All Done By December One – Back By Popular Demand

All Done By December One Banner

You asked for it, and I’m happy to announce that Happy Simple Living will once again sponsor All Done By December One, a fun, group effort designed to help us simplify and get organized for Christmas early so we can actually enjoy the holiday season. What a concept, right?

“All Done By December One was AMAZING in my life! Thank you so much for posting it. I scaled down a LOT of unnecessary things, and I am so happy and having so much fun this year for the first time in a long, long time! Thank you! I have most of my shopping done, and everything that is bought is wrapped and ready to go. Skipped Christmas cards and only put up minimal decor. VERY liberating!” ~ Christina, 2012 participant

This year, we’ll be utilizing a fun, free new tool—an app called Lift. You can access our group here: Once you sign up, you can check in with our group from either your smartphone or computer.

Lift screen shot

Lift helps people achieve goals in small increments. Each day that you’re successfully able to spend at least 10 minutes on a holiday-related task, check in with Lift and you’ll earn a big green check mark like this:

Lift Checkmark

While you’re there, you can read what others are tackling and we’ll all encourage each other. The process is surprisingly motivating! Ten minutes may not seem like much, but it adds up to more than 7 hours of devoted time between October 15 and December 1. I’m always surprised by what I can accomplish if I really focus on a task for ten minutes.

You don’t have to use the Lift app to participate, either. The weekly articles and suggestions will all appear right here and you can simply put them to use in your own life however you like.

This year, December first falls on a Sunday. I want you to daydream with me for a moment. I want you to imagine putting your feet up that Sunday afternoon, and sighing with contentment because the things you wanted to accomplish for the holidays are done.

Image of feet up in front of a cozy fireplace

Photo: Tony Crider

Each of us has different priorities, but here’s an example:

*You cut back your holiday gift list, and bought most of the remaining recipients some great books at the library’s annual used book sale. Everyone’s gifts are wrapped in some fashion.

*Instead of buying, wrapping, packaging and shipping gifts to your out-of-town relatives, you had pretty cards sent to them representing gifts you gave in their honor to Heifer International.

*You put up some of your favorite Christmas decorations, and gave away a bunch of decorations you hadn’t used in years. You conned your kids into decorating the tree while you watched the Broncos game, and even though they only put on half of your ornament collection and some of the small ornaments are near the bottom instead of the top, you think it looks splendid.

*One of your family’s wishes, which you discovered during a discussion about everyone’s favorite holiday activities, is to spend an afternoon decorating Christmas cookies. It’ll be a breeze since you already baked a batch of gingerbread cookies and tucked them in the freezer.

*You and your husband signed up to sing the Hallelujah Chorus at church this year, because you’ll actually have time to go to the rehearsals.

*You reserved the movies Elf, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life and Grumpy Old Men from your library and froze a batch of homemade pizza dough. Every Sunday night during December is going to be movie and pizza night.

*You scheduled a hot stone massage for yourself the week before Christmas…because you’re worth it.

Your list will be different, but you get the idea. We’ll chip away at holiday tasks early, so we can find some breathing room during the holiday season for the things that really matter.


Peaceful Christmas

Photo: dno1967b

Do you realize that we might not have to navigate crowded parking lots or even step foot in the mall during the entire month of December? What are we going to do with ourselves?!

All Done By December One will take place between October 15 and December 1, when we’ll consider ways to:

*Explore what’s really important

*Simplify and prioritize

*Bring sanity and true meaning to gift giving

*Make memories that matter

*Spend less and end the year with NO new debt

*Find eco-friendly alternatives

*Eat well

*Find peace, comfort and joy

Peace during Christmas

Photo by Harris Walker

Are you in? If so, leave a comment below. You may wish to sign up to receive the weekly blog posts in your inbox.  You can also head over to Lift sometime in the coming days to join the group. Together, we’ll inspire each other to do all we can to make this Christmas meaningful, special and unstressful.

Here’s to your best holiday season ever,

The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. I realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas, and I will be posting about other topics during October and November as well!

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

All Done By December One – Back By Popular Demand

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