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How to Enjoy a Simple Christmas This Year

December 25, 2023 3 min read

How to Enjoy a Simple Christmas This Year

The holiday season is something that many of us look forward to each year. It’s a time to celebrate, make memories with our families, and enjoy that Christmas magic.

But let’s be honest.

The holiday season can also be completely overwhelming.

Think about it. There’s a lot going on. You decorate the house, buy gifts for everyone on your list, prep food for the holiday potluck, block time for your niece’s Christmas choir presentation, squeeze in family vacations – and more.

All while working, paying your bills, and maintaining all of life’s normal obligations. 

By the time the new year rolls around, it’s easy to end up more stressed out and anxious than you were when it started.

If this sounds familiar, consider taking a different approach to the holiday season this year. Embrace the mentality of less is more and embrace the idea of a simple Christmas

To some, the thought of a simpler Christmas might sound… boring. 

To be fair, if you grew up thinking that Christmas is this incredibly over-the-top celebration – that expectation can carry on well into adulthood. 

1. Focus on meaningful experiences, not things.

If you’re used to an overwhelming holiday experience, figuring out how to enjoy a simple Christmas might be harder than it should be. But don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Keep these ideas in mind as you plan your simple Christmas, and you might be surprised to see how easy – and fulfilling – keeping it simple can be. 

2. Set your intentions for the holiday season.

An easy way to set the right tone for your simple Christmas is to spend some time thinking about your intentions for the season.

What is it that you hope to achieve? What are your goals? How do you want to feel? What is most important to you? What do you want to focus on?

Those things could be…

  • Making meaningful memories with friends and family.
  • Taking time to slow down and reflect on your growth from last year.
  • Spreading kindness and joy.
  • Stress less and stay present. 

By setting your intentions at the start of the season and using them to guide your actions over the following weeks, you might be less tempted to stray from your simple Christmas goals – and more at peace with the holidays.

One way to truly enjoy a simple Christmas is to focus your efforts this holiday season on making memories – with yourself, and with those you love. 

By prioritizing meaningful experiences instead of stuff, you can truly keep the season simple while still enjoying yourself and making it special for those around you.

Not sure what that looks like? Here are a few ideas:

  • Fill a thermos with hot cocoa and drive – or walk – around your neighborhood to admire the Christmas lights.
  • Cozy up in front of the fireplace and read Christmas books with your kids, or enjoy some reflective journaling by yourself.
  • Put on a holiday playlist and bake something sweet, then gift it to a neighbor or friend.
  • Volunteer your time and give back to your community. 
  • Pop some popcorn and watch a Christmas movie marathon.

3. Set a Christmas budget – and stick to it.

It’s easy to let shopping and spending get slightly out of control when the holiday season rolls around – and it’s easy to see why.

The holiday season has become synonymous with gift-giving, and it can be hard to resist the endless deals and sales, as well as the pressure to buy everyone on your list the perfect gift.

For a simple Christmas – and a holiday season that doesn’t wreak havoc on your bank account – recognize that temptation before you go into the season and get ahead of it. 

Instead, have open conversations with family members ahead of time about gifts and expectations. To have a simpler Christmas, you may opt to forego exchanging gifts with some people this year and enjoy an experience together instead.

Or you may choose to do a gift exchange where you each buy for only one extended family member. There are a lot of creative options to simplify gift-giving this holiday season.