Because life is easier when simple, I have decided to merge that principle into my holiday celebrations. What used to be a November and December filled with activities and the traditional holiday set-ups, I have now prefaced with the following questions:
- How can I simplify the holidays?
- What gives me the most joy about Thanksgiving and Christmas?
- What changes do I need to make that keep the spirit of the season yet make life easier?
Although I love to send and receive greeting cards throughout the year, the business of addressing and mailing Christmas cards to my entire address list has become overkill. I hereby determine to simplify the process.
I still believe all these people are important in my life, yet I am setting a card boundary. This year, I will save time, money and energy on Christmas cards. Please do not be offended if you are deleted. Consider this your greeting: Merry Christmas!
In the past, I have baked and frosted, wrapped and packaged treats for my neighbors, the postman, people at work and anyone else in my life who did not receive a store-bought gift. This year will be different.
The temptation of cookie dough in my large pottery bowl and the smell of rising breads no longer attract me. This year, my kitchen table will NOT be spread with powdered sugar treats fondly called People Puppy Chow. My body will thank me, because I am always tempted to eat half of them.
I vow to protect my heart, my brain and my arteries from excess powdered sugar. So I am setting a culinary boundary.
Throughout the years, my house has often sported decorations in every room. Walking through Pier One, Hallmark stores or Kirkland during this time of the year gives me great joy.
But since a stager opened my eyes to a more simplified décor, I have decided to change my holiday habits. And with COVID on everyone’s mind, I’m staying out of many stores.
Compared to other years, the mantel will seem sparse. My theme is pine cones which remind me of the New Mexico mountains. Simple yet beautiful – a display of God’s creation accented with little pearl lights.
Many former decorations, I will give away. It feels good to share the beauty of my past with someone else. My little tree with its tiny pre-lit globes still works. No need to buy the newer versions. And I hang a simplified number of ornaments that keep the pine cone theme yet add a bit of sparkle.
A simpler Christmas helps me focus more on the meaning of the holiday rather than the trappings of it. The joy of Christmas-giving still belongs with the young, so I have fun planning gifts for my son and his fiancé. The rest of the family already has their gifts — shipped early to avoid the rush.
The holiday surprise of 2020 is the joy of simplification. More room on my storage shelves with less stuff to store. More space in each room. More things to give away and share with someone else.
When I surround myself ONLY with the things that bring me joy, the essential leftovers offer pleasure. And in the choice to simplify my holidays, hope marches into the new year.
A toast of eggnog to all my followers. Enjoy your version of the holidays and let me know in the comments how you will celebrate.
©2020 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
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