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A simple Christmas focuses on what truly matters. It’s about letting go of the pressure to buy the perfect gifts, decorate the perfect tree, and host the perfect party. Instead, it’s about embracing the simplicity of the season and finding joy in the little things during the holidays, like spending time with loved ones, creating meaningful memories, and giving back to the community.
For some reason, this time of year always gives me a bit of anxiety! The holidays seem to sneak up so quickly, and as much as I try to be on top of things, I am forever feeling behind! Who’s with me?!
Well, this year, I am giving you permission to slow down and not STRESS so much. Try and enjoy the season instead of feeling overwhelmed. How? Read on, my friends, and let’s all have a simpler Christmas season together this year.
What Is a Simple Christmas
Last year, on Christmas Eve, as I was wrapping what felt like the 100th gift in a row at midnight, I started to reflect on what I could do to make life simpler the next holiday season round. I was done with the stress, anxiety, and constant rush I was feeling year after year! It made me think about what Christmas is truly about. It is different for each of us.
For me, Christmas is defined by how I felt during the holidays and not how rushed and busy I could be. It is about looking outside at a white winter wonderland while being inside, all cozied up, surrounded by the soft glow of candles in front of the fire. All while having a Home Alone movie marathon with my kids. Christmas is enjoying the scents and flavors of the baking and foods that come with the season and the twinkle of the trees throughout my home.
A simple Christmas is about enjoying quality over quantity and fostering a sense of joy, connection, and contentment. A simple reminder that the most important things in life can’t be bought with money. It is about creating cherished moments with loved ones, appreciating the beauty of the season, and finding joy in the little things rather than being overwhelmed by materialism or elaborate parties. At the end of the day, a simple Christmas is about creating a meaningful and memorable experience for ourselves and those around us.
Why Simplifying the Holiday Season
Somehow, for most of us, instead of the holiday season being a time of joy and celebration, it ends up being a time of stress and chaos. With so many expectations and traditions to uphold, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the season. All of the shopping and baking and parties… from Christmas lists to the tinsel on the tree, sometimes it can be all too much! Just like the benefits of leading a simple life, by simplifying our Christmas, we can :
Stress can be a significant problem during the holidays, but there are things you can do to manage it. One important step is to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and make time for exercise. This will help you feel more energized and better able to handle the demands of the season.
Another way to reduce stress is to set realistic expectations. Don’t try to do too much or make everything perfect. Remember that the holidays are about spending time with loved ones, not creating a picture-perfect celebration.
Simplifying the holiday season can also save money. By setting a budget, prioritizing meaningful experiences over material possessions, and avoiding the pressure to keep up with others, individuals can avoid overspending and financial stress. This can lead to a more financially secure and stable holiday season.
Being intentional about how you spend your time and resources can create a holiday season that aligns with your beliefs and goals. This can lead to a more meaningful and fulfilling holiday season overall.
How To Plan a Simple Christmas
Planning a simple Christmas can be a great way to reduce stress and enjoy the holiday season. Here are some tips to help you plan a simple Christmas:
1. Declutter During The Holidays
I CAN NOT stress this enough! If you want to avoid overwhelm on December 26th, make room for your new items now! It is a game changer to be prepared with lots of space to put items away when all those gifts are open. So, before the holiday season begins, take some time to declutter your home. It will honestly only help you to feel more organized and reduce stress during the holidays.
The best time to go through things is early in October or November so that you can give unused or gently used items to charities in need for the holidays. I love to gift any of the games or toys that my kids haven’t opened to charities like the Christmas Angels. Or you can even try to sell items online! Lots of people will regift gently used items.
2. Limit “To Do’s”
Make a list of the most important things or your “Must dos,” and let the non-essential “To dos” fall to the wayside during the holiday season. This will help you to focus on what is truly important and reduce stress.
Even saying no to holiday traditions that may be too much for you. Although my family always enjoyed the Elf on the Shelf, some people found it a lot of work to move it regularly, so perhaps the Elf stays at the North Pole to help Santa this year instead!
