Let’s Simplify For The Holidays

Most of us can probably feel the energy and the anxiety of the festivities coming up. Just pop into any retail store and the music and the pressure to buy and give as much as possible is everywhere. There is this feeling of I better get this now before it is gone. You might even be thinking of previous years when you felt stressed the day before Christmas and you were worried you didn’t have enough or you missed someone who is sure to give you something. Ugh!! I remember one year as a youngster thinking I would stay up all night to finish knitting a scarf to give to my brother. Lol

When I was younger and a stay at home mom with two young children, I actually made all my gifts for family and friends. That was certainly a happy time even though we had little money. This was back in the day of macramé, knitting, crocheting and ceramics. I was so proud of those gifts and had really poured my heart and soul into them. I have heard of families having this as a theme for Christmas gifts.  Good idea that could be a lot of fun.

Anyway, back to now. I believe that things are changing and people are more aware of the fact that they do not need a lot of gifts. A lot of people in my circles say that if they “need” something they will just go out and buy it. The thought is “I want to let go of stuff, I really don’t need more clutter!” As we get older and might not be entertaining as much we realize we don’t need to decorate as much. We are ready to donate some of those decorations (early in the season is best). I was reading about people putting these type of items on the Buy Nothing sites and they are snapped up real quick and very much appreciated by the recipients.

Christmas is for the Children

Of course when it comes to children this can be a bit more challenging as Christmas is really for them.  Think back as to how it was when we were little and hopefully you have some good memories. What was your favourite gift or maybe it was an experience? I loved when it was snowy and we would go outside to play (maybe with our new toboggan) and then come in with rosy cold cheeks for a hot chocolate. And then there was the excitement of playing with our new gifts. So fun!

Some ideas for a Simpler Holiday

  • If you must give a gift try to make it a consumable gift – something that you can use – Here are some ideas for Clutter Free Gifts
  • Spend within your means and let others know you are making some changes this year – it’s okay to say no to events, traditions, parties, etc. if they do not feel right for you
  • Pare down your Christmas decorations that you are not using and consider gifting them to someone in need
  • If you love to bake – consider gifting friends and family with some yummy treats
  • Plan an outing for yourself and a friend – a music concert, a walk in the park, a special lunch out, etc.
  • If you are cooking a big dinner, ask for some help from family or friends
  • Give yourself permission to let go of a few things – let go of perfectionism
  • Plan for a new or different tradition
  • Volunteer at an organization where they support vulnerable people
  • Give yourself the Gift of Organization – you are worth it!
  • What else?

As always, I love to hear from you. How are you simplifying the holidays this year?

About Kim

I’m Kim, your go-to Professional Organizer and Virtual Coach! I’m beyond excited to embark on this clutter-free adventure with you. With a background in mental health and a passion for transforming spaces, I bring a holistic approach to decluttering. It’s not just about neatening up physical spaces; it’s about fostering a mindset shift that radiates throughout your life. I founded Space For You Clear the Clutter, Heal Your Life and have been working with individuals and groups for about 15 years. I've also trained with Professional Organizers of Canada and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.
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11 Responses to Let’s Simplify For The Holidays

  1. This is a refreshing perspective. I loved hearing about your memories when you used to make gifts and also how you are encouraging more clutterless gift-giving this season.

    The gifts I enjoy most are the ones of shared time and experiences. And as you said, at this point in life, I’m de-assessing more than acquiring. For my birthday, my husband got tickets to see one of my favorite comedians. I can’t wait to go!

  2. I love gifts of organization, both gift certificates for professional services, and gifts that people can use in their spaces to get organized. I recently attended a bridal shower and gave her some of my favorite organizing tools. She was thrilled!

    I’m touched to hear that holiday decorations are getting quickly picked up on the Buy Nothing sites. That makes me happy. It reminds me that what may be a burden to me could be a blessing to someone else… a thought I want to remember all year long!

    • Kim says:

      Seana, Gifts of organization are such a good idea – a great bridal shower gift theme. Yes, I love to remember that what may be a burden to me could be a blessing to someone else. This would make a great quote. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Lovely to read your thoughts, Kim. I agree it’s best to donate holiday decorations early in the season. I like to ask family and friends what’s on their wish list. Sometimes there are things we’d like to have or do that we don’t feel like giving to ourselves. Listening to their ideas is one way I like to make the holidays special for my family. Quite often, what they want is an experience – tickets to a show, concert, or an annual membership to a museum.
    Happy Holidays!

    • Kim says:

      Hi Diane, Yes, that is so true. We often think of others before ourselves so it can be good to ask what people need or want. Experiences are the best. Happy Holidays to you too!

  4. Hanukkah gifts have always been considered primarily for kids, and even then, we always got one or two big gifts on the first two nights, and small things (probably the equivalent of stocking stuffers?) for the rest of the nights. I’ve always been shocked by how huge a dent Christmas shopping puts in people’s budgets and schedules. I think your approach is much more logical.

    I don’t come from a family of makers — except for reservations! 😉 But I think it’s a nifty idea for some families to craft their own gifts. It has a very cozy olden-days feel to it. And you’ve identified lovely, meaningful ways to observe the holidays by taking the focus off of “stuff” and onto heartfelt activities.

    Happy holidays!

    • Kim says:

      Hi Julie, Thanks for sharing. Making reservations sounds good to me. haha you are funny:) I don’t make gifts like I used to. Enjoy the holidays!

  5. I think it’s the time of the year where you gift your family, friends, teachers, instructors, housekeeper, your organizer…. to just say thank you and how much you appreciate them for doing what they do to help you and make your life easier in so many ways. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, its’ the thought that counts.
    Buy nothing group and volunteering are 2 ways to give and be thankful during the Holidays.
    Happy Holidays Kim!

    • Kim says:

      Thank you Janet – I thoroughly agree with you. It’s the season for giving and the thought that counts for sure. Happy Holidays to you too.

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