Tis the Season to Simplify and Feel the Joy! 6 Tips

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Picture courtesy of www.BHG.com

Oh, how I love the holidays! Twinkling lights adorn my tree, stockings are hung on the mantle with care,  and beautifully wrapped presents …yea right! Truthfully, I’m not really loving it yet, because as usual I haven’t found the time to do it all! In fact, not a stocking is hung, black friday is come and gone, Cyber Monday has turned into tuesday and not a  single gift has been bought. Sound familiar? I sometimes feel that I get so caught up in what I need to do that I forget to feel the joy of the season – which is what it really all about! So, with that in mind, my 2007 motto and plan of action for the holidays is Simplify and feel the Joy! Here are my 6 tips to help simplify the holidays.

  1. Less is More. It’s true. When you finally bring down all those boxes from the attic, instinctively, you want to use it all. Don’t. It’s impossible to truly “see” through the clutter and the really special things will not be appreciated.

  2. Display what you Love. If it’s beautiful put it out. If it’s treasured put it out. Other wise keep it in the attic. It’s like decorating your home – if you empty out a room and only keep items that are meaningful and beautiful to you; you’ll find that you’ve turned your house into a home.

  3. Create a Christmas Treasure Chest. For all those items that are dear to our hearts, yet tend to clutter and clash with the beautiful things, store them in a holiday “treasure chest”. Items such as children’s grade school holiday art projects, Aunt Gladys’ hand painted ornaments, christmas books, etc…can be placed in a storage bench, chest or colorful christmas box and be a great conversation piece during the holidays.

  4. Make your list and check it twice. Before you spend hours shopping to find the perfect gift that ultimately will be returned on December 26th, consider if a gift card or cash would be better. Especially, when shopping for teenagers. Trust me, a gift card is much more appreciated than a sweater that is soooooo not in style. Just make sure it doesn’t expire and that it is for a store that they really like to shop at.

  5. Develop a Plan. Whenever I am really stressed, I eventually remember to breath and pull out my journal. For me, It’s the easiest way to think through chaos. The problem is that when you are stressed, you continually replay everything you need to do over and over in your mind. Get it down on paper and create lists. A list for gifts, a list for christmas dinner, a to do list for each day. Then cross them off as you go. Getting it down on paper, helps to clear your mind and focus on what needs to be done. Make it a ritual and every morning (or evening before) grab a cup of tea, a beautiful journal, and write. You’ll be amazed at how this simplifies even the craziest of days.

  6. Journal. At the end of every day, pull out that journal and write down 3 things that you are grateful for. Sarah Ban Breathnach and Oprah shared this idea several years ago and I can personally testify that this simple act can be life changing. To this day, I am amazed at how something that takes so little time, can be so big. Try it, and you’ll find that at the end of even a really horrible day, there is still something to be grateful for. If you kids are fighting, have them write or tell each other three things that they are grateful about each other. If you try only this one tip, I promise you will truly enJOY the holidays. It’s the best gift you can give yourself!

          

 

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