Christmas is Not a Competition


I noticed as I was picking up my daughter last night, that the houses with the most lights have houses next door with lots of lights as well. Perhaps instead of neighborhood rivalry there is sibling rivalry at your house. If your sister bakes 5 types of cookies you feel the need to bake 7. Or you want to get your parents an even better present than your brother. Maybe you want your kid to have the best present of all their friends. You work extra hard on that Christmas play costume so you aren’t embarrassed by the better costumes.

Of course you would never admit that you are approaching Christmas competitively. That doesn’t set the mood well. But, you might need to look a little further down. Where do you tend to overdo during the holiday season? Is it an elaborate party you don’t have the time or money for? Or giving presents to just about everyone you know? Maybe it’s decorating so much that there is no room to put a cup of coffee down at.

It’s not that we want to be better than everyone. It’s that we think if we have the most beautiful, most elaborate, most expensive something we will be loved more. Saying it out loud the concept seems a little silly. Yet, wanting to be loved is one of the most human of all things.

And thankfully we will be loved whether the roast burns or not. Whether we have an elaborate light set up or just a wreath.

This season, just be aware of when a competitive streak starts to hit. Instead do things that bring the love and the joy into your life. For some that will be artistically wrapping presents or baking 7 different types of cookies.

Check your motives and do things out of love. That joy will spread to others.


If you are looking to celebrate a simpler holiday, it’s not too late to try the Simple Holiday Plan


  • Pattie says:

    Boy, you hit this one just right. I have a member of my family that is really on the wrong side of what Christmas should be. Good points here, I know what might be missing for her and it helps me understand what is behind all the craziness.

  • Dmarie says:

    Hi Beth,
    Of all the “simple living” websites I subscribe to, yours is by far the best. I’ve been following your site for several months now and just thought I should come out of the silence to say so.

  • Beth says:

    Wow Dmarie, that is so lovely for you to say. Thanks for making my evening!

    Wishing you a connecting holiday Pattie.

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