Are You Ready For The Holidays?

christmas-simple-traditions-memoriesThe holidays always seem to just come at me with full force each year.  It’s not a slow process, it’s fast and furious.  We start out fall with back to school and two birthdays in our immediate family.  We follow that up with many additional birthdays in our extended families lasting until early December.  Then, of course, we have Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas mixed in there as well.  It’s busy to say the least. 

Each year I tell myself to start thinking of birthday and Christmas gifts in August because as organized as I am, I still am running around much later than I intend to be. 

This year my focus is on doing more with less.   I want to spend less on presents, but give more.  I want to stress less and enjoy more, and I want to eat less and savor more.  Those are my goals for this holiday season and here are some ways I intend to do  just that:

1.  Give more by buying less.  I recently read a blog post on Matt Jab’s site, DebtFreeAdventure, where he talks about buying less stuff and giving more from your heart.   Click here to read the post.

2.  Send free e-cards.  I discovered Smilebox a few months ago.  It is a site that is owned by Hallmark I believe, and you can send free photo e-cards using the free software that you download from their site.  They have a ton of different designs and you can attach one photo or an assortment of photos.   Some of the cards include a slide show and there are even newsletter cards.  You can send a family letter with an assortment of pictures, all for free!  This is of course only via email, which uses less paper and postage.  A plus.  I am going to combine this with actual cards that I’ll be sending to close family and friends.  However, instead of sending out 50-75 cards, I am going to send a lot of folks on our list the e-cards.   It’s free and it saves time.  Bonus.

3. Decorate less.  In our attempts to continue to minimize our belongings I have sold and given away a lot of my holiday decorations and I am in the process of selling more.   My husband is not a fan of a ton of decorations that just sort of clutter up the house.  He’s not a Scrooge by any means, he just likes simplicity and I do too.  This year we will get a smaller tree, and maybe a real wreath.  I’ll hang our stockings and maybe a few other very special decorations, but that’s really it.  This not only saves me time and energy, but looks better too.  It’s simple yet still festive.   The Christmas holiday is about a lot more than just a bunch of decorations, so instead of focusing on decorations, I want to focus more on the meaning.

4.  Stress Less Over Meals.  I want to enjoy the holidays with good simple food, family and friends.  I will be looking for classic, easy recipes and not trying to be Martha Stewart. 

I found a great website that has a lot of great ideas, recipes, tips, etc.  It is called Organized Christmas (love the name), and the tag line is: “Simplify Your Holidays and Celebrate the Season!”  Perfectly said.  I couldn’t agree more.  That is what I plan on doing.  Check out the site when you get a chance.

Let me know if you have any time-saving or money-saving ideas that can help us to enjoy the meaning behind the season rather than getting caught up in too much stuff!

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One thought on “Are You Ready For The Holidays?

  1. I’ve found a home made gift with the recipient specifically in mind is nearly always appreciated more than something generic and store bought…with the exception of course, of that almighty little blue box my wife longs for (year after year)…

    Happy holidays.

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