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Simplify and Enjoy Christmastime

Simplifying Christmas | by Nicole George

Christmas is, as for most people, one of my favorite times of the year. I love the smells, the lights, the weather, and the feelings. However, it is the season that goes by so quickly. The one that comes and goes before I am anywhere near ready for it. Summer blends into fall, which turns into Christmas, and then before we know it we are making New Year’s resolutions. How does it happen so dang quickly? I feel like as a kid I always counted down the days, and couldn’t wait for Christmas day to arrive. The anticipation was so real, that I could barely sleep the night before. Now, I so often fall into bed on Christmas Eve wondering how it is possibly December already?

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This year I have decided that I want to make the most out of the Christmas holiday, and make the most out of the time that we do have filled with hope, wonder, and anticipation. It really is a special time. These are a few things to do/keep in mind this season as we prepare for it.  Ways to embrace and be ready for Christmas Day. Because it is way more than just the day, but the days surrounding it.

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  1. Decorate the house early. I like to wait until after Thanksgiving, so that we can fully enjoy that holiday, but as soon as the leftover turkey is gone, it’s on to evergreen! The sooner you decorate, the more time you have to enjoy your hard work. It also makes the house feel that much more magical and welcoming. The feels and smells are sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.
  2. Try to space out your shopping so that you aren’t rushing around at the last minute. Sit down and make a list of everyone you want to buy for, and an idea of what you want to get for them. Then, whenever you are out and about, you will be more likely to get presents as you go. Online shopping definitely makes it easier too. Also, wrap presents as you get them. It feels way more manageable to wrap a few presents at a time with a cup of hot chocolate and a Christmas movie, than 50 presents on Christmas Eve at 3 am.
  3. Choose a go-to gift. Something that is very versatile. Take a lot of the guess work out of gifting. Then, if there isn’t something specific that you know you want to get for someone, you already have a great general gift in mind.
  4. Do an advent calendar, or a countdown. We read this book with Shiloh, and this book just the two of us. But this brings it back everyday with a little something to remind you of what is coming, and what is important in this time. This is a great post for more ideas.
  5. Plan a few festive activities. Whether it is iceskating, a tree lighting, a parade, or just driving around looking at lights. These are the types of things that are sure to make it feel a little more like Christmas. However, be realistic. You don’t want every night of every week full of “activities”. Choose a few that would be best for you and your family, put them on the calendar, and go from there. Sometimes these little things are the ones that really make it feel like Christmas.
  6. Choose one holiday treat to make. Pick one treat for the season, and make it for anyone and everyone that you want to. Or just for yourself! Keeping it down to just one thing though keeps it simple and more manageable.
  7. Christmas cards. This isn’t something that I have always made a priority, but this year I am determined to do it. The feeling of actual cards between my fingers, and writing out our loved one’s addresses on the envelopes brings the intentionality back into the holiday that I think we all miss, whether we admit it or not. With social media now, I think it is so easy to think that our loved ones see enough of us on a daily basis, so they don’t need a card at this time of year, however, I believe that in sending them a card, you will be showing them that you were thinking about them, and specifically chose to send it to them personally.
  8. Holiday traditions. If you already have them, then you know how fun they can be and how much excitement and anticipation it adds. If you don’t yet, start thinking about some that you may want to implement. Just try one at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. It can be as little or as big as you want, but it just gives you something to depend on and look forward to each year! We don’t have many, as we have been trying to slowly acquire them, but some of ours are:
    1. Every year we buy an ornament for one another that sums up our year
    2. Every year we buy a new game, a puzzle, and a book for the family to enjoy together throughout the holiday season
    3. The day after Thanksgiving, we decorate our Christmas tree together as a family, and end the night with cookies and a movie

So I hope you all have a more simple and enjoyable season this year, and find ways to bring the joy back into the season, instead of the busyness.

What are some of your families holiday traditions? We are always looking for new ways to celebrate together!

 

 

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