Published Dec 06, 2021
When we think of Christmas, the first things that come to mind are presents, parties, and shopping. Unfortunately, whether we admit it or not, this is what Christmas has reduced to – a veil for mass consumerism.
The advent of social media has further intensified this want for material things. Gone was the simple Christmas of our youth, where everything was much less complicated. There was no pressure to snap the perfect Christmas photo or go on an expensive holiday trip that is definitely way out of our budget.
It seems that in the midst of all the holiday chaos, we have forgotten the true essence of Christmas. We fail to remember that Christmas is more than just giving and receiving presents. Nor is it about getting drunk at every party that you’ll go to.
We celebrate Christmas because, on this day, thousands of years ago, salvation came to mankind. This should be the primary reason for the season. The presents and other material trappings should only serve as the “topping to the cake.”
Keeping Christmas simple makes it much more meaningful. Here are some tips on how you can celebrate a simple, no-fuss Christmas this year:
1. Celebrate Within Your Means
For some people, Christmas is mostly about maxing out their credit cards. With all the holiday promotions and discounts, it’s certainly hard to keep your bank balance intact.
If you’re one of these people, I want you to think about the things you bought last Christmas. Can you remember them all? No? That’s because it doesn’t really matter. You probably don’t even remember why you bought half of it in the first place. Yet, you will be working overtime for several months just to pay for that credit card bill.
So before you rack up debts this holiday season, keep your expenses to the basics. Don’t splurge on things just to get more likes on social media or look good in front of other people. If you can’t afford that expensive European holiday, don’t push it. Keep a budget and stick to it.
2. Invest in Memories
This Christmas, invest in memories. Instead of spending hours lining up at department stores, try doing activities that the whole family will enjoy. For example, you can decorate the Christmas tree, watch Christmas movies, make sugar cookies, participate in Christmas baking contests, attend the town’s Christmas parade, or read the bible together.
At the end of the day, it’s these little moments with your loved ones that will matter. Your kids will soon forget about the Christmas gifts they received, but the memories you shared will stay in their hearts for a long time.
3. Practice Giving Back
This season is not just about receiving; it’s also about giving. Nothing compares to the satisfaction and contentment you’ll feel in knowing that you’ve made someone happy. Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can practice giving back this Christmas. You can:
- volunteer at a soup kitchen
- donate old clothes to the homeless
- visit an orphanage
- bake cookies for your less fortunate neighbors
- make holiday photo cards for hospice patients
- help out in a fundraiser for a local charity
4. Keep a Simple Schedule
Parties and gatherings are common during the Christmas season. But most of the time, the endless festivities can wear you out. Instead of enjoying the holidays, you end up getting stressed out.
This is why keeping a simple schedule this Christmas is important. You don’t need to go to all the Christmas parties you’re invited to. As much as possible, leave time for yourself to relax and recharge before going to another event. Consider this time out as a Christmas gift for yourself. This will help you to better enjoy the celebration and be more “present”.
5. Choose Simple Gifts
What gifts did you receive last Christmas? Are you still using it? Much more importantly, do you still have it? Chances are, those gifts are now either lost or misplaced. This is what consumerism has done to the beautiful Christmas tradition of gift-giving. We often receive things that we don’t need nor want. Most of the time, they just end up cluttering our closets.
When it comes to buying gifts, one thing is true: it’s the thought that counts. You don’t need to give out something fancy or super expensive to express your love for the people around you. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a handwritten Christmas card or a handmade sweater. What’s important is the sincerity that comes with that gift.
If you’re good at crafts, you can use it to create personalized gifts. If baking is your strong suit, Christmas cookies will always be appreciated. These gifts might not be worth thousands of dollars but you poured your talents and effort into it. And that’s what makes them extra special.
6. Tone Down Your Decorations
Many people would agree that one of the infinite sources of stress during the holiday season is Christmas decorations. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make your house beautiful for the holidays. But if you can’t afford it and it’s already causing you so much stress, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your decisions.
Remember that Christmas decors are just part and parcel of the celebration. They only add to the festive atmosphere. Unless you’re participating in a contest, you don’t need to outdo every single house on your street just to show that you’re having a wonderful Christmas.
Besides, once Christmas is over, they’ll only end up gathering dust in the attic. You probably won’t be able to use some (or most) of them the next year.
Instead of splurging on thousand-dollar decorations, stick with what you have and what you can afford. Recycle or upcycle last year’s decorations. Make use of homemade ornaments. You can even make it a fun bonding activity with your kids. Let your imaginations run wild. You’ll be surprised at what a few recycled decorations and a healthy amount of creativity can make.
7. Prepare a Simple Christmas Dinner
Christmas dinners are the highlight of the celebration. This is where the family sits together to partake in a sumptuous feast. But a “sumptuous” feast doesn’t necessarily mean cooking a whole year’s worth of food.
If you really want to keep Christmas simple this year, start by going for a simplified holiday dinner. Instead of getting stressed out trying to copy those outlandish dishes you see on Instagram, opt for a more traditional one. Or if cooking is not really your forte, don’t stress over it. There’s no shame in ordering ready-made foods for Christmas dinner. Again, what matters are the moments and memories shared over the dinner table. Having great food is just a bonus.
8. Maintain an Attitude of Gratitude
One great way to keep Christmas simple is maintaining an attitude of gratitude. When you’re thankful for the things you have, you’ll want nothing more. You’ll start appreciating the things you have and you’ll feel less pressure to buy more.
So this holiday season, practice counting your blessings instead of sheep. The fact that you’ll still be celebrating Christmas this year is already a blessing. Be thankful for it and all the things that you currently have. Not everyone has them.
But this mindset should not be reserved exclusively for the Christmas season. We should maintain an attitude of gratitude the whole year round.
9. Simplify Your Holiday Season
If you want to celebrate a simple Christmas overall, then you need to simplify your Holiday season. Decorate less, travel less, and shop less. Instead of giving material things to people, gift them with forgiveness, empathy, and kindness. Instead of spending your Christmas eve trying to do last-minute shopping, spend it with your family instead. It may not rack up your shopper loyalty points but it can make someone’s Christmas a very merry one.
With that said, I hope you’ll have a simple and wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas!
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a full time blogger and is devoted to topics about charity, kindness, and Christianity. She is part of Correct Digital, Inc which is paid by private donors to provide website digital marketing services to this non-profit organization.