For a simple woman, a simplified Holiday season. Definitely the most wonderful time of the year. It is filled with love, family memories, and fun. Truth be told, sometimes the Holidays’ stress gets the best of us. Since I don’t want a Grinchy future for my family and me, this Holiday season will be different. This season we are simply going back to the basics: family, fun, and of course, tons of food. Here is my Holiday simplified list.
1. Building Traditions: Fun and Lasting Family Memories
A couple of Holidays ago, we started a tradition of taking a family picture in front of the Christmas tree wearing the same PJ year after year. My husband and I will wear the same PJ EVERY year until we don’t fit in them anymore! Right motivation for working out and staying in shape! Then, the pictures from previous years will be part of the next Holiday season decoration. We have been doing this for the last 6 years and love to see how the family has grown together. Definitely a great tradition to keep for years to come. Bonus, no more looking for family PJs for Christmas Eve. We just have specials ones for years to come.
2. No Wrapping Presents No More!
Two years ago, we started our Zero Waste (more like low waste) journey and decided to skip wrapping the Holidays’ gifts. Instead, the magic of reusable gift bags for the whole family came along. These bags still bring in the excitement of unwrapping a present without the mess. Best part? No more wasting money and time wrapping gifts. Every year we put the bags under the tree before Christmas, and magic happens. I bet Santa is pleased about it. Ultimately, one more thing off the list. YAY!
3. Holidays Shopping? Skip the Battlefield!
Ah, shopping!! Well, I never thought I would be saying this! Here it goes…going to the mall, stores, even online, during the Holiday season takes the cheeriest spirit out of me until all left are fifty shades of green, very similar, almost identical to the Grinch.
If shopping at the mall, I would get the long lines, fights over parking spots and stuff on the shelves, crowded places, people rushing in and out, etc etc!! Sorry, but NO THANK YOU!
If online, which you would think is more manageable, it’s another nightmare. Many of the items wanted may be out of stock, or shipping takes forever, and no delivery guarantees in time for Christmas. Also, browsing the internet trying to find that perfect gift you may think the other person wants is so so so so tiresome! At some point, I felt mentally exhausted from online shopping.
How I simplified? For this year we decided to do all shopping online and before the Holidays. Yes! As of right now, we already have all the shopping done. How we did it? In August, we downloaded a Christmas Budget Worksheet from Life your Way and created a list of people, gifts’ ideas, and budgets. By September, we started with our Holiday shopping online, knowing who, what, and where to buy them. No more stress at the shopping mall parking lot or waiting for a delivery, praying it arrives on time for Christmas. We checked the gifts check box before the Holiday season kicked, and we are just planning on enjoying every bit of it.
4. Stress-Free Gifting
Do you remember all the gifts received for Christmas during childhood? I sure don’t. The realization of not recalling any toy got me thinking about my Holiday childhood memories and the ones I’m building with my kids.
My childhood memories are all about spending time with the family. We always had food, music, all family together, and I’m saying ALL the family together. One of my more treasured memories from childhood is my grandma gathered at her house with all her daughters prepping the Holidays’ meals and dessert, which was a tradition. If that is what I treasure, then why in the world are we basing the Holidays on things? Why stressing out about getting the greatest and best gift for our loved ones?
On top of that, some people may not even like their presents. The kids may play with them for an hour and then forget about it forever. So, I declared stress-free gifting for now on. For this, we are implementing a more minimalist approach. We are getting only three gifts for each family member: something you want, something you need, and something to build or read. All that will go into our Christmas Budget Worksheet from Life Your Way.
I know you may think that works great for little kids like mine, but not for teenagers or adults. Well, my husband and I just told each other what we need, want, and would like to build or read. For example, I’m in real need of a pair of slippers (grippers). That is my need and what he is getting for me. I’m not telling him which brand, color, or style. We will leave in that element of surprise.
In case you wonder about the extended family gifts, I am just going to share that we are gifting experiences. ❤
Our Holiday season should not be about stressing out over gifts or anything else, but ALL about love and family. For a simple woman, a simplified Holiday season is to slow down and enjoy this time with our loved ones. In the end, there is nothing more treasured than time.
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