Christmas is such a special time of year. We get the chance to take time out of our schedules to be with our family and our friends. To enjoy each other's company and to relax without the pressure of needing to be anywhere else.
It can also be stressful - the desire to make this year the perfect year, to find the perfect gift and to purchase the must-have toys. We feel pressured to be the perfect host and to make the perfect Christmas dinner. Stores unleash their special Christmas campaigns and sometimes the Christmas message seems to get lost in a frenzy of spending and over-consumption.
These are some ideas for enjoying a simple Christmas. I'd love to hear your suggestions, too!
- Plan a reverse advent calendar - in the run up to Christmas, take the time to buy small gifts to place in a hamper for someone who really needs it. My son is taking part in this at his school this year, where they're making a hamper for the elderly residents at a local residential home.
- Bake Christmas shortbread. Or if you're not a fan of baking, buy some shortbread/cookies and decorate them instead.
- Source your Christmas food locally and support your local businesses.
- Go on a nature walk to collect holly/ pine sprigs / fir cones to make your own Christmas decorations or wreaths.
- Have a day at the beginning of Christmas to make your own decorations. such as simple paper snowflakes to put in your window. They look so pretty and cost pennies to make.
- Give activity vouchers instead of "stuff" - horse riding, bowling, crazy golf.
- Make your own advent calendar. Instead of having gifts for each day, add experiences or treats that appeal to your kids. Hot chocolate at bedtime, decorating the Christmas tree, watching a Christmas movie.
- Challenge your family or friends to do 12 random acts of kindness in the run up to Christmas. This could be anything from leaving money in the car park machine so the next person parks for free or offering to babysit for a friend.
- Check out what's going on in your local area. Carol services and Christmas markets are fun and inexpensive ways to get in the festive mood.
- Choose some items to donate to your local charity. Encouraging your kids to do this, too, helps them appreciate giving as well as receiving at Christmas.
- Light an Advent candle.
- Have a gift giving challenge such as only giving home-made gifts like chutneys, jam, truffles, fudge or even Christmas pudding.
- Go through your phone/camera and select some of your favourite photos. These can make beautiful gifts either in a little scrap book or framed.
- Cook a homemade meal for a loved one and freeze it. They'll really enjoy it in the days after Christmas when they're ready for some ordinary food/are tired of eating Christmas dinner leftovers.
- For adults, gift vouchers for their favourite store, beauty salon, restaurant.
- Plan your gift giving - pool family resources to buy each family member a single gift that they really want instead of lots of "stuff".
- Go to church on Christmas Eve to celebrate and sing Christmas hymns.
- Research the history of Christmas traditions and share it with family and friends. Did you know that the tradition of Christmas stockings comes from St Nicholas dropping gold coins down the chimney of a poor family, and the coins landing in a stocking that had been hung up near the fire to dry?
- Create a stocking of gifts for someone that you know has no family or is suffering hard times.
- Choose an inspirational or funny Christmas movie to watch with family or friends with Christmas snacks and mulled wine.
I'd love to hear about your favourite ways of celebrating a simpler Christmas. Do leave your comments below as I love reading them 🙂
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like reading- Why I'm Already Thinking About (a Minimalist) Christmas