I love the holidays, mostly because I love celebrating good things. I love spending time together with family. I love how holidays remind us of how much we have.
What I don't love is the clutter surrounding the holidays. I don't love the shopping, the frenzy, the overeating, the spending, the exhaustion.
Did you know there is now an official holiday sponsored by corporations in celebration of consumerism? Read about how Black Friday at Walmart is now starting two hours earlier this year. Yes, another two hours for people to stampede over their fellow humans just to get a discounted waffle iron. Ick!
This year, I want to experience a holiday season that is marked by joy, peace, celebration, and reflection. I want to enjoy making traditions and memories with our family. I want to rejoice in God's goodness and generosity. I want to treat others with compassion.
Here is how I am simplifying the holiday season this year:
- Choose people over things.
- Choose being present over being busy.
- Choose contentment over consumption.
More specifically, here are some ways I'm simplifying the holidays:
- Talk about gratefulness during our family dinner time.
- Borrow library books about the various holidays to read with my kids.
- Create an advent activities calendar to countdown till Christmas.
- Give homemade gifts.
- Put together a gift-filled shoe box for Operation Christmas Child, and follow our box around the world.
- Ask for experiential Christmas gifts, like swim lessons for our three-year-old.
- Refrain from Black Friday, and observe Buy Nothing Day on November 23rd.
- Keep a simple schedule.
- Give to Compassion International.
- Get a small Christmas tree.
- Find creative ways to decorate without store-bought decorations.
- Find creative ways to wrap gifts without wrapping paper.
As I simplify the holidays this year, I invite you to join me. I'd love to hear about any ways you keep the holidays simple, and focused on what matters to you.