3. Plan And Prep Ahead
No other time of the year sneaks up as fast as Xmas! So, start planning and prepping for the holiday season early. This will help you to avoid last-minute stress and allow you to enjoy the season more.
A few of the items you can get done early are:
- Ordering your Christmas cards.
- Purchase Christmas shows or special event tickets.
- Declutter closets, cabinets, and toys.
- Brainstorm and plan your meals.
- Buy gifts ahead.
- Put up any winter decorations that can be used for Christmas decor in your home early.
4. Make A List
Write a list and check it twice, or perhaps try this Christmas planning checklist. It is a one-page planning list covering all the significant items you need to complete and when you need to complete them. It will help you to stay organized and reduce stress.
You can also use a planner or a to-do list app to keep track of your tasks.
5. Schedule Due Dates
I will cover this for you if you use my Christmas planning checklist. If you decide to make a list on your own, then be sure to schedule due dates for your tasks. If you give yourself a due date, you are more likely to complete the most important items on the list rather than holding off until you find the time.
6. Simplifying Holiday Activities
One way to simplify your holiday activities is to prioritize what is most important to you. Instead of trying to do everything, focus on the things that you and your family enjoy the most. This might mean scaling back on gift-giving or simplifying your holiday meals.
Have you heard of “No”vember? I love this reminder to say no to people, places, and things that drain your energy. Instead, make it a time to say YES! To things that light you up.
7. Do Have Downtime
Be mindful of your social calendar, and make sure to schedule some downtime during the holiday season. Simply stated, don’t overcommit. Allow time for relaxation and quiet moments to savor the holiday season.
In fact, I am here to remind you that we aren’t meant to be busy all of the time! It is healthy to relax and read a book, watch a movie, or even take a nap sometimes. Believe me, this really will help you to enjoy the season more.
Decorating for a Simple Christmas
When it comes to decorating for Christmas, simplicity can be just as beautiful as extravagance. If you have been around my blog for any length of time, you will already know that I LOVE a more minimalist approach to holiday decor. Here are some tips for decorating your home for a simple Christmas.
Natural Christmas Decor
Nothing is more festive than the real deal, and some simple natural Christmas decorations can be found right in your backyard! Try adding natural elements like pinecones, evergreen branches, or candles to your decorations. This not only adds a touch of simplicity but also brings a cozy, rustic charm to your space. It is about embracing the beauty of imperfection.
One of the most important elements of your holiday decorations is the tree. When choosing a tree, consider opting for a real tree rather than an artificial one. Real trees are more eco-friendly and can be recycled after the holidays. Plus, nothing smells better than the fresh scent of a natural Christmas tree.
Dried oranges, garlands, pinecones, and even cranberries make beautiful natural Christmas tree ornaments that won’t break the budget! If you’re short on space, consider a tabletop tree or a slim tree that can fit in a small corner.
Minimal Christmas Ideas
Although I always love to encourage you to decorate in whatever way makes you happy, this post is all about how to simplify the holidays, and when it comes to decorating your home for Christmas, less is often more. Consider using a simple color scheme of white, black, metallics, or neutral tones. These colors provide a classic and elegant look that can be easily achieved with minimal effort.
To add some warmth to your decor, consider adding some cozy blankets and pillows in neutral colors.
Another way to keep your decor simple is to use candles and string twinkle lights to create a warm and cozy atmosphere. Simple decor elements like these can transform any room into a festive space without overwhelming your senses.
Simple Gift Ideas For The Holidays
During the holiday season, many people feel the pressure to overspend on gifts. Who’s been here??? I sure know I have! There have been years that I overspent significantly and then ended up overwhelmed on Christmas day trying to find enough space in my home to hold all the unnecessary items.
What if, this year, you forgo expensive gifts for homemade presents or experiences or volunteering at a local charity instead of spending hours at the mall? I promise a simple Christmas can be just as meaningful and enjoyable without breaking the bank. Instead of a large number of gifts, consider thoughtful and meaningful presents. Here are some tips and ideas for gift giving in a simple Christmas.
