Simple Ways To Simplify Christmas

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When we chose this lifestyle, we chose to simplify our lives. We purposely sold all of our “stuff” and took with us only the bare essentials – the things we couldn’t live without. So now that we don’t have room for lots of “stuff”, how do we handle Christmas? I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past few weeks myself. My teen, who travels with us, has requested a couple of very small items, which we will get for him. But what else can we do to make Christmas merry for each other, without gathering more “stuff”? Here are a few ideas that I have come up with:

Give The Gift Of Time: After all, that’s why we sold it all and went on this trip – so we could spend time together, instead of always working at our jobs and maintaining our “stuff”. Some ideas might include volunteering your time together to help those less fortunate (we LOVE Feed My Starving Children – they are based in the Chicago area, but do Mobile Packs all over the U.S.). Or, promise to give your gift of time to a friend or family member and help them with a cause that is dear to them. Or set aside some time to help them out with a home-improvement task that they may not be able to tackle alone. Or offer to babysit one night for some stressed out parents you know would really enjoy a night off. What better way to celebrate the Season of Giving than to give of yourself?

Host A Movie Night: Let the family pick the movie, invite some friends over, make some great snacks and snuggle up together and enjoy an evening in.

Take A Class Together: My hubby and I would LOVE this (and I may just do this one!) We love to cook together, so taking a cooking class at a local kitchen store would be a total blast!!

Host a Game Night: My (adult) kids and I love to play Cards Against Humanity
(funniest game ever!!), so planning a night in with snacks and drinks to play would be a perfect gift for them.

Give The Gift Of An Experience: Take your kids or grandkids to a favorite event or place, like the zoo, a sporting event, museum, park, stage play, or even on a camping trip! We have taken nieces and nephews on trips with us, and they still talk about it years later. There’s no better gift than making memories together!

Give Of Your Knowledge: Take the time to teach a friend or family member something that you know. I am a professional photographer, and I know of a couple of people who would love to pick my brain and learn how to take better photographs. You can also teach a child how to cook or bake – and the great bonus is you get to spend time together with a special person!

Give Your Creativity: Help a friend redecorate a room, or make a photo album (digital or paper) of their favorite photos, make a craft together that you’ve both always wanted to try. The list is endless in this category!

As you can see, there are so many ways to give gifts at Christmas that don’t involve purchasing more “stuff” at the mall. I personally think any one of these gifts is much more meaningful, and won’t soon be forgotten by the recipient. Keep it simple, and gift out of love, and you can’t go wrong!

Merry Christmas!!


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