During the past few years Christmas began to feel like a chore. I should say not Christmas itself or the cooking because I love to cook. It was the decorating, having to find and buy the perfect gift and seeing all the clutter in our home with all the decorations. My husband even suggested not decorating last year.
We love the joy that decorating our home brought to our kids and treasured the time spent together decorating but something didn’t feel right. Last year we watched the documentary “Minimalism” right before Christmas and it changed things for us in a big way. We realized it wasn't Christmas or the decorating we didn't enjoy, it was all the clutter of decorations that filled our home.
We went through our home and got rid of a lot of stuff. We had so many Christmas decorations and didn’t use a lot of them. We decided to go through it and only keep the stuff that brought us joy or meant something to us. We donated a ton of stuff to charity. It felt so good to clear it all out.
This year we kept things very simple and it’s made the experience so much better. We had a wonderful day decorating. My husband and our youngest daughter, Destiny have a tradition of hanging the outside lights together. They play music and enjoy some father, daughter time. Then we all decorated the house and tree together. My daughters put on Christmas music and we had a great time singing along while we decorated.
We chose to do simple decorations with more natural elements. My daughter, Tiffany had made us some gorgeous vintage looking stockings last year. I was so excited when I opened the box of decorations and saw them because I’d forgotten about them. Just seeing them brought me joy.
We cut some branches of a pine tree and used them to decorate our mantle and other areas of the house. I love nature and incorporating it into our decorations brings me joy and peace. It looks beautiful and the space feels great because it’s not cluttered with a ton of decorations. I tend to like things simple and not too busy. For me when a space is cluttered, messy or too busy it affects my energy. I like the calm feeling of a simple, uncluttered space.
Another thing we changed after watching “Minimalism” was not going crazy gift buying. We prefer to buy experiences for them like a kayaking adventure, concert tickets, a spa day or something that we happen to find or know the person would really like. We don’t feel obligated to buy gifts just to buy them. I didn’t go out shopping at all last year which was so wonderful. We did get gifts for our kids and grandkids and I was able to do all the shopping online. We kept it minimal and simple.
Why is it we put so much pressure on ourselves this time of year to buy a bunch of stuff? Of course, it’s okay to buy gifts if you truly enjoy it. The problem is when you feel obligated to buy a gift and spend precious hours in crowded stores and don’t enjoy it or it makes you feel stressed. If you love to shop and it brings you joy, then do it but if you don’t then why do it?
So many people get stressed out, go into debt and don’t enjoy the holidays. Why not create new traditions that leave you feeling peaceful and happy. The holidays can be a wonderful time to connect with family, friends and loved ones and create precious memories together.
What are some of your favorite traditions or things you do that bring you joy during the holidays? Also, is there anything you changed or stopped doing that has made the holidays more enjoyable for you? I’d love to hear from you, please share and comment below.