“I enjoyed Happy Simple Living’s ‘All Done by December One’ series, and even though I didn’t finish everything for the holidays by the first of December, getting a big head start this year made all the difference. I’m definitely feeling more relaxed.” – Gail
How are your holiday preparations coming along? Did you get all done by December 1? Despite my best intentions, let me just say that I didn’t! I still have a few more gifts to pick up, plenty of gift wrapping to tackle, and I’ve yet to write the holiday letter that will accompany our Christmas cards. But overall we’ve simplified this year, and that combined with getting organized earlier is making this holiday season mellower than years past.
Even if your ‘To Do’ list is longer than you’d like, you can enjoy a more peaceful season. Ask yourself a few questions like these:
- Do I have to put out every ornament, and every single decoration I own? Could I put a few less things out this year and enjoy the simplicity? (For some inspiring, simple holiday spaces, you may want to check out the Happy Simple Holidays board on Pinterest.)
- Do I have to do everything this year that I’ve done in past years? What if I didn’t send cards, just this one year? What if I used easy, recyclable gift bags instead of wrapping everything with fancy ribbon and bows – just this Christmas?
- What if I spent less on gifts this year? What if I promised myself that I wouldn’t get in that mid-December frenzy that so often results in overspending and credit card debt? What if I just relaxed, and did a little less?
- What if I scheduled some down time this season? What if I x’d out an afternoon on my calendar for a massage, or made time for a nice walk, or just spent a lazy hour reading?
I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s not always easy to cut back. As we speak, I’m looking out the window at the pretty outdoor lights on all of my neighbors’ houses. We live in a cul-de-sac where the other five families decorate the outside of their houses with lights. I’ve done it, too, even though it means that Yours Truly must climb on a ladder to hang the lights – definitely not something that comes naturally to me. But this year, ours is the one dark house and I’m thinking about skipping the lights. Our Christmas tree is glowing through the front window, and it looks nice. I’ll let you know if I successfully fight off the temptation!
Need a little more inspiration? These bloggers share their ideas for simplifying and saving money in these weeks remaining before Christmas:
What Mommy Does posted these handy, downloadable gift lists.
Edward Antrobus wrote about holiday decorating on a budget.
Tackling Our Debt shared ideas for fun, inexpensive holiday presents you can make yourself.
The Kitchn posted 40 homemade gifts from the kitchen.
The Happy Homeowner shared 120 Holiday Gifts Under $20.
Studenomics wrote about how to save money during the holidays.
How’s this holiday season going for you? Are you able to cut back a bit and enjoy yourself? Are you finding ways to enjoy the season without over-spending? I’m pulling for you, and we’d all love to hear your ideas and thoughts.
P.S. Have you signed up for the January Money Diet yet?