Finally time to simplify the holidays


Every year I have people say, “This is the year I simplify the holidays.” But, then they get a guilt trip from a family member or are invited to one too many holiday parties. It never seems to happen.

So this is the year it can happen. This holiday season will be far from normal. We are less likely to be going to large gatherings, concerts or Christmas caroling. This year we get a little time to decide what to pare back on and see what really is important to us. 

What are you missing that you want to make sure to do next year?

What can’t you do this year that is making you feel relieved?

Are you able to create more meaning with less obligations?

And sometimes we treat Christmas or your holiday as 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.

Need help simplifying your holiday? I created the Simple Holiday Plan which I bundled with my annual planning plan. (I apologize to those who tried to order it last weekend. My website went on the fritz after an automatic update. The order button is back up, but the site itself is still wonky. So it may look a little weird.)

Would you like a simpler holiday plan?

I created a plan that I use to keep my holidays organized without overwhelming me.

Plan includes:

  • a checklist for each week
  • simple steps to take to create the holiday you want
  • short cuts and simplifications for many holiday tasks
  • questions to help you decide what is important to you and your family
  • worksheets and forms

Simple Holiday Plan

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