It’s the hap-happiest time of the year–at least, that’s what the song tells us. So why has Christmas evolved into such a stressful season of spending, over-scheduling and weird expectations? My friends, let’s quietly and purposefully reverse that trend. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably already taken steps to simplify your holidays. This year, let’s take it one step further by getting the extra tasks done early, so we actually have time to relax and enjoy the season.
If you’re participating in “All Done By December One,” these are some suggested things you might like to tackle during Week #1.
1. Write a list or a few sentences about the experiences that would make this Christmas season feel really special to you. What would put the joy and meaning back into your celebration? You may want to read “Your Best Holidays Ever” for some ideas, or check out my Christmas wish list.
2. Make a budget for gifts and festivities. Keep it realistic, and commit not to take on even one dollar of credit card debt this season.
3. Make a gift list. Whittle it down. Talk to your friends and family, and challenge any tradition that involves mindlessly exchanging gifts. Chances are, everyone will be in favor of having more fun and spending less on stuff. One of this blog’s most-read posts is the story about the McDonald family, who decided to drastically simplify their holidays—with very satisfying results. Check out “One Real Family’s Real Simple Christmas,” and you might be inspired to do the same.
4. Think about you. What would you like for Christmas this year? A nice pair of cozy slippers? Chocolate-covered caramels? A new novel to read? Let’s all commit to finagling a little something special for ourselves this season, even if we have to do the buying or making. Agreed?
In the coming week, check in with our group on Lift, if you like, whenever you successfully spend ten minutes on a holiday task. Be sure to give each other props (thumbs up) while you’re there! Also, we’d all love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.
Good luck with your efforts this week, and remember—baby steps now will pay big dividends later…