The Christmas season is in full swing! But, I don’t need to tell you that, do I? I’m all about keeping Christmas simple, especially this year. In fact, this week’s Encouragement for Real Life podcast episode was all about this subject. I invite you to join me in this intentional way to celebrate Christmas a little more simply.
Because I don’t want to miss Christmas.
What do I mean by that? How does one miss Christmas? Well, we discussed this on the podcast this week, and if you’ve ever missed it in the past, you know the feeling. Where you’re too busy doing all the things before the holiday… decorating, baking, shopping, making your list and checking it twice, and rocking around the Christmas tree. You are set on making Christmas the most special Christmas ever. You just know it’s going to be great.
But when Christmas Day arrives, you are so worn out and weary from all of the hustle and bustle, you can’t enjoy the day. Or you end up sick and feeling miserable on Christmas.
Friend, I can’t tell you how many years Christmas was like that for me in the past. Not only that, but also how many years I became sick on Christmas or just after because I ran myself ragged. Until I gave up doing it all and embraced a more simple Christmas. With simple gifts, simple decorations, simple baking, and simple celebrations. And through the process of finding a new way to appreciate this holiday, simple became much more special.
I was finally able to soak up all Christmas brings.
Isn’t that what we each want? We do not want to miss Christmas.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I can still struggle with the lure of the hustle and bustle, and I can still be drawn to do too much in this season. But the thought of missing Christmas one more time stops me in my tracks.
So, here are 5 Ways to keep Christmas simple.
(And to not miss Christmas!)
1 – Plan ahead.
Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.Proverbs 21:5 MSG
I know hurry and scurry all to well. Maybe you do, too. Planning in advance helps us be prepared and equips us to keep things simple. You probably know as well as I do, when we are hurrying and scurrying, that’s anything but simple! Take a few moments today and look at what you can do to plan ahead. Can you plan meals ahead? Or your schedule? Or when family gatherings will take place and who is hosing them? This week I’m planning my schedule for the remainder of the month, yet I’m holding them loosely, knowing how things may change. Planning ahead helps keep Christmas simple.
2 – Simplify what you can.
What can we simplify this season? Because do we really need to decorate all we can or bake all we can? Do we really need extravagant gifts under the tree? Can we simplify gift giving and give more of our time with our loved ones instead of gifts we really don’t need? Can we simplify our decorating or our baking? What about simplifying our schedules or our gatherings? Sometimes what’s simple is the most beautiful, anyway. The thing is, our loved ones aren’t going to remember how beautiful the decorations were in years to come. They will remember the time spent together. Take some time to think about this and I believe you’ll find ways to keep things a little more simple this Christmas.
3 – Remember you don’t have to do everything.
This is a big one. You and I don’t have to do everything this season. We don’t have to attend every event (even if we want to, because many of us didn’t get to do much last year). We don’t have to volunteer for everything or take part in all the things this year. No, we don’t. You and I also do not need to do everything ourselves. Who can we ask to assist us? With our shopping, or our baking, or our meal making? When we invite others to help, not only are we blessed, but they receive a blessing as well. It’s a win-win! Release the pressure from yourself this year. You aren’t Superwoman, and you don’t have to pretend to be this season.
4 – Slow down.
I know, slow is not popular. Slow is not what the world knows, and slow may feel uncomfortable. It does for me sometimes. But slowing down keeps things simple. It does. The Bible verse above clearly states “hurry and scurry puts you farther behind.” And farther behind is not simple. So, instead of racing through the grocery store aisles, what if we slowed our pace and focused on enjoying the moment? Instead of speeding through our meal preparations, what if put on some music and relaxed as we prepped? We don’t have to drive 5 or 10 mph over the speed limit to get somewhere, nor do we have to feel like we’re behind because we’re not racing the clock. Slowing down will help us keep Christmas simple this year. Let’s give it a try today.
5 – Recall daily the meaning of Christmas.
Remembering the reason for the season and why we celebrate Christmas in the first place helps us keep Christmas simple. We’re celebrating Jesus’ birth, after all! And what’s important to Him isn’t the gifts, the stuff, the tinsel, or the hustle and bustles. What’s important to Him is us spending time with Him. Reading His Word, or an Advent devotional. Praying and conversing with Him. Pondering His birth and the significance of it. And sharing the truth about Jesus to those around us. Jesus is Christmas. When we remember this, Christmas become very simple and extra special. And really, nothing else matters as much as this. I pray we recall daily why we celebrate this holiday in the first place.
Can we keep Christmas simple this year?
I believe we can, and I believe when we do, Christmas takes on special meaning in our lives. It won’t get buried under all the tinsel and the lights. And the hope of Christmas will not only bless this season, but will encourage us all year long.
I invite you to join me in this quest this season to do what you can to keep Christmas simple. Share below any ideas you have to help you do so. I’d love to learn from you!
Merry Christmas, friend. Thank you for being here!
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