A Simple Christmas

I remember as a child, sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for my father to tell us we could come downstairs on Christmas morning.  The anticipation of Christmas was in the air while the smell of coffee, pine, cinnamon, and oranges fill our senses.

Keeping Christmas Simple

Those few minutes seemed like hours to four children under the age of ten, but everything was worth it when we got to see the lighted Christmas tree for the very first time.

As a six-year-old, I couldn’t appreciate the hours it took to decorate the tree after we all went to bed, or the sleepless night my parents spent making sure our Christmas morning was special.  But as an adult, I cherish the feeling of Christmas our parents created for us. