6 Ways To Simplify Christmas
I have a confession.
Christmas wasn’t a holiday I looked forward to until after I had kids.
All the mad rushing and rudeness, the “more, more, more” attitude, the excessive tacky decorations. I could just go on and on.
Having little kids who are discovering the joys of Christmas makes it a lot more enjoyable for me, and makes it easier to ignore the craziness of the general public during this time of year.
Plus, after a couple years of trial and error, I finally found some ways to simplify Christmas, and just enjoy the holiday more.
Here are the strategies that have reduced my holiday stress, and redeemed Christmas for me!
1. Select either a certain number of gifts you will buy each person in your family, or select a certain amount to spend on each person.
We like to set dollar amounts, and go from there. For ourselves, we sometimes want one more expensive item, or several less expensive things, so the number of gifts varies each year, but the amount stays the same. Having simple guidelines like these make shopping much easier, quicker, and more enjoyable.
2. Get your shopping done now!!
One of the MOST stressful parts of the holidays is the last minute shopping. The stores and parking lots are overcrowded, inventory dwindles, and people’s manners go down the tube quickly!
Shopping online is another great option, but make sure you don’t wait until the last minute for that either! Department stores tend to over promise, and give out unrealistic last minute delivery dates. Plus, even if they COULD get you that package in the next 18 hours, December weather isn’t always very predictable and could easily mess that delivery date up!
My favorite way to do gift “shopping” is to make a few handmade items, use my Amazon Prime membership to buy the rest online, and completely avoid the holiday bustle.
Amazon is where I do most of my online shopping, and having a Prime Membership gives me free 2 day shipping on tons of items! Plus lots of free streaming movies and music! Get a Free Trial of Amazon Prime, and save yourself time, money, and stress this year!
If you need gift ideas, I have a Back To Basics Holiday Gift Guide for you to check out!
One main dish (Ham, Roast, Duck, Goose, or whatever your favorite is), a couple of vegetables, bread, and salad can make a very elegant and memorable Christmas dinner. Follow with a scrumptious dessert, and you have a lovely Christmas menu that won’t make you lose your mind trying to prepare.
4. Use reusable gift wrapping, (at least for the members of your household).
Yes, cloth gift bags take a little bit of time to create, but the pay-off is huge! The amount of time it takes to slide a gift into a pretty bag and tie the ribbon at the top is MUCH MUCH less than the time it would take to wrap the gift with wrapping paper. Plus you have the cost and environmental benefits as well, and no need for huge bags of trash after Christmas morning gift opening!
5. Make a menu that includes a few dishes that can be prepared ahead of time.
For Christmas dinner- Try my cranberry-apple relish that you make a couple days in advance, or make your rolls the day before, and freeze the dough before the second rising.
For Christmas morning breakfast- Coffee cake that is mixed up the day before and refrigerated overnight can be stuck straight in the oven on Christmas morning. Other things you could make ahead include:
- pancake/waffle batter
- french toast casserole
- breakfast egg casserole
- quick breads
6. Keep the decorations to a reasonable amount.
We like to use the same classic decor each year, and add in some fresh items from nature each year to mix it up a little.
Don’t overload your tree with ornaments of all kinds, but stick with some sort of theme or color scheme. Keep a few sentimental ornaments, and ditch the rest. This will make decorating and taking down your tree much less of a hassle.
Implement a few of these ideas, simplify Christmas, and remove some of the Holiday stress from your life this year!