Does your December look like this? A calendar packed with functions, concerts and parties. A formidable to-do list of projects to complete before year end and hundreds of purchase orders to raise. Is it possible to simplify Christmas?
When the holiday season approaches, it usually means chaos; utter chaos. Shopping for the office Secret Santa, attending function after function and juggling a hectic schedule at work can be overwhelming.
Is it possible to do less, buy less and even work less and still have a happy and beautiful holiday season?
Three years ago, my perspective on the holiday season changed forever. We had moved to London, we were short on money and my husband was in Australia whilst I remained in London as his visa was being processed. During that Christmas, it was lonely. I was in a new country without friends or family and feeling so alone.
We had moved to London, we were short on money and my husband was in Australia whilst I remained in London due to visa issues. During that Christmas, it was lonely. I was in a new country without friends or family and feeling so alone.
But what that simple Christmas taught me was to love people, not things.
No amount of presents under the Christmas tree could make up for laughing at the dinner table enjoying a roast dinner with Mr V or laughing at my Dad’s jokes.
Being separated from family during the holidays taught me a thing or two and today I would like to share the three proven ways I simplified Christmas.
CHERISH EXPERIENCES NOT POSSESSIONS
Growing up as a child, I always wanted the newest toy, the latest video game or the newest shoes that were in fashion. When Christmas came, I would eagerly wait to open my presents then after that mad minute of tearing off the wrapping paper, I was always felt empty. It wasn’t until much, much later as an adult that I understood this feeling of emptiness.
For me, I love to spent time with my loved ones; it brings me so much joy to be with them. Time at the Christmas table with my family laughing remembered stories from growing up and laughing at my Dad’s jokes made me feel more loved than the physical presents we received.
The gift of giving doesn’t always have to be material items; it can be spending time together and sharing a beautiful experience.
Simplify Christmas this year and don’t feel that you have to give a material gift. Try creating a magical Christmas day and enjoying time with your family or giving an experience, like a hot air balloon ride. Possessions are nice, but they rust, rot and get stolen.
DONATE UNWANTED ITEMS
The holiday season can often be the hardest time of the year; not everyone will have warm clothes during the cold European winter.
Mr V and I recently donated half our clothes to the local Hospice and the feeling of knowing that someone else will benefit from our unworn and old clothes make me feel good.
Not only will you be left with clothes that you love in your wardrobe, someone else will benefit from your generosity. If you don’t know how to reduce your clothes, this recent post on how to create a capsule wardrobe is a solid starting point to simplify Christmas.
SPEND LESS, DO LESS
One of the big stresses at Christmas time is finances. Giving yourself permission to spend less and do less—like skipping the multiple Christmas drinks or the expensive holiday card —will leave you with more mental and emotional capacity to really soak in the season.
Giving yourself permission to spend less and do less—like skipping the multiple Christmas drinks or the expensive holiday card —will leave you with more mental and emotional capacity to really soak in the season and simplify Christmas.
If you want a truly happy holiday season, consider how you cultivate experiences this year, rather than just buying gifts which will likely end up in the goodwill pile in a few months. Consider focusing on time with your family, making a donation and appreciating what you have by being happy from the inside out.
What tips do you have for simplifying Christmas? Leave a comment below as I’m always looking for ways to do less and enjoy more.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by!