3 Ways We Simplified Our Christmas This Year12.12.16
Christmas is a time where traditions are born. While some people are staunch and steadfast with their feelings towards "the right ...
Christmas is a time where traditions are born. While some people are staunch and steadfast with their feelings towards "the right way" to do Christmas; after a year of striving for more simple living, we started to push the boundaries of our own traditions to find a more intentional approach to the holiday season. Here are three ways we've broken old habits with decorating and gifting in an attempt to simplify for a more relaxed, stress-free Christmas.
Preparing the home for Christmas can be simplified without losing all the charm of festive tradition. Our apartment is tiny so less is definitely more. We stick to minimal decorations with the biggest impact to create a cosy environment. A traditional real tree decorated with simple lights and baubles; handmade (and clutter-free) decorations; pompom garlands; a shared Christmas stocking, and simple lighting with hurricane lanterns and dome light. Limiting the amount of decorations we use is a necessity in an apartment as small as ours but it also means unpacking, packing, and storing them all is a breeze.
Travel is one of the most stressful decisions when it comes to Christmas. It can be expensive, time consuming, and delays are a given - not something anyone wants to experience on cold winter days. This year we chose to break tradition and stay home. In order for new traditions to form old ones must be broken. Breaking tradition can be tricky but as a family changes and grows so do their feelings on how they want their Christmas to be. Arranging to meet family and friends before and after Christmas Day removes the pressure and stress to see everyone all at once, leading to a more simplified festive period where you get to spend multiple days with all the people you love - no rush, no stress.
Gifting and simple living can be tricky to balance. There are many occasions where we feel obliged to gift items never more so than on Christmas Day. We reached out to family and asked whether there were things they needed and whether they wanted to exchange gifts at all. We're very much against buying (and receiving) unwanted stuff. We don't want to gift useless items and we don't want to receive the burden of clutter. When asked, we found most people felt the same way. Asking family whether they want to exchange gifts is the first step to a simplified Christmas. While some of our family members opted out of gifting altogether, others set a budget, and everyone agreed to shop from wishlists so we all knew we were giving (and receiving) useful presents. Opening up the discussion on gifting made the entire process less stressful, more intentional, and a whole lot easier.