The Christmas season is here. Today my kiddlings and I put up the tree and all the trimmings. We live in Central Texas, which means that while we were putting the tree up, we also had the windows open and were all wearing short sleeves. But, to my little’s exclamations, it was chilly enough, (50), to build a fire in the fireplace tonight. Even though my littles are 8 and 10 now they both begged to watch our Pooh Bear traditional Christmas movie tonight. We turned down the lights, added a log to the fire, and laughed through all the silly Pooh Bear scenes that we know so well. Now I am left here alone, while they are dreaming of what will come in 25 days. Here with my Rum Cider, my pretty, simple house, alone with my thoughts.
We have made some significant changes to live intentionally with less the last couple years. The most challenging time to live with less is during the holidays, where wants bombard you at every turn. Last year was a learning curve, but I feel this year we have experience and know what to expect. I am struggling with emotions this year, missing those I love dearly that have gone on from this earth. And this makes me even more grateful for our simplified Christmas season, focusing on our family and loving those around us. Less time stressing about money for gifts, more time baking cookies. Less time driving through traffic, more time reading great books by the fire. Less time overdosing on wants, more time loving those that have nothing.
Here are 4 ways we purposely simplify our holidays.
We adopted a Four Gift Tradition for our children.
Something you want
Something you need
Something to wear
Something to read
Last year my kiddos were skeptical about this. But they LOVED it! We keep gifts in a practical price range for our family, and we have so much fun with this!
I stopped making myself go overboard to give gifts to everyone I know. In the past I went crazy buying gifts for everyone, friends, teachers, neighbors, etc. It ended up costing a fortune, and, while the idea started off fun, it never ended up fun. It ended up being stressful!
Cut out the Christmas clutter. I got rid of all those decorations that just took up space in our tiny home. We have a clean Christmas! Stockings and a count down chain adorn our mantle, and our Christmas tree is trimmed in 3 generations worth of memory filled ornaments. That’s it. It’s simple, beautiful and clean!
We don’t go to every party we are invited to. We spend time at home. We cuddle, bake, read, work, and rest together. And no one misses the running.
This list is not perfect, and it is not for everyone. But for our family, it works. This year is a tuffy for me. Lots of loss and hard emotions to work through. This makes me extra thankful that things a simple this Christmas.
If you are struggling with the consumerism this Christmas, struggling with the financial stress, the constant running, the rush of the season, I encourage you to take a step back and consider what’s really important. Maybe you don’t need all that stuff to make Christmas special.
My simple Christmas with my loved ones and my cows is enough for me.