Thinking about a Simpler Season

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The holidays hold some of my favorite childhood memories:

  • long neighborhood walks in the rain after a big turkey dinner
  • sandwiches: turkey on rye bread, just a bit of mayo
  • card games with my Gramma or other visiting relative
  • Toffee Dream
  • See’s candy at breakfast
  • late nights on New Years

None of these things were particularly expensive or even unique, but they were traditions for me and my siblings that I still look back on fondly. My kids are storing away different memories as well as some of the same. And the holidays are a time that we all look forward to.

But, making a memorable holiday and waxing nostalgic about one are two different animals. Someone had to clean up that big turkey dinner, arrange accommodations for Gramma or the visiting relatives, and buy the See’s candy.

It takes planning, surely. But it also takes intention. Every good idea you find cannot come to fruition. Not unless you plan to give up sleeping in the next two months. So, you have to choose. And you have to let some things wait for another time — or never.

Years ago when we bought our first house, money was really tight. I still wanted to “do it up” for Christmas, so I started making all our gifts, beginning at Labor Day and continuing on until Dec 24th. This was my standard operating procedure in the fall for many, many years. Finally, my husband said, “No more projects.”

Now that I think about it, that was a pretty brave thing of him to do. I really loved what I was doing. But, while I was saving us money, my creativity was costing us something – my time and my cheery disposition. I was so busy crafting the perfect Christmas that I slept less and crabbed more. And so hubs put the brakes on it for a time.

Oh, I’ve gone back to limited handwork, but hopefully, I’ve learned my lesson: Go simpler or go crazy.

I’ve put together another little holiday planning book of sorts. But this one doesn’t have a to do list or even a recipe or craft idea. It’s a booklet to get you thinking, thinking about a simpler season. 

When folks realized last week that there were 2 months until Christmas, some started to hyperventilate. Some started freaking out that they weren’t ready yet. I spoke with one woman lamenting the fact that she’s still paying for last Christmas. Oh dear. Something’s gotta change.

Our attitudes.

Want to plan a fabulous holiday? A Simpler Season holds almost everything you need to do just that.

This guide to planning the winter holidays provides creative ideas , time-saving tips, and budget-minded inspiration for making the most of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. With the busy family in mind, I’ve provided recipes, to-do lists, children’s activity sheets, planning pages, gift ideas, and step-by-step tutorials for creating homemade gifts. Grab your copy today.

This FREE download, Thinking About a Simpler Season, is about just that: your attitude about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. What is important to you? What do you want to focus on? What really matters this holiday season? If you have those questions answered, then the rest will fall in place.

But if your purpose isn’t clear in the next couple months, you will sleep less, spend too much, and freak out more than you should. I know. Been there, done that.

From the booklet:

We put pressure on one another, whether purposefully or unintentionally, to do more, buy more, cook more, “celebrate” more. While in reality, we can enjoy more — with a lot less.

With thoughtful planning we can celebrate simply and beautifully this holiday season. We can spend our time and our dollars on the things, and more importantly, the people who matter most.

This booklet is FREE. It’s a quick read; it’s all about YOU. It’s about how you can be more intentional this year. With a dozen or so “reflection” questions, it will get your creative juices flowing as well as help you wade through the noise of the holiday season.

Download it today for FREE. And if you like it, share this post with a friend. We need to help each other celebrate a simpler season.

What is most important to YOU at the holidays?

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Comments

  1. thanks for making these available and free! I have downloaded both booklets and look forward to reading them and sharing more idea over the next few weeks. Keeping things simple and significant is very much my aim .

    Jo.

  2. Great minds…again. :-)

    I love spending time with family, especially my oldest sister who never married and always comes home for a week or two at Christmas. We love to head down to our basement where you can find us wrapped up in blankets and drinking something hot while watching one of a number of Christmas films. I shared some of my favorites today on the blog:

    http://carriesbusynothings.blogspot.com/2011/11/stockings-were-hung-holiday-films.html

    Outside of that, this year I really want to focus less on the earthly gifts and more on how we can share an eternal Gift – the holidays are a great time to reach out.

