Christmas is on the horizon and at this point, you’re either calm or you’re frazzled.
You can choose calm.
Last Friday I wanted to decorate for Christmas, but I was exhausted. In order to stay calm, I planned on taking things a step at a time. First I needed to “un-decorate” and put away my little scarecrow people and fall wreaths. Then I’d take on Christmas decorating in the next day or so when I had more time and energy to devote to it.
Well, something happened as I was putting away the scarecrows. I found with each fall decor item I put away, I picked up something Christmasy to take back out in its place. Before I knew it I had lights glowing and greenery strategically placed around the main living areas. A few more small touches here and there and all there is left to do now is the tree.
Because I kept a simple and calm mindset instead of setting high expectations for myself, I felt a burst of energy and true joy as I readied the house for the Christmas season.
I’ve always gone all out, but I’m done with elaborate displays and making sure every inch of the house is red, green, glittery or lit. I’m taking the simple, light, and easy approach this year.
Normally I would put away my blue glass on the corner display in the dining room to make way for my Nutcracker themed display.
The Nutcrackers are hanging out with the blue glass and that is perfectly lovely.
We have a battle when it comes to Christmas, don’t we?
All the activities and all the commercialism threatens to drag us down but I’m not going to let it stress me out, and don’t you let it stress you out either. I am not expecting a brand new white Lexus in the driveway, and although it would be nice, I don’t have to believe that is what Christmas is about. I have to say though, I think the Lexus commercials this year are kind of cute. Have you seen them?
Confession time: I used to get all worked up over how to get the shopping done and how much to spend. I’ve decided to stop freaking out because freaking out is no way to enjoy a holiday.
I am focusing on what is truly important and joyful. Kids and grandkids are a joy because children make things fun and there are lessons to be taught and learned. Children need to know love is not measured by how much is spent on them or how many gifts they receive.
This important truth will carry with them the rest of their lives. We need a new slew of grown-ups who understand this concept. People are still playing the keeping up with the Jones’ game and we all know comparison gets us nowhere fast.
I think one of the reasons I find kids and grandkids a blessing at Christmas is because they are who we used to be before we added all the crazy. They see the joy and excitement and we can learn from their lead. If you don’t have kids or grandkids, that’s okay. You can borrow someone else’s. They are more than willing to loan out their kids for an hour or two this time of year. Mom’s, feel free to chime in.
Then the cookie thing. Those of you who know me know I have come a long way in getting over the guilt that I don’t bake. If you have forgotten or have not heard, you can read about it here.
So let’s keep things simple this year. Lighting goes a long way indoors. String some simple white lights and add a few hints of color here and there. Candles are lovely as well and with the abundance of variety, you can find the right kinds that won’t have your guests choking and sneezing.
Put out a nativity and remember why we celebrate and Who we are celebrating.
Here are a few suggestions to simplify your Christmas and enjoy the JOY:
- You have permission to keep food prep simple by purchasing store-bought and pre-made. Feel free to make homemade goodies and dishes, but only if it brings you joy and you have the time. There is a variety of healthier choices so no need to feel guilty.
- You have permission to purchase simple gifts with extravagant meaning instead of extravagant gifts with shallow meaning.
- Keep decorations simple and lovely. Christmas lights add a warm festive feel and make a room look finished and ready for holiday gatherings. Whatever you drag out and put up you’ll have to take down and drag back. No need to over-decorate, you will thank yourself after Christmas, trust me.
- Keep your schedule as simple as possible. Some things you cannot miss and wouldn’t want to. Be sure to say no to all the others.
That first Christmas was simple yet it changed the world for all eternity. In this, we can be elaborate, sharing the message of Christmas and the fanfare of what it truly means.
I hope you’ll take time to share your favorite simple Christmas ideas in the comments.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
I’ll be talking with you again soon, but for now, God bless you and thank you for being part of my community of readers. You bless me more than you know. You are special and if you haven’t heard that lately then I just wanted to remind you.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 NIV
Blessings of Joy & Peace,
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