{ simple christmas }

So with the holidays approaching, a new baby here and a newfound realization that less IS more, we have been talking about ways to reduce the commercialization of Christmas and make it a simple holiday here. We've also been inspired recently by this book.

Step 1. We sent out an email to all of our family & friends asking that they honor our desire to spend time with them but not exchange gifts this year in a attempt to simplify our lives. We sent it out in August BEFORE people went shopping! :-) Budget for the rest of the expenses. Check out Simple Mom's post today for some good ideas on holiday budgeting.

Step 2. Decide what we do want to buy & give (obviously we will get some meaningful gifts for Sam & Henry).
What we decided to do:
1) Continue our family advent calendar tradition like we did last year (and instead of candy or gifts, include a fun thing to do together each day - ice-skating, skiing, hot chocolate making, cookie making & delivery to neighbors, sledding, delivering food to the food bank, giving money to the homeless shelter, making snowflake pancakes for dinner, etc.) More on this later this fall.
2) We also decided that we would ask all of her grandparents for donations to their college fund instead of gifts. Most have been excited about doing this and relieved not to have to try to figure out what a 4 year old today wants.
3) We also decided that we were going to get her 7 good, meaningful gifts in addition to her stocking with the following categories/tags.
1 Need. Something that she needs. (eg. new ski boots)
1 Want. This is something that she wants - most likely a princess thing. :-)
1 Wear. A new dress.
1 Handmade. Something homemade for her. Not sure what this is going to be yet.
1 Read. A new book.
1 Create. An activity - like a set of new paints, etc.
1 from Santa. {We'll wait and see what she asks for!}

Step 3. Decide on celebrations, travel, company, etc.
We are still working out this part of the plan (with my parents here, Will's mom & brother in Boulder & Will's dad in Alaska, it is difficult to see everyone during Christmas). But with a new baby, we most likely will get a hall pass on traveling this holiday season (yipee) and be able to be HOME. I think we will try to plan a winter solstice celebration again this year. More on this later.

I hope this ideas help get you started thinking about the holiday season and ways to infuse it with simplicity, giving and meaning. So what are YOU going to do to simplify your holidays this year?


TJ said...

this past summer i made birthday calendars for our family. you can use them every year and keep track of every ones birthday. i'm also making recipe cards with some of our familys favorite recipes. possibly make some cards for them to use if i have enough creative energy left.:)

Deb said...

I just found your site and I'm in LOVE with it! Thank you for sharing your wonderful tips!! xoxo

LobotoME said...

Hi tj - that is a great idea about the bday calendars!

Thanks Deb! sweet comments make my day! :-)

jess @ lost button studio said...

Great ideas. I'm doing something similar...I'll have to post about it soon.

LobotoME said...

Hi Jess- I'd love to hear your ideas!

J :)