6 Ways to Simplify Christmas

In this article: Learn 6 ways to simplify Christmas when you don’t have the option (or energy!) to do “all the things”.

I’ve been enjoying the beautiful new year’s posts by some of my favorite bloggers, and am getting ready to write on the subject, too. But, I just couldn’t start a new year without finishing up the Christmas season.

I’m acutely aware that my 12 Days of Handmade Christmas ideas sort of went off the rails 2 days short of 12. I can’t tell you how many posts I wrote in my head, but didn’t have time to actually write them!

The truth is, I under-estimated how busy I’d be working at the jewelry store before the holiday season. I loved it immensely and felt privileged to help customers choose special gifts for their loved ones. But, it didn’t leave much extra time for handmade anything!;)

My simplified plans became more and more simplified, and I realized for my (and the whole family’s!) sanity, I needed to let go of the little details and just do things simply this year.

Here are 6 ways to Simplify Christmas

{Christmas Made Simple} The Tree : Get one. String on some lights and decor you already have.

Away went the lofty vision of a color coordinated  black and white with buffalo check garland tree. The focus became just getting something tree-like up before our oldest boys arrived home for the holidays! My husband trounced through the woods and came home with a delightful little tree for our living room corner.

As with trees of the chop-down-in-the-woods yourself variety (ie Charlie Brown-esque), it sported a few large gaps in the middle and branches that couldn’t hold up more weight than a toothpick.

Christmas Made Simple

I pulled out every light-weight thing I could think of and filled it with paper garlands, paper feathers, and lightweight balls.  I disguised the big ol- hole in the middle by wiring some of Grandma’s doilies and pine cones to the trunk.

Christmas Made Simple

Although it wasn’t a design worthy tree (notice I didn’t show a full sized picture?;)), it served its purpose.  It was a symbol of the season and held lots of sparkly lights that the boys loved to clap twice to turn on or off! (Yes, the “Clapper” is now one of our family traditions!)

{Christmas Made Simple} The Decor ~ Add a few, Christmasy items to the decor you already have up.

Never have I decorated for Christmas quicker. I decided to just make it as easy as possible and grabbed the decor I pulled out of the Christmas boxes and set a few things out throughout the house. I didn’t fuss with taking down all the neutral Fall decor, but instead added “kitschy” Christmas to nestle in with it.

10 minute decor. Literally.

Christmas Made Simple

I also discovered this method of Christmas decor is very easy to pack away as well!:)

{Christmas Made Simple} The Food ~ Don’t sweat it if you can’t fit in a ton of baking from scratch. After all, what are bread machines and bakerys for??;)

My whole elaborate plan for a freezer full of Christmas goodies went out the window as I just didn’t have the time to do it!  I did tuck away a few Christmas morning Swedish tea rings in the freezer ahead of time ~ thanks to the convenience of my handy dandy bread machine.  It worked like a charm and was so much less stressful for me than making it totally from scratch!

Christmas Made Simple

I also discovered that we didn’t miss having all those sweets around the house over the holidays.  Grandma and Grandpa’s candy bags were all that we needed!

{Christmas Made Simple} The Gifts : Skip the malls and shop online.

We did something new in the gift department this year, too. We didn’t really have time for a long shopping excursion, so we bought almost everything online.   We pushed the time frame by ordering some things less than a week before Christmas ~ but, it all made it on time!  We seemed to be able to stick to our budget a lot easier with this method, too.

{Christmas Made Simple} The Christmas Meal ~ Don’t overthink it. Just enjoy cooking a meal for your family. (And, buy Stove Top stuffing if you need!;))

I discovered that cooking turkey dinner for 5 with my husband was quite delightful! As I didn’t have time to do any prep before Christmas day, we just slowly worked together at it with some fun Christmas tunes in the background, and it turned out just dandy.

I didn’t plan any fancy table settings (other than the china), but we did have a special treat to add to our Christmas table. We were sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers a few days before Christmas, so I put it in the middle of the table. It made a wonderful centerpiece and has lasted and looked fresh until just a few days ago! It was a lovely addition to our Christmas decor.

Christmas Made Simple

{Christmas Made Simple} The Christmas Family Picture : Forget the color coordinated outfits and professional photographer. Just snap a picture to have as a memory for years to come.

I always love to take family pictures each Christmas. Sometimes we try to coordinate outfits and it can get a little complicated… It was such a treat to have all of the kids home together again and I wanted to make sure I got some pictures, but this time we just went outside and took a few without worrying about all the outfit hassle… The donkey that hangs out in the yard got in the action, too!:)

Christmas Made Simple

A remote shutter release was a gift under the tree for me. My kids got quite used to posing while I took “one more” picture. They especially loved the whole let’s-take-a-picture-while-we’re-praying-for-dinner experiment. Some of us may have been laughing…

Christmas Made Simple

I treasured the memories this Christmas season gave to us, and I hope you have some of them to tuck in your heart, too.

Merry {Very Belated} Christmas to you!


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  1. Happy Friday morning to you! I linekd up:YUMMY Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce and a Free Bachelor Bingo game that makes watching a silly reality show much more fun! Thanks for hosting the party once again. Have a great week!Rebekah-www.potholesandpantyhose.com

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