With Christmas nearly here, suddenly all the Christmas ideas I wanted to do and simple home habits I wanted to keep up with have collided and I’ve realized it’s not always possible to keep up on both.
Rather than being completely bummed that I can’t do everything I want when it comes to a simple home and incorporating elaborate Christmas ideas, I’ve decided that a few simple mindset shifts can help me accept the fact that I’m only human and move forward.
I think this mindset shift is really all you need to be able to prioritize your “to-do’s” with what is really important in your life so that you can TRULY enjoy the Christmas season without any guilt or fear of missing out.
This way of thinking that has allowed me to pair down my habits, tasks and over all life during the Christmas season has taken me years to change. And in fact, I’m still changing the process as my kids grow and as my priorities shift.
But I will say that at the center of everything during the Christmas season is that I know what I hold dear (my faith, family and health) ends up becoming a filter for every other opportunity, event, Christmas idea and task that comes my way. If it supports one of those three things, or benefits one of those three priorities, it usually makes its way onto my master to-do list.
Here are some of the ways I’ve been able to keep a simple home and lifestyle while still incorporating all the fun Christmas ideas.
CHRISTMAS IDEAS FOR A SIMPLE HOME
1. SLOW DOWN
The best advice I’ve ever given myself is to SLOW DOWN. I have to do this on a regular basis as I am the QUEEN of filling up my day with every task I could possibly squeeze in. I busily work on a daily basis to get all my responsibilities and work obligations done until night time and then I finally let myself rest.
But when it comes to adding in Christmas ideas on top of all the items I already check off my list every day, it quickly leaves me feeling overwhelmed and my space far from a simple home. It suddenly feels cluttered as I try to get everything done and often hop from thing to thing.
I have to remind myself that if I don’t slow down, space out what I “have to get done” throughout the week to other days and times, I’ll burn out and my body and mind will suffer, making me slow down when I don’t want to.
For me, slowing down looks like making sure I have time in my day to read a devotion, go for a walk, play a game with my kids and talk to someone I love, either a family member or friend for more than just a quick hello.
2. PAIR EVERYTHING DOWN TO NECESSITIES
Keeping a simple home often means keeping EVERYTHING paired down, whether it’s clothing, dishes or cleaning supplies. I am a firm believer in pairing things down wherever you can. This includes Christmas ideas such as decorations and baking.
So often my kids and I want to bake 1 gazillion kinds of Christmas cookies to pass around to friends and family. But if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that wearing myself out doesn’t benefit anyone (especially my family who needs me most). Instead, we find creative ways to decorate and make just a few kinds of cookies and treats that we make in large batches.
It actually doesn’t take away from ANYTHING, but leaves me with little less on my plate. You can take this idea of pairing down into many areas of your life. For example, on Sunday nights, we lay out a week’s worth of outfits for the kids so that we only have to do that task one time. When it comes to cleaning, I clean everything with my plant based toxin free cleaning concentrate — it’s practically the only thing I need to pay attention to buying, which makes for a simple home and a simple life.
3. NOT EVERYTHING IS AN OBLIGATION
During Christmas seasons and when you’re trying to tackle all the Christmas ideas, you might feel like everything is a “must.” I’ve come to find over the past few years as I’ve tried to implement some simple home habits that I MUST be able to say “no” or “Later” to some things. At first it was hard to say no to anything — I had serious FOMO and didn’t want to give up on a chance to do something.
But as I realized it was driving me to get less sleep and worry more, I had to learn that I didn’t have to say yes to everything and I certainly didn’t need to feel guilt about it. Not everything is an obligation — in fact it’s a good idea when it comes to creating a simple home or adding Christmas ideas to your never-ending list of things to do; to pick out the things that ARE priorities.
For our family that looked like dinner as a family most nights of the week. That meant saying no to work appointments in the evenings every now and then and it meant choosing events and activities that didn’t interrupt the time we had together if the week was already busy.
You don’t have to feel guilty about picking and choosing what your family will enjoy. Instead, feel empowered that you have the choice to do whatever Christmas ideas you want and still keep a simple home.
4. PRIORITIZE WHAT’S IMPORTANT AND FORGET ABOUT THE REST
Priorities are key when it comes to Christmas ideas. If you forget the reason you do many of the things already on your to do list or WHY you keep a simple home, you’ll likely make decisions that don’t align with your values.
For me, my priorities are my family’s health and overall happiness. And I don’t mean happiness as in materialistic happiness, but more so a joy over life and experiences. If I really put every Christmas idea that came our way through this type of filter, there are some things that would NEVER make it onto our family’s calendar.
Some people refer to this as their priority lens, but essentially it means choosing things that are ONLY going to support your priorities. Then let everything else fall to the wayside, guilt free.
5. KEEP UP ON HEALTHY HABITS
I think so often I forget that keeping up with healthy habits and my simple home daily routines is something that keeps me grounded in all the business of Christmas ideas that come up. For me the big things are getting enough sleep, exercising on a daily basis and maintaining a nourishing diet. When I start to let these things go, I don’t feel like myself, and I feel run down. This leaves me feeling less than excited about new Christmas ideas my family wants to introduce to our routine.
When you take care of yourself and your healthy habits in your home and for your health, you’ll feel much more like you and enjoy those added Christmas ideas, celebrations and outings.
6. REMEMBER THIS IS JUST A SEASON
When all else fails, I remember that THIS IS JUST A SEASON. Whatever chaos it brings and whatever doesn’t get done is just a temporary pitfall of the business that gets added to the schedule.
This mental shift has helped me in SO many situations from being a parent to owning and running a business. Everything has a season to grow, and a season that is difficult and a season that is messy. But everything also has a season that is enjoyable and easier. If you can remember these seasons come along, I guarantee it will make the stress and chaos easier to handle, and maybe you can even enjoy it a little along the way.
7. UTILIZE CALMING DIFFUSER BLENDS
If nothing else, during the uptick of Christmas ideas and Christmas outings, I keep the diffuser running at home to promote a simple home feeling and an overall sense of calm. Oils are a perfect way to set the mood in your home and below are some of my favorite blends:
8. YOU ARE HUMAN — WE ALL ARE
Finally, let’s remember that we are all human. We can’t accomplish everything or every Christmas idea that ever comes up. Remember we have limits and while you may want to do everything under the moon and keep up a simple home, those two things just aren’t humanly possible.
Embrace what you can do and do it well. It’s okay to be human and to ask for help. It’s also okay to do half of your to do list had Christmas ideas and leave the rest. You’ll be a lot happier when you joyfully accept that truth.
No need to feel frustrated or down when things just don’t get done. Remember there’s always another day to clean and keep a simple home and tackle all the Christmas ideas that come your way.
Today, just enjoy the time you have with your loved ones and make sure that relationships and those around you are the priority as you go throughout your day.