The first Christmas was pretty simple. No tree, no fancy dinner, no Christmas cookies. Just Jesus, lots of love, and some carols (Angels we have heard on high!). So, in an attempt to focus more on Jesus and His love, and less on hype, there were a few areas I de-cluttered.
Nix the holiday letter. I love holiday letters. I know, some of you hate (and even mock!) the “brag rags” that get sent around this time of year. But I enjoy hearing how my friends are doing, and love doing the same. It’s the one time of year I keep in touch with some friends and family.
However, thanks to email, Facebook, and other social media, I discovered that the highlights of our lives have already been shared! So, I got rid of the letter, and saved a ton of time!
Get an address stamp. A self-inking stamp with our return address made the Christmas cards super easy this year. I didn’t have to fight with the printer to print labels and the kids could help.
Buy Gift Cards – I know, I know. They aren’t personal. And it’s cheaper and better for the world to do homemade, eco-friendly gifts. Been there, done that.
Me and homemade stuff don’t go together. I end up spending more money and time making cookies and crafts (and then remaking them because the first round was a flop.)
So, this year, for teachers and service people, I got gift cards. As a former teacher, I know that teachers appreciate(and can use) a $5-10 gift card. Really, how many bottles of hand lotion, or candles can a person use? Plus, you knock out 5 gifts at a time!
Want to make it personal? Have your kids write a short note. Check out my friend, the Frugal Mama’s post on an easy way for kids to personalize their gifts!
Selectively decorate – Actually, this is not for just this year. I do this every year. Mostly because I am not a super-decorator. I pick a few choice spots to decorate, and set out things that are either sentimental and simple. I don’t feel the need to fill up every possible space in my home. Plus it’s easier to dust this way – because dust still collects between Dec 1st and Christmas!
Online shopping – No lines, and it gets delivered to your door. Awesome! The only caveat is you should know what you want and search for that particular item. Randomly clicking through the internet looking for something to buy is obviously a time suck.
How have you simplified Christmas this year? (or maybe hope to simplify next year?!)