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How to Simplify the Holidays for a More Meaningful Season

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Are you starting to feel the pressure of holiday gifting, to-do lists, and social obligations? It’s only October, but I’m already getting bombarded with holiday marketing emails and advertisements trying to get me to buy all of the things. Read on for a few simple ideas to help you keep your cool during this frenetic season…

holiday season

Clarify Your Priorities

Take a minute to step back and consider how you can be more intentional this holiday season. What do you want to create space for? What are the most important rituals and traditions that you want to honor? What do you want to give up or do less of? What do you want to add or do more of? How do you want to feel?

Quiet Your Calendar

The winter months can easily become a blur of endless gatherings, work parties, family commitments – you get the picture. Make sure to prioritize the social events that are truly meaningful to you and give yourself permission to say no to all the rest. We typically like to hunker down during winter holidays. We love to cook, read, relax, and maybe take a family road trip.

Avoid the Big Box Stores

That’s right. Just don’t go in. Especially on the dreaded Black Friday when you are more likely to make terrible impulsive decisions and possibly be trampled by crazed shoppers. Instead, consider supporting small local shops, buying your gifts online from sites like etsy.com that offer unique handcrafted items, or even making things yourself. Click here for my clutter- free gift guide if you need some creative ideas.

Skip the Tinsel

Call me Grinch if you must, but when it comes to holiday decor I like to keep things wildly simple (read: stress-free). We like to spruce up our home with a few beeswax candles, greenery, and a single felt garland that we pull out every year. I also have ambitions to help my girls decorate oranges with cloves but I’m not sure they’re interested. The point is, you can do the bare minimum and still make your home feel cozy and festive. Instead of making yourself crazy with tangled lights and ornaments you could cook a seasonal meal, decorate a gingerbread house, or craft if you’re crafty.

Do Some Good

It’s easy to get distracted by all of the consumerism and pressure this time of year. Get some perspective by offering to help out at a soup kitchen or local charity. You can also gather up items from your home to donate – warm jackets, canned goods, gently used toys. The more the merrier! Now is the best time to clear space and help others at the same time.

The winter months always tend to fly by, and if you’re not careful – you’ll miss out on the good stuff. A little time and intention goes a long way in making sure you’ve scheduled time to rest, reflect, and gather with friends and loved ones. What do you want to make space for this holiday season?

Photography Credit: June Home 

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8 comments on “How to Simplify the Holidays for a More Meaningful Season

  1. Shira, I really appreciate this post. So much of what I see of social media is over kill.

    Your tips bring us to what is important to us, not what we want the world to see.

    Thank you!

  2. Shira-

    Thanks for this timely reminder.

    Please, please where is the sweet round table from first photo from? I need something just like this for my living room.

    Best, Sara

  3. I’d love to leave behind the amount of gifts I have to buy and spend more time giving back and seeing family and friends -perfect timing for this post

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