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7 Ways to Enjoy a Simple Christmas

Two blooming amaryllis bulbs with large red and white blossoms are a simple Christmas pleasure.

Would you like to enjoy a simple Christmas this year?

What if this was your best holiday season yet?

What if this was the year you got to let go of a few things?

What if you spent a little time getting clear about the events and tasks that are important to you, and only committed to do the things you really want to do?

What if you had some precious unscheduled days and nights, and glorious unstructured time to enjoy a more peaceful, meaningful Advent?

7 Tips to Enjoy a Simple, More Relaxing Christmas

1. Start earlier. Some years I’ve tried to cram so much into December that I end up being tired and rundown on Christmas morning.

By contrast, I never regret getting an earlier start and tackling some of the extra tasks like shipping packages before the season begins.

2. Make a budget. Figure out what you want to spend, and make a commitment not to take on even one dollar of credit card debt. Cut back, simplify, and explore creative ways to enjoy the Christmas season without spending too much.

3. Set price limits on family gifts. In our extended family, the limit for adults is $25. Homemade gifts, regifts and used items are all enthusiastically enjoyed. Constraints encourage creativity!

4. Go easy with kids’ gifts. Sometimes the combined number of gifts from loved ones can be overwhelming for children. A few special presents will keep expectations reasonable and help avoid Christmas day meltdowns.

I like this old saying about what to give young people:  “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.”

Red birdfeeder in snow

5. Potluck it. When friends and family members offer to bring food and help, graciously accept.

I try to remind myself to enjoy opportunities to be together and have fun, without the need for everything to be picture perfect.

6. Share experiences instead of gifts.  Most people already have plenty of stuff. If you’re part of a group that traditionally exchanges gifts, why not suggest doing something fun for the holidays instead? You may find that others share your desire to scale back.

Your relatives might enjoy going on a holiday outing in lieu of gifts, too. Nostalgic Christmas ideas like sledding, ice skating, or going for a drive to look at the Christmas lights might end up creating a fun new family tradition.

7. Give consumable gifts. Sometimes in our zeal to be creative gift givers, we end up adding unnecessary pressure and stress on ourselves.

Would your loved one enjoy a gift card, or a pretty potted rosemary tree, or an amaryllis bulb that can be regrown every year, or a pound of freshly-ground coffee, or a bag with all the makings for a nice dinner?

Or some good old cash? I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like cash.

How About You?

Do you have any suggestions for having a simpler Christmas? Drop a comment, because I always love hearing your thoughts and suggestions.

Here’s to a simple, more meaningful Christmas season for all of us.

Save for Later

If you use Pinterest to save and share ideas, here’s a handy pin:

Two blooming red and white amaryllis bulbs.

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.

4 thoughts on “7 Ways to Enjoy a Simple Christmas”

  1. I have had really great responses from gifts that help others. Especially farm animals! There are so many affordable prices and I like to get creative with a card that explains how it will help so many people. https://donate.worldvision.org/gift-catalog/animals

    • What a beautiful idea, Elaine. I love that the animals help produce income for the families, so your gift helps long term. Thanks for the link to World Vision. xoxo

  2. My favourite suggestion of yours is sharing experiences instead of gifts. We don’t need extra clutter in our houses, specially if it’s something we don’t need 🙂

  3. You have lots of great ideas here! We have come to the point where we don’t really exchange gifts at Christmas, but rather place the focus on the individual family member’s birthday. Even then, we take care with the gift that we give, and finding out what they could really use. Since I use therapeutic grade essential oils, that is what we give our grown children and their spouses. The grandchildren get a gift that their parents “approve”!
    All of our children and grandchildren were here for Canadian Thanksgiving just over a week ago. WE MADE MEMORIES!!! We all hiked in to a favorite, remote waterfall campsite and enjoyed a wiener roast, photos, & great family times. Later that evening, we built a campfire in our back yard to visit around. Sunday was a day of cooking the 35lb. turkey, pies, and other delicious food! This was my “Christmas” this year as it will just be my husband and I together on December 25th, and I loved every minute of it! No gifts were exchanged 🙂


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