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A Simple (and Guilt-Free) Christmas

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

November 14, 2013

This is a guest post from Sara Case Strickland.


Last I took Christmas off and it was fabulous. Seriously, absolutely, 100% fabulous.

Until a year a half ago I worked in retail which meant that Christmas was always busy, busy, busy. And since I was doing so much at work, it seemed to make sense to do just as much in my personal life. I always threw a family Christmas party, put together about 150 handmade cards, baked goodies, went to all the parties – I did it all.

After my second child was born, I started a home daycare and still worked retail part-time for two and a half years  – life was even busier! Last Christmas was the first one I’ve ever had off.

And I discovered that I was tired. Bone deep, didn’t want to move, tired.

So I announced to my family and friends, and to the blogoverse, that I was taking Christmas off. I didn’t bake (I bought my goodies from a baker friend), I only made a couple of cards (the ones I designed for classes), I cancelled my annual party, and I only attended those parties I was in the mood for.

It was fabulous.

Now, almost a year later, I can still look back on that and feel no guilt, only joy at having the energy and spirit to see and truly experience Christmas with my children.

So what about this year? Well, I still plan to get my baker friend to do the majority of my goodies, though I would like to make some with my kiddies. I will probably permanently cancel the house party – I will still see all those same people over the holidays. And I will only make cards if I’m in the mood – most likely they will be mass produced from class designs I’m teaching. I am going to attempt a December Daily – but not stress about having every day completed. And I will relax and enjoy the season.

Now, I know simplifying to this extent is not possible or even desired by many people, but I do recommend looking at your holidays and seeing what and where your stressors are. It could be that party, or the mass amount of cards, or even a December Daily. Whatever it is, simplifying even one thing can make a huge impact on how much you enjoy your holidays. From purchasing cards (or emailing them) to skipping a party here and there to signing up for something like Holiday Storyteller, there are dozens of ways to cut back and enjoy more this year.

Editor’s Note: Will you take action to simplify this holiday season? Leave a comment sharing how to stay stress-free during this busy time of year.

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  1. Judi Church

    Hear, hear. Excellent advice!! And it takes some of us longer to realize that that is the only way to stay sane. Thanks.

  2. Carol Eason

    Here’s to pampering ourselves, Ladies– I like to have a few ladies over for a relaxing lunch – which means I schedule ‘me’ time.
    I plan it for the first week of December and having company over motivates me to get my decorations and lights up.
    Further enjoyment of sitting by the tree with only the Christmas lights on also lends itself to Christmas music, hot chocolate and writing the few Christmas cards I send out.

  3. Regina M.

    As I read this story, I thought of the book Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. And that reminded me of one of my favorite Christmas traditions that I am very much looking forward to: Reading a Christmas book. So, I do recommend the book Skipping Christmas (better than the movie).

  4. Laura T

    I gave up doing cookies (I hate baking, especially cookies), handmade cards (the number just kept growing), photo Christmas cards (no one helped, so it was all on me), making/buying little gifts for every teacher/educator that worked with my children and saying yes to every invitation. I don’t feel guilty at all. Christmas is hard, and I cut the things out that I didn’t like so I could focus on my family.


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