“Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus right down Santa Claus Lane…”
Am I the only one who gets this crazy song stuck in their head this time of year?! It’s almost as if as soon as we finish stuffing our faces with turkey and well… stuffing, that all of the sudden it is a mad dash to decorate ALL THE THINGS, and somehow over the course of a month, knock out what feels like a year’s worth of shopping. Let me be the first and possibly the only person to say this… it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can keep it simple, Santa.
It has taken a few years of holiday breakdowns for me to realize that honestly, less is more in every single way, especially this time of year. I’ve developed into what I like to call a “wanna-be minimalist.” I’m on my way to being the real deal, but still can’t seem to let all of it go just quite yet. I bring that part of me up because it has helped shape how I view the holidays; how I choose to spend my time, money, and energy.
This time of year seems to bring with it a lot of ‘stuff’; presents, food, decorations, etc. While I love every single one of those things (especially covering every single nook and cranny of our house with twinkle lights), sometimes it can get a little excessive. It becomes easier to lose sight of the simple things and the truest treasures that this time of year brings with it.
Now I know what you’re probably thinking; “simple is boring!”
And to that, I can say, it doesn’t have to be! When I talk about keeping it simple, the biggest thing I am talking about is knowing our own limits. Simple is going to look different for everyone, and at the end of the day, that is perfectly okay.
For me, simple this time of year looks like limiting the number of presents we buy for our kids. We started the four gift rule but with a flair, so make it five gifts – something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read, and something for fun. We set a budget and buy within our means for that year. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to keep up with the Jones’ or buying the latest and greatest of everything, but at the end of the day, that isn’t what truly matters.
Simple to me also looks like not having an overcrowded calendar. I’m sure a few of you probably laughed at that given how this year has gone. I know a lot of my favorite holiday tradition activities have been canceled this year due to COVID, but even still, what a better way to hone in and realize what you really love and what brings you the most joy this time of year. When you do less, you can appreciate more.
When I think about what the holidays mean at the core to me, I continually come back to one word, JOY. So the last way and probably the easiest way I keep it simple during the hustle and bustle of this busy season is to ask myself, “Is this bringing me the most joy”?”
It could be the decorations I put up inside of our house, where we choose to spend Christmas, what we do with our extra family time, or how much we spend on presents. At the end of the year, when January comes, if you can say that all of those brought you joy, then you will end this time of year feeling full instead of drained. And that is the best gift of all!
There is something special that happens when we condense down, do less, and soak in more. We experience the true magic of the holidays, the presence of the people we love, and how beautiful even those quiet moments can be. Santa is still coming to town, but he’s just keeping it simple!