  3. Thank you for the list of memories at the top of this post. It inspired me to create a mental list of my own cherished holiday memories. You know what? Not one of them involved “a perfect Thanksgiving” or “a perfect Christmas.” I’m going to focused a lot less on the picture-perfect magazine holidays this year. I’m going to spend time with my family in a less stressful environment. I’m going to bookmark your post to keep me honest over the coming weeks.

  4. thanks so much for this! you are a wonderful writer with such helpful thoughts … and so positive! you’re the best!

  5. This year, more than ever before, I want our family to focus on Jesus… not in the cliche way, but on His character and how we can love Him by serving others and being thankful for what He has given us.

  6. Thanks for the reminders! My husband pulls the plug on some of my projects too – and I’m so glad he does! Life is happier when it’s simpler.
    We stil have a young family, and we’re still learning how we wantto celebrate all these holidays. For now, we just jump in with my family and enjoy the traditions I grew up with!

  7. I love love love those next day turkey sandwiches too. I swear they’re better than the big turkey dinner! Mmm! My goal is to make things simpler too. We’ll see how it goes!

  8. There’s a really outstanding book called “hundred dollar holiday” that I love. I get it from the library every year as a reminder of what I want our holidays to be like. It takes an hour to read, if I’m uninterrupted (ha!) , but is worth it!

  9. Love how you tied in the Grinch whose heart grew three sizes that day. Thanks for the tips and the guide!

  10. I loved the book ‘Hundred Dollar Holiday’ too.

    This year the budget is extremely meager so far, (hubby is a broker and oldest two daughters are Realtors in a slow market) so I found some inexpensive faux short velvety fur that I’m sewing simple dress-up wraps for my four daughters. Simple but lovely! I made two today from one yard and it comes to around $3.50 a wrap. I’ve also found some pave crystal “kitten” pins on clearance for around $3.69 (free shipping) we have a new kitten this year. Perfect! And a cute clearance dress on Walmart online that is a God send for me to gift my girls. It’s so the Lord what I have found, I just have to praise His name!

    I think it’s so smart to be careful of overdoing crafts and not burning out. It’s so difficult these days with so many families spending ridiculous amounts. Sometimes I have to ask myself…Where is Jesus?

    If I have extra time this season I plan on making simple tote bags or purses (emphasis on simple!) lol from an old 50s coat and jacket that was my grandmothers. Perhaps I’ll put a sewin flower pin on them or something of the sort. But only if I have time during the day and it must be fun, and not stress. When it gives a headache up it goes! : )

    Blessings to you Jessica, love your forum and articles. Great-great reminders. ~Amelia

  11. Libby Nelson says:

    You’re the best! Can’t wait to dig into these. An intentional season is a big goal for me this year. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Thank you so much for providing tools like these to help those of us who are time and organizationally challenged. Seriously, without people like you out there, I would be totally lost. I don’t know if you truly realize how helpful you are. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful person and making my life better!

  13. Leah Ramirez says:

    thanks for the ebook! I cant wait to read it! This Christmas was probably one of the most laid bavck we have had. In the last 3 years we have REALLY dialed back from the brink of insanity. We read the hundred dollar holiday and took it to heart. I dont really ‘do” homemade things. lol! so NOT my thing. but we focus our priorities of spending time as a family, not the gifts etc. SO much better! We have a Jesse tree, and we do the advent wreath. We pick a family or two to do the 12 days of christmas secret santa…we call it “ding, dong, ditch Santa” hehehe…the memories are priceless. 5 to 7 kids trying to sneak up to a doorquietly and all fit back in the fan to peal away before the door opens. I will never forget…this year we left someone behind and had to drive back around the block! hehehe great memories…and all free! I already dont remember what I got for christmas this year, but I will never forget that!

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