Handmade Gift Ideas
Handmade gifts are a great way to show your loved ones that you care without spending a lot of money. If you’re crafty, you could knit a chunky blanket, make homemade ornaments, create a lovely body scrub, or even make a Christmas candle.
Maybe you are not a crafter, but what about baking something delicious, like these easy caramelized pecans, this delicious Oreo fudge, or this decadent butter toffee?
The possibilities are endless, and your loved ones will appreciate the time and effort you put into their gift.
Shop For True Joy, Not Deals
Instead of getting caught up in the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, focus on finding gifts that will bring your loved ones true joy. Think about their hobbies and interests and choose gifts that will enhance their passions.
For example, if your sister loves to cook, get her a cookbook from her favorite chef. If your dad loves to fish, get him a new fishing pole, or better yet, schedule a day that you can go to the fishing hole together. By focusing on what your loved ones truly enjoy, you’ll give them a gift that they’ll cherish for years to come.
If you are looking for simple living items that can make great gifts, check out the Shop. We have a beautiful selection of curated items, including linens, pottery, antiques, and more.
Sometimes, the best gifts aren’t physical items. Some of the best present ideas are the gift of an experience, like tickets to a concert or a day trip to a nearby town. You could also make a charitable donation in your loved one’s name to a cause that’s important to them. Not only will you be giving them a gift that they’ll remember forever, but you’ll also be supporting a good cause.
When I was a little girl, my favorite Uncle protected an acre of rainforest in my and my brother’s name. I am in my forties and still think of that gift every single holiday season!
Tips for Enjoying the Simple Christmas
- Prioritize Quality Time – Shift the focus from material gifts to spending quality time with loved ones. Plan activities like game nights, cooking together or watching favorite holiday movies.
- Create Simple Traditions – Establish simple yet meaningful traditions that bring joy without adding stress. Whether it’s baking cookies, caroling, or enjoying a quiet evening by the fireplace, family traditions create lasting memories.
- Mindful Consumption – When planning holiday meals and treats, focus on quality over quantity. Enjoying a few special dishes mindfully can be more satisfying than an abundance of food.
- Practice Gratitude Daily – Take a moment each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. This can bring a sense of contentment and appreciation during the holiday season.
- Do A Digital Detox– Consider a break from excessive screen time and social media. Use this opportunity to connect with loved ones in person, play games, or enjoy the ambiance without the distraction of devices.
More Simple Holiday Inspiration
I hope you found all of these tips helpful and that I have inspired you with the idea of a simple Christmas. Here are a few of the simple Christmas traditions I do every year.
- 8 Ways To Have A Scandinavian Christmas
- Easy To Make Iced Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
- How to Make a DIY Winter Evergreen Wreath
Use the next few months to start simple Christmas traditions and have family gatherings instead of it being a stressful time. Make it the kind of Christmas that your whole family will remember for years to come by bringing back the true spirit of Christmas. Merry Christmas, my friends.
Frequently Asked Questions
Simplifying Christmas by focusing on what’s truly important. Consider limiting gift-giving to close family and friends or even doing a Secret Santa gift exchange. Another way to simplify is to opt for experiences instead of physical gifts, such as planning a special outing or activity with loved ones. Keep decorations to a minimum and make sure to schedule time to enjoy the season.
There are so many ways to simplify holiday shopping, but if I had to choose my top three tips to simplify Christmas shopping:
1. Make a list of everyone you need to buy for and set a budget for each person.
2. Consider shopping online to save time and avoid crowds.
3. If at all possible, shop early to avoid last-minute stress. You can also consider homemade gifts or experiences instead of store-bought items.
The best way to keep your holiday season minimal is first to decide which parts are important to you. Decorate your home with simple, natural elements and fresh greenery instead of elaborate decorations, and try to limit the amount of “stuff” you bring into your home. Consider choosing one or two meaningful gifts for loved ones instead of many smaller ones. Lastly, focus on quality over quantity for all aspects of Christmas.