Final Days of All Done By December One – Seeking What Really Matters

Photo: aloshbennett

Photo: aloshbennett

In this final post for our “All Done By December One” series, let’s explore the idea of how to bring more meaning into the Christmas season. Last year, Kelly from The Simplified Family wrote, “My goal is for my family and me to truly feel the magic this year and not the stress.”

Can’t we all relate to those sentiments? No matter how much or little we each accomplished during these past six weeks, we still have four weeks ahead to enjoy the season leading up to Christmas. What steps could we take to reduce stress and add joy? These are some ideas:

What could we subtract in the coming weeks? Perhaps send fewer Christmas cards, or skip the cards? Leave one bin of ornaments in the garage, and enjoy a simpler tree?

How about if we make a pact to resist the temptation to buy stuff to festoon every square inch of our houses? Maybe we can forgo Christmas-themed towels, doormats, hand soap dispensers and the like?

Could we be mindful of opportunities to help someone in need?

Homeless man at Christmas

Photo: Beverly & Pack

Could we schedule something simple and fun? Watch a Christmas movie, bake some cookies, drive downtown to see the lights…

Could we “X” out some time on the December calendar just for ourselves? Take a walk with the camera, get a massage, relax by the fire with a good book…

What if we did something with our loved ones outdoors next month, and enjoyed the beauty of the season?

Sleigh ride

Photo: USFWS Mountain Prairie

Could we call or visit someone who might be a bit lonely, just to say hello and spread a little cheer?

What if we planned a relaxing night at home, by the fire or the Christmas tree, being together? Perhaps we could make something simple for dinner like soup? (I’m thinking this could be a new Christmas tradition…)

Finally, what if we spent a moment considering what we’d like for Christmas? You know how our loved ones ask us, and we say something virtuous like, “Oh, I don’t want you to spend anything on me – just make me a homemade card,” which actually drives our loved ones crazy because then they have to shlep around and find something they hope we’ll like? What if we gave them a concrete idea or two? Our loved ones will rejoice, and isn’t that what we really want?

What will you do in December to make the season special? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the Comments section below.

In the coming weeks, I hope you make memories, truly enjoy the season, find some precious time for the things that matter most, and have your best Christmas ever. Happy Thanksgiving, too!


The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. Have you signed up to win a signed copy of my newest book, The Quinoa Quookbook? The drawing is open through this Friday at midnight MST. Details here.

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.

Final Days of All Done By December One – Seeking What Really Matters

  • We enjoy the season by always having our Christmas present shopping done before Thanksgiving. It is awesome to get to sit back and enjoy the season. We have one more week of work and craziness and then two full weeks off, which we couldn’t be more thrilled about.

  • The past two years we’ve really simplified our Christmas. It’s a little easier for us because we don’t have kids, but we also now don’t rush off to see relatives and watch their kids blow through 40+ gifts (it was the over consumption that literally made us sick to our stomachs). Last year, we donated a bunch of gifts instead of a local toy drive. It felt good knowing kids who don’t get anything for the holidays, would have some presents. This year, I think we’re going to donate bikes.

  • I’m just getting started! We did have a wonderful dinner on the patio with the fire crackling! Happy Holidays!

  • I didn’t quite reach my goal to have everything done by December 1. I am making all my gifts this year and have a few yet to get completed, nothing major so it won’t be a rush to the deadline to get them completed just a few more minutes here and there.

    Having just returned from a vacation this afternoon I can relax and consider your questions more now and will come up with a few ideas to keep the fun alive without spending any money.

  • We are actually going down to our grown sons first house this Christmas. A little bittersweet, but looking forward to getting together. We only give presents to the little ones, although I do lots of Chrismas baking so there is that to share.

  • Lyn

    Thank you for the inspiration. We plan to have one night a week by the fire together. We have also scheduled to get together with a family we have been meaning to see, but keep missing.

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