snowy leaves

For everyone’s sanity, keep this Christmas simple

avatar
by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and is currently traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

As you start this week—and as you start this Advent season—remember to breathe. Remember, as you unbox all your decor and start penciling in the squares of your calendar, that “more” of the holiday season isn’t always better.

Like a finely-curated art collection, sometimes less is more for Christmas. During the holidays, this might look like being content with the decor you already have by not wandering the store aisles right now. It might look like committing to only one or two evening activities per week, for everyone’s sanity. And it might look like saying no to something, even though it’s assumed you’d say yes.

Think back to your childhood Christmas memories. You can probably conjure a specific flashback or two to a particular event, but overall, your holiday memories are mostly about how they make you feel. You remember how you felt during Christmas, not necessarily that you got some particular gift or that your parents managed to take you to every Christmasy event in town.

It’s the same now, both for you and your family. If overcommitting this month means a grumpier you, then it’s not worth it. A mug of your favorite tea by the tree might do more to lift your spirits than any holiday-themed party or craft project.

I’m all about Christmas. But I know myself, and I know I enjoy the season much more when I keep things simple.

Encouragement to keep Christmas simple.

A few favorite holiday posts from years past:

• My favorite Christmas music (complete with three playlists—dinner party, reflective, and instrumental)

•  Megan’s ideas for avoiding relationship strain regarding gifts—one of our most popular holiday posts on the blog

• Lisa’s 20 suggestions for staying healthier during the winter

• Maya’s resourceful ideas for eco-friendly gift wrap

• Sandy’s reflections on when she overcommitted during Christmas, and what she learned to do better next time

• Angie’s suggestions for ten holiday photos not to forget

• And here’s last week’s suggestions for celebrating the Advent season—it’s not too late. Just jump in, if you want.

Join the Conversation

Like This? Subscribe for free and have it delivered to your inbox.

Comments

  1. avatar
    Bethany Nash says:

    The “My Favorite Christmas Music” link is broken.

  2. “…overall, your holiday memories are mostly about how they make you feel.” I’m focusing heavily on that sentiment this year…if it makes mama grumpy, it’s not happening.

  3. Message received, Tsh! This year Christmas is simple, by pure necessity. We are up to our eyeballs in some really important – in the end positive – but intensely busy stuff.

  4. I completely agree. I am 38 weeks pregnant with my 4th, so simple has been my mantra. Neither my husband and I are into a lot of busyness, so little memories at home are what make the holidays for us. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Amen :). I’m always tempted to pile too much on my plate this time of year–usually at the expense of my sanity. In hopes of a more peaceful Christmas, I’m scaling back a bit this year too.

  6. I’ve found that going simple this time of year is almost uncomfortable, which is probably a bright red flag! Thanks for writing!!

    • Ah yes, it is a red flag—that by going simpler, you’re going against mainstream culture, of what the world says is the best way to celebrate Christmas. I feel that way all the time! :)

  7. Thank you for this ! I am feeling overwhelmed and it truly helped!

  8. It’s so easy to feel like we can add just one more thing to the season or to plan for more month than we actually have. At our house we’re focusing on being okay with saying, “No” even to things we might be expected to do. Thanks for the encouragement!

  9. Thankyou. Simply put. Unplugging now to breathe before I’m off to pick up my preschooler!

  10. A cup of tea by the tree…perfection and everyone’s happy because mama is!

    7 Ways to Avoid Christmas Clutter
    http://awellstockedlife.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/7-ways-to-avoid-christmas-clutter/

  11. It’s hard to keep it simple. Specially when I’m bombarded with the pictures of extravagant decorated homes. My youngest child just ask me why don’t we have big blow up characters in the front lawn like our neighbors and why we only have one Christmas tree (my siter puts one on each story of her house one artificial, and one natural).

    This year I’m hoping that by having a plan to make it other than what we have will be enough to steer us in the direction of simple, even if it doesn’t sound like it because it’s hard to go against the current.

  12. You are absolutely right about the best holiday memories being about how they make you feel. I will always love the season because the memories I have are wonderful…memories of music and stories, of sitting down as a family to play a game, of our Christmas eve fondue…oh, I just can’t wait as we make sure it all happens once again this year!

  13. Last year I went on a quest for a Minimalist Christmas. It was new terrain for me, but it was an amazing experience. I am practicing what I learned last year again this year, and sharing some of my secrets on my blog tomorrow…just sayin’

  14. We’ve simplified every year. It’s really quite liberating. Just this year, I’m posting on facebook daily (through Christmas) a simple suggestion a day for how to keep the holiday more focused, less about consuming. I’m determined to remember to look outward, rather than be absorbed with what we’re doing. I find the more giving I am (and I’m not talking money), the less stress I have. check out my facebook page, if you’d like:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adventures-in-the-Ballpark-Mare-Ball/394038163950377?ref=hl

    Enjoy your blog very much!

