Keeping Christmas Simple & Enjoying It

Have you thought about celebrating a simple Christmas? What I mean is to have a holiday season without the stress, without going all out on decorations, events, and gifts.

Consider celebrating a much simpler Christmas this year. By scaling back, doing less and focusing on the on the experiences you want to enjoy this holiday, you just might find more joy this season. As an added bonus, when you keep things simple, you have a lot more time to enjoy everything this special time of the year has to offer.


A case for a simple Christmas and how we are doing it.

What Are Your Best Christmas Memories?

Think back on Christmases past. Chances are that the ones that stand out the most were years when you didn’t have the fanciest decorations, lots of events leading up to Christmas eve and mountains of presents. Instead, if your family is anything like mine, the ones we remember are the years when we had fun and enjoyed each other.

Growing up South of the Equator, we celebrate Christmas on very warm summer days; I remember decorating large branches we picked out on walks during the day with homemade ornaments and with cotton for a “make-believe” snow with my creative aunt; enjoying the family gathering with aunts, uncles, and cousins (lots of them!) while we all anxiously waited for one of my uncles to come in dressed up as Santa. I remember a lot of family, love and so much joy but would never be able to tell you what I got for Christmas.

It’s those simple Christmases that stand out in my mind. They are some of my most treasured memories and the same holds true for the rest of my family.

How We Are Doing A Simple Christmas

Having a simple Christmas is exactly what we are doing this year. No “all out” decor, not even the large tree and ornaments, just the mantel with our stockings and a beautiful garland with lights. Our comfy red pillows and blankets are up, too. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels to be free to do just that.

After 2 years of intense changes and moves, I made a conscious decision to keep things simple and I’d like to invite you to join along.

If you think your family may not like your choice to simplify the holidays, you might be in for a sweet surprised.

Truth is, many times we are the ones imposing the pace around family traditions and while our children and spouses may follow along, that may not be what they’d do if given a choice. When I said over dinner that I would like to keep things simple for Christmas this year, everyone was excited about it. There was a sense of relief in the air and the boys immediately asked if we could travel for the holidays. They wanted to “do” something with us, not to “have” one more item under the tree.

It’s Just Too Much

I personally believe that because we have Thanksgiving and Christmas so close apart, it contributes to this feeling of overwhelm we all attribute to this time of the year. To prevent overwhelm from kicking in, we need to create the space we need, even if that means creating new traditions.


[clickToTweet tweet=”Prevent overwhelm from kicking in during the holidays, even if that means creating new traditions.” quote=”Say no to overwhelm this holiday season, even if that means creating new traditions.”]


So, this year we’re not buying more decorations. Instead, we’re sorting through what we have, picking the things we love and donating what doesn’t speak to us anymore. The house is less cluttered and the decorations that are up stand out. As an added bonus it’s way easier to clean the house, not to mention how it will be much quicker to store everything back when January comes around.

A case for a simple Christmas and how we are doing it.

We are spending the month of December looking at lights, watching movies and Netflix series with lots of popcorn, meeting and hosting friends, and we decided to spend Christmas out of town where we will spend time together, enjoy the season and rest.

The gifts were simplified, too and each of us picked one good gift.

If having only one present under the tree doesn’t sound right to you, maybe you can establish the “four gift rule” where each family member receives a total of four presents. One gift will be something each of us really wants. The second one will be something we need, the third something to wear, and the fourth something to read.

I hope you give a simple Christmas a try this year and find out for yourself if you enjoy a calmer and less stressful holiday season. Tell me what you’d do differently if you were to simplify your holiday season on the comments below!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Jolly Holiday season!

A case for a simple Christmas and how we are doing it.


A case for a simple Christmas and how we are doing it.

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  1. Janet Barclay says:

    Our Christmases have been much simpler and quieter for the last few years, and it’s very nice! I can’t remember the last time we put up a tree, and although sometimes I miss it, I don’t miss hauling everything up from storage only to have to haul it back down a few short weeks later!

    1. I feel a whole lot better knowing I’m not alone in keeping my tree in the basement this year! We are also enjoying the break on hauling stuff up and down. Merry Christmas, Janet!

  2. Lot Aldarwish says:

    Couldn’t agree more with this. The simpler the better at our house too!

    1. Thank you, Lot! We are all truly enjoying the simplicity of our Christmas this year. <3

  3. I think it comes down to knowing what brings you the true joy of the season. Prioritize what matters to you, and let go of the rest. Following through on the few things that feel like Christmas is so much better than frantically trying to check off all of the boxes. As I say to many of my clients, “The Elf on the Shelf is optional!”

    1. So true! We are truly experiencing a different holiday season this year and are looking forward to getting out of town and being together and having fun.
      Love the “optional” Elf on the Shelf tip, Seana!

  4. Saying no to overwhelm is one thing, but sometimes a change in traditions is triggered by a change in the family. Someone dies…someone else moves away… or someone new gets added… This year, because my brother is out of the country and my Dad is not feeling festive, “us girls” (me, aunt, and close friends) are going to afternoon tea on Christmas Eve instead of our usual activities.

    1. I love that idea, Hazel and am happy that you, “girls”, are open to a new tradition. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  5. I agree, we have to spend more time with things that really matter, and with our lovely family and friends!
    I loved that idea! Thanks, Helena.
    Merry Christmas!

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