My favorite time at Christmas is the Christmas Eve candlelight service. I love when all the candles are lit and everyone sings “Silent Night”.
It is such a calm moment, and it almost feels like time stands still.
That feeling is such a contrast to all of the hustling and bustling during the month of December.
Getting gifts, making food, going to parties, planning events, traveling, and hosting. It’s a lot of going and going. So I love just stopping and soaking in the calmness at the Christmas Eve service.
The last few years I’ve changed some habits in order to simplify Christmas and enjoy more quiet moments.
Here are things you can do to simplify Christmas.
Make a NOT doing Christmas list.
During my “Organized Christmas” series, I talked about making several lists to prepare for the season. However, it is important to purposefully not do things too.
Is there anything that causes you extra stress during the Christmas season?
Either cross it off you list, or find a way to simplify the task.
Some things that I crossed off my list are Black Friday shopping, writing a Christmas letter, and getting a real tree. None of those were necessary for me.
However, a necessary task that always stresses me out is shopping for gifts.
So I simplified gifts this year by ordering the majority of them online and delivered straight to my front door! Thanks, Amazon*!
Of course, if writing a Christmas letter is your thing or getting a real Christmas tree each year is a treasured family tradition, then go for it!
However, if there is something you aren’t looking forward to and it isn’t necessary, add it to your “not doing list”.
Be realistic about what you can get done and don’t worry about the “extras.”
Be fully present by slowing down this Christmas season.
If we aren’t careful, December can become a month of busyness, rushing from one place to the next, completing all of the tasks on our to-do lists.
It is easy to get in a hurry doing all. the. things. that we forget to savor the sweet little moments.
One book on my reading list for 2017 is Present Over Perfect* which talks about letting go of busyness and enjoying the present with our people.
Instead of rushing, purposefully slow yourself down and enjoy the moments. Here are a few things I do to slow down and enjoy the season.
~ Sing along to the Christmas carols at the store. Yes, I do sing in public! I’m not obnoxious about it, but I get a little joy singing as I shop!
~ Put on a Christmas movie like It’s a Wonderful Life* and drink some hot cocoa while wrapping gifts.
~ Listen to Christmas music and don’t worry about the mess as you and the whole family bake Christmas cookies.
~ Put the electronic devices away and completely focus on a new family tradition one evening.
Simplify the Christmas food and treats.
It is really easy to go overboard with holiday baking, but do you and your family really need all of it?
Have your family members tell you one holiday treat they would like you to make, and only make what they request.
You can do the same with meals and parties. Try cutting your usual menu back by a third and you may find that you have just enough.
Instead of making 3 desserts, only make 2. Instead having 6 side dishes, make 4. It will save you time, money, and calories. 😉
Only do the activities that will bring your family joy.
Pinterest and Instagram are filled with Christmas activities that you can do with your family. It is easy to scroll through social media and see something that looks fun to do with your family.
But will it add to the stress?
If you want a simplified Christmas, don’t worry what others are doing.
Just because it is a good idea doesn’t mean that you need to add it to your to-do list.
Instead, decide now the traditions that you want for your family.
I already made a list of foods that we will be making, and I’ve determined that I won’t be searching Pinterest for more recipes. 😉
I also have a simple list of things to do with my son. I picked a few crafts, simple family activities, and short Bible lessons to do during December. Since I have a plan, I won’t feel pressure to do extra things that I see online throughout the month.
Take time to care for yourself throughout the Christmas season.
When schedules are full, self-care often flies out the window. Don’t let that happen to you this season!
Make sure you take time to eat healthy, get adequate sleep, exercise, read, or do whatever it is that energizes you.
If I don’t take time to care for myself, I get grumpy.
I snap at my husband.
Lose patience with my son.
And start to put myself down.
That negative tone is NOT what I want for the holiday season. So that means it is important to not neglect taking care of myself.
Because we all know that Momma sets the tone at home!
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