  15. Tsh–I’m having trouble finding the Advent handwriting activity you posted about a few days back. I viewed it on my phone, but now that I’m at the computer, I’m out of luck. Thanks! I love your ideas and thoughts, as always!

    -Amy (who had had at least 50 typos to correct because she has a punch-happy toddler sitting on her lap)

  16. Extra tall young ladies will be incredible throughout winter’s floorlength jacket, an article designed to allow you to easily glance intelligent and even elegant.
    http://www.bronwengilbertphoto.com/catalog/product/view/id/286 http://www.bronwengilbertphoto.com/catalog/product/view/id/286

  17. In the event that you need to swap mainly any put, you will need to have much less items compared to when you will exchange your tub as well as display case.
    http://www.schicke-bilder.net/timex http://www.schicke-bilder.net/timex

  18. These kinds of amazing models within a guys wash rag coating could have you actually exploring as you solely arrived away from the websites for GQ paper.
    http://www.jasonrschultz.com/catalog/product/view/id/3657 http://www.jasonrschultz.com/catalog/product/view/id/3657

  19. Denke sie wollten mal was formerly neues versuchen und sind eben damit reingefallen. Ich habe mit Dos angefangen und seit Windows 95 ushanka sich vom Grundprinzip eigentlich nie viel ge盲ndert. Weil es eben too effektiv und einfach ist, Jeder kann innerhalb k眉rzester Zeit sich dazurecht finden und pers枚nlich magazine ich ohne die-off Baumstruktur kein Betriebssystem haben.
    ray ban 3360 http://www.dr-windel.de/schwarz/ray-ban-3360.html

  20. Hello all, here every one is sharing suhh know-how, soo it’s nice
    too rsad thhis web site, and I used to visit this weblog all the time.

  21. Doch unbarmherzig schl盲gt das Schicksal wieder zu. Alle Gebete, Alle Hoffnungen gehen ins Leere. Wieder ist der Krebs st盲rker. Vlada starb i am 10. M盲rz, Einen brand sp盲ter trug Lilia auch ihr zweites pleasant zu Grabe.2 Monate replace Sohn ist tot
    louis vuitton 枚sterreich online http://www.dasilva.de/pegasus/louis-vuitton-枚sterreich-online.html

  22. A great deal of you could have in all probability already been away reef fishing or maybe strolling across the beach destination on top of have experienced such naff purses flying within our water that will be something is likewise having an effect on much of our fauna.
    http://www.runwaypremieres.com/chanel-%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A3%E3%83%8D%E3%83%AB http://www.runwaypremieres.com/chanel-%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A3%E3%83%8D%E3%83%AB

  23. For everyone’s sanity, keep this Christmas simple | The Art of Simple
    aitptjwzf
    itptjwzf http://www.gj5ndw9y165d6227po218rxth38d5uo8s.org/
    [url=http://www.gj5ndw9y165d6227po218rxth38d5uo8s.org/]uitptjwzf[/url]

  24. We are the wholesale manufacturers and supplier of designer printed PAPER STRAWS. All designed and created by ME…!!!
    paper straws

  25. If you have been wondering where to buy paper straws bulk all this time, then your search stops here. We feature old fashioned paper straws wholesale!

  26. If you wish for to take much from this piece of writing then you have to apply such strategies to
    your won weblog.

  27. Hence, if you want to buy a watch without guarantee, you should consider yourself brave. Good presents normally come with some kind of a guarantee to ensure that your money is protected and is in a safe investment. With warranty, you will even have the confidence to buy the replica watch and ensure that you will not feel like a fool if the watch were to breakdown for some reason!

  28. zefpaytlg

  29. gbyfeg

  30. 100 % fuori discussione , solo tu trovare difficile jordan scarpe assumere . Coleman SB s ‘ capelli quando escogitato Jordan alone J -Pack pollici all’interno spg e estate tornare .

  31. I would really recommend to check this minecraft seed out since it contains what
    you would expect in a survival island type seed. They must also mine and otherwise gather raw materials in this world, at your direction, and then use these materials for building
    and crafting. To find out what graphics chipset you have do the
    following:.

  32. This month 16 to 17, held in Guangzhou Chinese table tennis on the general assembly, elected Chinese Table Tennis Association chairman Cai Zhenhua on the "China table tennis do poineering work the third times" in his speech, mentioned in table tennis in the "tube do separation", realize the League independent operation, the development of commercial value concept

Speak Your Mind

*