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Easy Times, December 1, 2023

A snowy landscape with trees and mountains.

Happy December, friend!

It’s the hap-happiest time of the year, but this month can also be a time of extreme busy-ness.

Speaking from my own experience, no matter what steps I take to plan ahead there is always A Ton to Be Done in December.

Clark and Ellen Griswold looking at the lights.

Here are three strategies that have helped our family enjoy a more balanced holiday season:

Embrace Flexibility

If we learned anything in 2020, it’s not to hold on too tightly to any set plan and be willing to change things up.

Some years, the children will be small and you’ll want to focus holiday celebrations on them. Later as adults, you might scale back gift giving a bit. And occasionally you might have to plan Christmas around a global pandemic.

Honor Traditions

Ask your loved ones which traditions really matter most. Sometimes the most important thing turns out to be something simple like watching a favorite holiday movie together or driving around looking at the lights.

Practice Pausing

It takes every ounce of discipline I have to put my phone in another room, turn on the Christmas tree lights, and have some quiet time first thing in the morning. But those peaceful moments with a cup of coffee are sometimes my favorite part of the day.

How about you?

How do you make the most of these special December days? I always love hearing from you, so share a comment below.

I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season filled with both joy and peace.

Until next month,

Eliza Cross

A peace sign ornament on a decorated Christmas tree.

30 Beautiful, Simple-to-Make Christmas Cookies

Red and green sugar cookies, snowman cookies, chocolate kiss cookies and M & M cookies.

This roundup of 30 Christmas cookie recipes is extra-special.

Each sweet treat on the list is not only pretty, it’s easy to make. Check out these exceptional cookies.

A Few of Our Favorite Holiday Recipes

A dozen assorted mini cheese balls on a wooden platter.

These are a few recipes we make every Christmas season:

Mini Cheese Balls – Shown above, the perfect easy party appetizer skewered on pretzel sticks!

Homemade Cheez-Its Crackers – My son makes these crispy, cheesy crackers for family Christmas gifts each year.

Cinnamon Crispies – We have these cream cheese filled roll-ups every Christmas morning. I make them ahead of time and freeze them.

Molasses Ginger Crinkle Cookies – These cookies get added “zing” from candied ginger.

24 Old Fashioned Christmas Ideas

A Christmas toy trailer in a snow village.

Do you ever reminisce about Christmases past and wish you could relive some of those simpler times?

Bring back a touch of nostalgia to your celebrations with these old-fashioned Christmas ideas. This article is one of our most pinned on Pinterest!

A woman carrying a lantern and pine boughs.

If you’re longing to slow down a bit and really enjoy this special month, here are some ideas:

15 Ways to Have a More Meaningful Christmas Season

5 Ways to Enjoy More Peace This Holiday Season

7 Ways to Prevent Holiday Clutter at Home

How to Remove Sticky Price Labels

Close up of a hand trying to remove a sticky price tag from a box of tea.

WHY do stores insist on using the stickiest labels (and affixing them in the worst possible place on the item)? These are age-old questions, but we’ve got solutions.

Read “How to Remove a Sticky Label” and save your fingernails this Christmas.

More Simple Living Ideas on Pinterest

I’d love to connect with you over at Pinterest, where we have dozens of boards with ideas and recipes to make your life easier!

Cranberry sauce, cookies, landscapes and coffee.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites and 101 Things To Do With Bacon. She shares ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, time and money. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

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