In the rush and bustle of modern times I feel like we have forgotten a lot of the simple joys of Christmas, something is missing, and oddly enough I really think it's because there's too much going on, too many presents, too much noise and clutter. So, in order to get back to an old fashioned Christmas I think we need to cut some things out and simplify here's the things that I think will help in knowing how to have a simple Christmas.
Simplify- Don’t try to set up a Christmas light show to rival the National Lampoon’s and keep the frustration and work to a minimum. Keep it simple- a couple strings of lights on the porch, a beautiful wreath on the door, a pretty tree inside that is covered in handmade ornaments and decorated together by the family. These Simple Wreath Ornament, Rustic Mason Jar Lid Ornament, and this Yarn Christmas Tree Ornament are simple to make.
Remember more isn’t always better– We always seem to go overboard with holidays, trying to make them be better than the previous year. The truth is, sometimes simplicity can be just what is needed, to make things less stressful, and more enjoyable. This year focus on doing just the important things, and let some of the little details go.
Clear the schedule– Instead of trying to fit in endless events and activities choose only those that mean the most to you and your family. You don’t have to accept every invitation you receive for parties and get togethers. Sit down together and figure out what events you want to include- perhaps, allow each family member to pick 1 special thing to do as a family.
Focus on fun and people, not material things– Sweet and simple fun times like cookie baking, easy Christmas crafts, riding around to look at Christmas lights and decorations, making a hot cocoa bar, a family wrapping party, decorating the tree, and of course singing Christmas carols together while you do all those fun things. These are the things that have stood the test of time for a reason. Homemade Gingerbread Playdough, Homemade Christmas Tree Playdough, or the Pincone Christmas Trees are great for the kids to make.
Go Homemade– When making out your Christmas shopping list include thoughtful, handmade gifts. Jars filled with cookie ingredients, tins full of homemade candy, a knitted scarf, etc.. Whatever your talent or interest is, share it with others. Make homemade wrapping paper even by stamping or drawing on plain white or craft paper. Homemade means you put a lot of thought and care into. These Vaporub Shower Bombs, Peppermint Bath Bombs, or this Orange Cranberry Sugar Scrub are easy homemade gifts.
But Remember Not Everything Has to be Homemade- You may consider yourself to be a darn good cook, but that does not mean that you must cook every dish for your special Christmas dinner. Sara Lee makes a pretty tasty pie, and so does Hershey’s. Drop some weight off your shoulders by choosing to make only some of your favorite, must have dishes, and purchase the other dishes from the store, or a local baking enthusiast. Food is not the only thing that is often home made for the holidays. Place settings and decorations can also consume a lot of time and energy, so opt to purchase some of these things premade, or simply scale back.
Keep Homeschooling Simple During Christmas- Trying to enjoy your simple Christmas won’t be easy if the kids can’t concentrate on their school work. Finding Unit Studies that teach kids about Christmas will make it fun for them which in turn will make it fun for you. Less stress during school time makes us all happy. Try these Unit Studies to get you started. Bear Stays Up for Christmas, The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever Unit Study, History of Christmas Homeschool Ideas.
Set Limits- Do not go overboard this year, by filling every available space under the tree with gifts. Set a limit as to how many items you are going to purchase this year. Chances are that your children will not play with half of the toys they receive, and they will end up forgotten about in the toy box, anyway. Choosing three to five gifts that your children really want or could use, will still put a smile on their faces.
Keep Your Goals in Mind- It’s time to take back Christmas and make it super simple. Going back to what makes Christmas easy is so important. Everywhere you turn, there are commercials and lots of pressure to buy gifts. Look inside your heart and remember what your goals are this Christmas. Your goals are to keep Christmas season, so keep that in mind.
Give until it hurts– Find a charity, or two, or more and donate your families time, money, and resources. Focus on giving to others as a family and it will make your Christmas much more meaningful. Donate new, unwrapped toys to Toys For Tots, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate your time to fill boxes at a local food pantry, adopt a family for the holidays.
Remember the meaning– For us, this is celebrating the birth of Christ so we make sure to focus on that in all of our celebrations, activities, and quiet time.
Having a simple Christmas means saying NO, a lot. And that’s okay! If you think something is too stressful or won’t work, it’s more than okay to say no. Tell people that you’re trying to keep Christmas simple this year, I’m sure they will try to understand. How are you trying to keep Christmas simple this year?