“Simplicity is the secret to seeing things clearly.”

I was challenged by this quote by Oswald Chambers and evaluated what changes I could make to simplify the holiday season and truly enjoy a season of peace and joy and good health.

Here are a few tips that have worked for us.

  1. Simple Decorating. Instead of all the usual decorations, I carefully choose a few of my favorite decorations: Nativity scenes, poinsettia arrangements and the simple ornaments for our artificial trees. Most of the decorations and tree are up by the end of November.
  2. Simple Greetings. The lengthy Christmas letter was reduced to a warm note with the family Christmas photo ready to be mailed by the beginning of December.
  3. Simple Gifts. Our family gift giving was simplified by either a gift exchange or one or two things per family member along with a few simple gifts for close friends or party exchanges. Many of our gifts are ordered on-line or I will pick up a few things throughout the year.
  4. Simple Cooking. Since my husband loves to cook, he will generally cook the meat while I create a simple salad and veggies. Friends and family often bring a dish to complete our meal with an appetizer and dessert.
  5. Simple Event Outings/Concerts. We carefully choose one or two events or concerts to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Since most of the decorating, gift buying and preparations are done by the end of November, it frees up the month of December to sit by the fireplace with our hot tea, play Christmas music or watch some great Christmas movies as well as enjoy several gatherings with friends and family. I look forward to this season every year.

The key is keeping it simple.