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Wondering how to have a simple Christmas without all the stress? We’ve got one simple step that will help you create a meaningful holiday. Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of the Christmas season? Grab our free printable and give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy the holidays with your family.
Christmas is coming! Does the thought fill you with excitement? Or with anxiety? Are you full of joyful anticipation? Or wondering how on earth you will get everything done and stick to your budget?
The less attractive side of Christmas
Where I live the Christmas season is ramping up into full gear.
- The mailbox is full of Christmas sales flyers.
- The stores are full of Christmas stuff and we are bombarded with loud obnoxious advertising.
- Pinterest is full of images depicting an impossibly perfect Christmas
It’s enough to make me want to join the Grinch in his cave at the top of the mountain.
You see I hate that part of Christmas. The consumer driven, frantic, Pinterest perfect frenzy that seems to take over at this time of year. You too?
But there is so much about Christmas that I love
- The sparkling eyes of the preschoolers as they help me decorate the children’s room in the library.
- Sharing a good cup of tea and a piece of Christmas cake with my love.
- The quiet moments of candles, twinkling lights, and wonderful music.
- Watching The Christmas Carol and It’s a wonderful Life.
- The hugs of my boys as they arrive for a special meal and family time.
- Skype calls with my parents, brothers and their families on Christmas Day.
Those are the things that make Christmas for me. Imagine a simple Christmas that is calm and stress free. How does that sound? How about time with family? Or a celebration full of joy? That’s what I want. How about you?
Newsflash: We have the power to create the kind of Christmas we desire
I have discovered that we can create a magical Christmas without all the stress. So what’s the secret? The first step is to write yourself a permission slip.
I know it sounds silly? Bear with me, because I’m going to explain.
The change that makes all the difference
At this time of year there seems to be so many expectations.
- It isn’t Christmas until you have chosen a decorating theme and created elegant arrangements in every room.
- You will of course attend every event you are invited to. Otherwise someone’s feelings could get hurt and how can we offend great aunt Agatha?
- You must have mounds of gifts decorated with ribbons and home painted tags.
- Everyone will be so disappointed if you do not generate your lovely
bragfestnewsletter filled with witty accounts of your exciting family adventures.
- How can you possibly think of sending store bought goodies to your child’s school party. What will everyone think?
So what can we do about it?
The answer might surprise you.
What if we stop trying to create the perfect Christmas? It really is that simple.
Who decides what the perfect Christmas looks like anyway? Shouldn’t it be us? Somehow those expectations get the better of us. Then we find ourselves getting sucked into the madness. And you know what? We end up tired, stressed and resentful.
Let us choose to do what gives us joy and leave the rest undone. Can we really do this? Absolutely we can.
What do we need to do (or not to do) in order to have the Christmas you desire?
Here are mine. I give myself permission to
- Skip cleaning the house from top to bottom (for some absurd reason I’ve always felt I had to do this before I could decorate).
- Ditch the work party and watch some Christmas movies with my love.
- Give the Christmas newsletter a miss this year.
- Pick a few decorations to put out and leave the rest in their boxes.
- Light some evergreen scented candles.
- Skip the Christmas baking and buy some good quality chocolate instead.
- Play cheesy Christmas music as loud as I want.
Hey I feel lighter already. And guess what? It will still be Christmas even if I don’t write the Christmas newsletter, clean the house, or put up every decoration we own. Your family will benefit because a calmer, happier parent means a happier family.
This is the point where you have to decide
Will you take a good look at all those expectations you are carrying? Will you ditch some of them and write yourself a permission slip? The first thing to do is to think about what kind of Christmas you want.
- What do you want it to look like?
- How do you want to feel?
- What will it sound and smell like?
Write it down and be specific. Then decide what do you need to do to get that Christmas
- What do you want to do?
- How will you make space in your schedule to do those things?
- Most importantly, what will you need to give up in order to make that space?
Then write down that permission slip!
As a bonus, I’ve included some FREE printable worksheets to help you think through these things. It even includes a fancy permission slip. Fill it in and sign it. Then put it up where you will see it every day.
Give yourself the gift of a simpler Christmas
Since it is much easier to give other people these kinds of permission slips I’ve written a few to give you some inspiration. You have permission to
- Say no to organizing the church pageant, attending the office party, or (insert a Christmas obligation that brings you no joy).
- Do something fun with your kids instead.
- Serve shop bought treats instead of baking.
- Say YES to whatever brings you peace, joy, and calm.
- And NO to whatever brings stress?
- Enjoy saying yes to your needs.
- Buy fewer gifts.
- Buy no gifts.
- Skip writing Christmas cards this year.
- Ask your family to help with (whatever Christmas thing you need to delegate).
Now do it!
So what are you waiting for? It’s up to you now. Are you ready to simplify your Christmas and enjoy the holiday? Trust me it’s worth it.
Did you write a permission slips? I would love it if you would share some of your ideas. In the comments below tell me what you wrote for yourself this year.