Simplifying the Holidays – let’s get back to what really matters!

Queue the music people…

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”

…..or is it? Personally, I LOVE the holiday season! It is my favourite time of the year, and lucky for me I found a guy that loves it just as much, or even more so than me!! From decorating our home, baking cookies, making Christmas cards and other holiday crafts, picking out gifts for our family and friends, and spending quality time with them and each other – and all the other little things in between – I just LOVE it! But when you love the holidays and everything it entails, it’s equally important to simplify things so you can enjoy all the magical moments and create beautiful memories.

Although I love this time of year, many people get stressed about the holidays from the financial burden it carries, trying to navigate Christmas visiting, holiday parties, Christmas baking, finding the “perfect gift” and the list goes on and on, it can all be very overwhelming.

What I have found helpful, is that doing less this time of year (I know, I know, that just doesn’t seem right…but hear me out!!) leaves more room for family, simple traditions, and the true spirit of Christmas.

One thing Jason and I have really started to value and that I hope we pass down to our little one is that you don’t do more to invite the spirit of Christmas into your life—you do less.

It often feels like if you are not filling the season with activities and creating memories of Pinterest worthy projects with your kids, you are not creating the kind of memories to keep for a lifetime – but it doesn’t have to be like that to capture the spirit of a simple Christmas. By incorporating some of the following options, it may help lower your stress level and increase your love for the holiday season.

Let’s Start with limiting your To-Do List:

Ask yourself:

  • “Will this add to the peace of the season or take away from it?”
  • “Will this create meaningful memories?”

If you answer no, move on to your next item!

Make a Plan:

With the holidays, no matter how much you try and scale back, you will always have your regular to-do’s (shopping for family or planning the food for a family gathering) – these things are inevitable! But putting a plan in place with a timeline for early preparation can reduce your stress and anxiety. I always aim to finish the bulk of my to-dos by November 30th.

Spend Less:

I think one of the biggest stressors during the holidays is the financial burden people feel it carries. Give yourself permission to spend less and do less! I always recommend putting a Christmas budget in place, we break ours down into different areas (Christmas Gifts, Decorations, Food etc.) pretty much any additional expenses you will have throughout the holidays – and most importantly, track your expenses! There is no point in putting a budget in place if you are not going to follow it, this will just leave you with a whopping credit card bill in January! By sticking with your budget, it may mean dialing down of your gift budget, and that is ok, it will leave you with more mental and emotionalcapacity to really soak in the season!

Get your family on board:

It is important that everyone is on the same page, and a good way to do this is by gathering the family and discussing what kind of Christmas you want to have. Talk about the feelings you want to experience and come up with ideas on ways to get there! It’s a great family activity to start the season, and it will help everyone understand and be more content with the vision of a simple Christmas.

Always come back to your “Why”:

Remember why you want this kind of holiday season for yourself and family especially when the hustle and bustle begin to creep in. Everyone’s reason for why may be different – mine is having more time and connecting with family and friends throughout the holiday season.

If you keep your goal of simplifying the holidays and having a slower more meaningful Christmas – you’ll find it!

Which ways do you find helpful when trying to simplify or enjoy special moments throughout the holidays? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope you all are having an amazing holiday season!

Katie xoxo

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