5 Ways to Let Go of the Chaos and Bring the Joy Back Into Christmas!
Christmas is about two weeks away and I am still worrying about who to buy for and what I should get them. I always find myself at the last minute wondering if I bought enough and did I get the right thing. Somehow this whole Christmas thing has gotten out of control and I want my life back! This year, I decided to participate in a class at my church focusing on the book “Unplug the Christmas Machine”. So far we are three chapters in and I am totally hooked on the idea that I need to unplug from the super-sized commercialized aspect of the holiday season and take a much simpler approach that will allow a more peaceful holiday season for me and my family. Thinking about this, I have put together a list of ways I plan on simplifying my family’s holiday celebration in hopes that we will be able to enjoy our time together and not be so overwhelmed and let down at the end of the season.
1.) I will no longer decorate the entire house for Christmas (including the bathrooms). This is a time consuming tradition that takes days to put together and days to take down and put away. Focusing on a few key areas in our home will still add a festive flare without sucking the energy and holiday cheer out of the decorator (me). Besides, my family really does not want to use a toilet with Santa Claus’ face staring at them from the lid.
2.) We will eat off of disposable plates. Digging out the Christmas dishes, washing them, setting a picture perfect table with the good silver, linen napkins, crystal drinking glasses and candles is not necessary to enjoy a good meal. By using disposable plates, utensils and cups I will not only save time in preparation but in clean up as well. This will allow me more time with my family and guests and at the end of the day a good time will be had by all; including me.
3.) I will make a budget and stick to it. A few well thought out gifts is better than a mountain of gifts that will be opened and forgotten about in a matter of days. Buying useful, practical gifts (especially for older children and adults) is better than filling their lives with unnecessary stuff.
4.) I will not decorate the outside of my house like the Griswold’s. The excess use of holiday lights not only adds to an already bulging electric bill, but takes a lot of time to put up; not to mention the hassle of trying to find that one bulb that has gone out leaving half of the decorations un-l it. A few simple decorations and lights will add holiday cheer to the outdoor appearance to my home and to those who dwell within and will not break the bank when it comes time to pay the electric bill.
5.) I will not bake an excessive amount of sweets. If I do not bake enormous amounts of cookies and sweet treats during the year, then do I really need to spend several days baking stuff that will not only tempt me, the food addict, to eat in excess, but also encourage others to over indulge too? Keeping a few treats on hand in case someone stops by is a wonderful idea, however, five pounds of fudge and mountains of cookies, cakes, pies and other decadent goodies is not going to make our holiday any brighter.
By sticking to these few simple adjustments to my normal holiday routine I believe that our Christmas together as a family will not only be memorable but more meaningful and less stressful. Wish me luck!