Less is more.

ornament2I just had one of the best Christmases ever.  I believe my family experienced the typical amount of holiday joy (which is plenty), but I managed to up my pleasure in the season by letting some things go.  Three weeks is not a lot of time to provide the most perfect Christmas ever, yet I normally put that pressure on myself between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It’s a ridiculous amount of work and I find myself resenting about half of it.  This year, Christmas cards didn’t happen.  That was a big relief.  I feel a little bad, yet I usually send out about forty and only receive about ten in return, so that means a whole lot of other people have already decided to “let go” of the Christmas card tradition.  I’m simply joining them.  I didn’t schedule in a trip to see The Nutcracker, or a trip to Warm Beach for the Christmas light festival, or a trip to Snowflake Lane to see the parade…  One evening we piled into the car a drove around the new neighborhood checking out the local lights.  It was lovely and only took a half hour instead of a whole afternoon or evening.  The girls and I made sugar cookies one afternoon and that was it.  One year I did this:

xmascookies

I count six different cookies.  Was I insane???  (Holly was one year old that year; I don’t even know how I managed to find the time.)  The teachers and bus drivers received Starbucks cards; nothing creative or time consuming about that.  (I used to make holiday soy candles as gifts – gah!)  Instead of driving 45 minutes to the crazy-busy mall with our favorite Santa and a 90 minute wait, we drove ten minutes to a Santa with a five minute wait and the picture was darling:santaphoto-03I still decorated to my heart’s content (which was fun to do in my new house) and shopped and wrapped gifts (more on the conservative side this year).  I still had to remember to move the elf every night.  There were a couple of nights where I was just drifting off when I remembered our elf and had to force myself out of the warm covers to go move the little thing to a new place in the house.  I still had to plan and pull off a delicious Christmas dinner, but that was nicely doable this year.  Overall, this was a very manageable Christmas and I’ve enjoyed myself more than I’ve been able to in the last ten years or so.  This has been an excellent reminder that sometimes less is more.

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5 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Isn’t amazing how much happier you are when you let go of the things that stress you out so much? I also backed away from some of the things that usually stress me out so much like baking and cooking so many things, granted no one left hungry and I did have a lot of left overs but I did not drive myself nuts trying to do all that I usually do. The picture of the girls is gorgeous, glad you had the best ever Christmas. Big hugs❤

  2. willgoh2

    I hear ya. I did send out cards, but this year I opted for the pre addressing of envelopes (by the card company, it helped that it was a free option and that I already had all the addresses in an excel spreadsheet). I have never done Elf on a Shelf bc it’s too much work. We kept forgetting to send out Santa’s letter (even though M knows the truth she wants to keep up traditions), and it was four days before Christmas so I had her write “express mail” -hahahaa! We always have a modest sized tree, this year bc of an unfortunate accident (Ben detached his right biceps) we couldn’t get to our usual ornaments that were under four heavy boxes of welding equipment. So I bought extra ribbon when I bought wrapping paper, and M and I had an afternoon where we created ornaments from paper. It’s a humble looking tree but we were delighted by the hand drawn ornaments. I served store bought cookies, and we made only one dessert (a bouche de noel) instead of a cake and two pies. Everyone was very happy. Happy to hear yours was a nice one too.

  3. Carolyn young

    Yea! Good decisions!
    And everything was so nice!

  4. Wendy

    I need to take a few lessons from you. I have so much going on in December that I don’t even feel like I have time to sit and open mail! Ridiculous. Maybe next year I’ll try it. Well done!

  5. Kathleen

    I am all about this idea — in my head. I don’t know if I can actually work it out enough to implement, as the family relies on certain traditions, while I rely on others. But, your point is so well-made, that I am inspired.

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