A simple Christmas, with optional frills

 Image courtesy magazineart.com

I've decided that I'm ready for Christmas. It isn't a matter of finishing everything on my list, it's a matter of paring down my list to the bare essentials. What do we need to have a fun Christmas together?

A tree? Check. We're not decorating until the 24th so I don't have to deal with the constant undecorating that comes with two small kids.

Gifts? Check. Just waiting for another package to arrive. I wrap them as soon as they come to keep them out of sight, and the gifts are staying behind a locked door until Christmas Eve, when we'll bring them out.

Food? Still working on the menu, but we're not picky. Lots of snacky food for Christmas Eve and I still haven't decided on my Christmas menu yet. I always have a hard time with that. I'm definitely going to keep it simple, though, because I'd rather be playing with my family than cooking a big fancy dinner.

There are several other things that I think would be fun, but I've decided are optional. Outside lights, neighbor gifts, cards, gingerbread houses . . . all these things are fun, but I think they'll be more fun if we only do them because we want to, and not because we have to. Since crossing the Christmas cards off my required list, I've actually written a few. I've given myself permission not to do our whole list. It's very freeing.

We're reading The Life of Our Lord by Charles Dickens, an annual Christmas tradition, and we'll put up the nativity set today. Maybe we'll take an evening to drive around and look at lights. 

So that's my lazy Christmas plan. What's yours?


  1. Mine's even lazier - I'll be on a ship :o) We do have a tree, though, that's been up since the weekend after Thanksgiving. Every now and then, when I think of Christmas toys for my future kids, I think of the wooden fire truck Mr. M made for Red Chief. That's truly a simple gift that will be cherished.

  2. I didn't put up the tree this year, and didn't get the lights up on the house either because I'm not home enough to enjoy them. Shopping is done, wrapping is nearly caught up, and I gave up on Christmas cards years ago!

    This year, I'm heading to Mexico with a brother and his family plus my folks - so rest and relaxation and warm weather are just around the corner!

  3. I'm glad you're having such a nice Christmas season! I was feeling a little stressed out last week, but then, like you, told myself that I only have to do the stuff that I think is fun. And all of a sudden, it all seemed really fun, instead of things I was making myself do. You are so right!

  4. Probably the one thing I'm most happy about is that, while my husband and I still want to gift our children and grandchildren, we will not be exchanging gifts ourselves. We want our focus to be on the Advent and our already rich blessings. Each time I think about not buying gifts for each other I feel the simplest, best gift ever - Contentment.

  5. i'm not so sure it's lazy... i think it's smart!

    i like not putting the presents under the tree until christmas eve. we did that accidentally last year and liked it so that's how it is from now on. i enjoy decorating and sending out photo cards so i'm doing that. i'm forgoing extra baking this year.

    we just moved so hand delivering the majority of our gifts to family won't work so we had to mail them. i was stressed about getting that all done in time so hopefully next year i can start earlier.

    great post!

  6. Count your blessings :)! I am getting married the 22nd, reception the 23rd, dinner with my family the 24th, his family 25th, Christmas program the 26th(I'm the choir director), work Christmas party the 27th, and moving cross-country the 29th... No simplifying for me :/

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  7. I took off the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. Working Xmas eve morning till like three, then taking Annalise to a Christmas Eve service. Christmas Day, we're opening gifts and maybe church again. Maybe driving around to see decorations. I heard the LDS Temple does something of the Nativity persuasion each year, and we considered seeing it. Thanks for the recipes btw!

  8. Dr. Who and I have our tree up, and we are keeping our gifts practical. Things we can use in our new home to make it nicer. I think on Christmas i will curl up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate,a nice blanket and read a good book, with an occasional look out the front window at the snow capped mountains. Yes, that will be nice!