foods” rather than an extravagant feast.
- One night each year, we surprise the kids by getting them out of bed in their pajamas to ride around looking at Christmas lights. We drink hot chocolate and listen to Christmas carols. It’s a small thing, but it makes for big excitement!
3. We don’t do Santa.
This is one of those things where each family has to decide what’s right for them. We’ve opted out of Santa (and Elf on the Shelf–there’s no way I’d remember to move that little dude every night!) I know there are two camps of people who feel very strongly about this topic, and I’m not here to debate. In actuality, my oldest daughter had an irrational fear of beards as a toddler (sigh, kids! 🙂 ) and we just never got into it. For us, this works well and eliminates distractions so that we can focus on the birth of our Savior.
Do you get overwhelmed with all the busyness of Christmas? In what ways have you and your family simplified the season? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you in the comments!