I have to admit, Christmas hasn’t always been my most favorite holiday. One problem I’ve always seemed to have had, but not always understood what it was, is that I am indeed an introvert. Being around too many people for too many days or hours in a row drains me. Mostly mentally, but also physically. I am left after people encounters with anxiety and stress which makes me more susceptible to being impatient, frustrated, cranky, and sad. Unfortunately it’s my little one’s that see the aftermath. This is not fair for them. Now of course it’s not all doom and gloom for me. The odd thing is, I LOVE deep meaningful conversations with people. LOVE them. It just has a high price tag afterwards that I HATE. I can get pretty mean too if I don’t have enough battery power before or recharge after. So to combat this my weakness during the season of such social commotions from parties to malls, I need to spend as much alone time with my little family as I can to get back in balance. I need to prioritize events and encounters and simplify as much as I can.
Here are 5 things I do to save Christmas by sticking to Simple.
I limit family traditions. The magic of traditions happens when they are consistent. When they are an annual thing you can count on happening no matter what. I’m sticking to just 5 simple traditions we will always have: Christmas card photo send out, a real tree, cowboy boot stockings, baby hand print ornaments, and ‘Secret Alms’. Now of course we will work in sledding, seeing Santa, extended family Christmas parties and Church parties as they come up. But, they are not a ‘Have to.’
I simplified the decor. I basically only have one Christmas tote now and it’s heavenly. I’ve gotten rid of most everything. Most of which were gifts that I didn’t nor would’ve chosen for myself. The Nativity is essential and is the centre of the decor. It all can be put up and taken down quickly. Which saves us time on more important things to me. Like dancing and singing to Christmas music, reading Christmas stories, and eating turtles. Note: obviously if decorating is your talent and joy this is a moo point for you. (enjoy the Joey reference?!)
I buy gifts ahead and try to buy online. I am NOT loving the crowds in stores and the anxious stress of choosing gifts quickly in store. Buying online gives me more mindful buying decisions as I can take my time. It also comes to my mailbox, so I don’t have to spend extra gas and hours going into town for it. Buying ahead while I’m in town means a lot fewer people too! I’d say most of our gifts to our kids consist of clothing to fit for the next year so I can buy those whenever they go on sale throughout the year. I also donate the things entering our home as quick as I can based on our families needs and loves. A big toy declutter happens just before Christmas and again before March. For our family, toys are temporary unless well-loved/used.
The kids play downstairs in the afternoon. I let them watch cartoons for a lot longer than I usually do in December. As our TV is downstairs (which is genius), they play with toys and make noise to the sound of Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig. They create genius forts and trails and only come upstairs for drinks, snacks and a quick hug then zoom back down. I stay upstairs lounging, reading, and tidying with my sweet babe in arms reach. It’s heavenly.
Ultimately though, the biggest peace I get this busy buying season is from just getting back to the real reason for the season. Christ. His long-awaited and miraculous humble birth. I’ve started doing a gift for him every Christmas. A sort of hefty goal to study more about his ministry, to be more like him, and to seek him more consistently during December. He is the prince of peace, and peace is what I need most in December.
Hope you have a happy healthy Christmas,