Why are some people able to smile, anticipating the holidays with joy in their hearts, while others are facing them with tight chests and anxious minds?
Why are some people able to get their shopping done, presents wrapped and cards sent by Dec. 1, while others are staying up past midnight on Christmas eve trying to get everything ready for the next day?
Why are some people able to sit and read the Nativity Story with their children, in a tidy model home, while others find themselves yelling at the kids and knee deep in toys, laundry and junk mail?
Welcome to my mini-series about Simplifying The Gifts This Holiday Season
You’re going to discover how to simplify the entire gift exchanging process so you can cut back on all the time and energy spent on shopping, wrapping, giving and receiving gifts. Once you get this down, you’ll be able to write out a game plan, get your gifts prepared and sitting under the tree, so you can spend the days leading up to the holidays with people you love.
So, if you’re a mom of young children, but you aren’t experiencing the true joy of the holidays with your family, or if you’re a grandmother that is not getting quality time with your children and grandchildren, stay with me, because you are going to discover how loving parents like you and I can create cherished holiday experiences and why it’s critical that you have harmony with gift giving this year.
The goal of this series is simple, to help you easily and calmly move through gift-giving through the holidays.
The more you can simplify, the greater the opportunity you have to enjoy the holidays.
Are you ready to make this happen?
Before we dig in, I have to warn you about something that’s critically important. And not paying attention to this will virtually guarantee holiday chaos.
We have this idea that we need to DO ALL THE THINGS in order to have a hallmark holiday, complete with tear-jerking reunions. That in order for our family to have good memories, we need to pull it off like “Supermom”.
That mindset is purely made up by the retailers, to push us to feel inadequate and buy more stuff.
Let’s face it- we take action to avoid things, and the retailers do everything they can to suggest that our family isn’t going to be happy unless they have the biggest, newest, and trendiest gadgets out there.
Though the kids might think that they do want the biggest, newest and trendiest, have you ever considered why, that after the holidays are over, everyone ends up in kind of a funk? Even if everyone got “everything they wanted”, the holidays felt rather anti-climatic.
The winter holidays are not a miracle machine.
They are but dates on the calendar we choose to celebrate in a certain way. In and of themselves, the holidays cannot magically make our lives, family and situation the way we romanticize.
Certainly, we can enjoy our celebration days, but enjoying something and expecting it to be perfect are two very different things.
I’m sure you’ll agree, getting to to an enjoyable and relaxing holiday time isn’t always as simple as people sometimes make it seem. It comes with it’s challenges.
When we try to cut back on gift-giving, people can get offended and if they’re giving an over-abundance of toys to our children and won’t listen when we say “there simply is no more room in the house”, then, we struggle with animosity.
That’s why, in this mini-series, I’m going to demystify the process of simplifying your gift exchanges, on all fronts. Which is going to save you a lot of time, money and frustration.
Let’s eliminate animosity and bring harmony.
Maybe you’re just starting out with young children and want to set a standard for Christmas. Or maybe you’re a seasoned mother, but you want to presence instead of presents. Either way, you’re in the right place because after this series you’ll know how to approach your holiday gift exchanges.
I got married at 18, and started having children just over a year later. I looked like I was 12 (and I’m not kidding- when I went shopping for a wedding dress with my 13 year old cousin, they asked which one of us was getting married.)
I started out feeling like I had to prove that I was a good wife and a good mother. I fell right into the idea that I had to be Supermom to be respected.
When Christmas came around, I had a martha stewart type of ideal that I was comparing myself to, I would sew full sized quilts for gifts, I would put together large gift boxes full of homemade cookies, candies, breads and jellies.
With toddlers in tow, we would go from one family gathering to another, bringing an abundance of gifts to exchange, all while at home, clutter was strewn on every surface of the house, dishes were piled high in the sink for days on end and the new items that were gifted to us, had no place to belong, so would end up in piles and added to the chaos surrounding me.
I rushed from one activity to the next- I was far too busy trying to do all the things that Supermom would do, and if I did find myself with a few minutes to spare, I would distract myself with browsing the internet or escape into a novel.
It continued in that way for 12 ½ years.
Once I came to an understanding that I didn’t need to be Supermom and realized that I did have time to take care of the house, I was only mismanaging it, I started learning to enjoy the holidays with my family. I’m now a full-fledge minimalist – with 6 children even, and yes, I know that being a minimalist with 6 children is a little ironic, but now our holiday celebrations are focused on relationships and require very little preparation.
But this story doesn’t stop with me. Everything I am about to share with you is the plan I followed to bring harmony into our holidays. And it’s the plan that led me to experience orderliness and peace. And that’s what I want for you. I know you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t dreading the holidays. That’s why I want to make things easy for you.
The purpose of simplifying gifts is to help you quickly overcome the frustration in gift exchanges these days so that you can experience peace and harmony.
Posts in this mini-series:
- Creating A Gift List and Realistic Expectations
- Addressing Gift-Exchanges With Extended Family
- Facing An Over-Abundance Of Gifts
I’d also love to know a little more about you. Tell me where you think your holiday stress comes from and what does that look like for you? Leave a comment below.
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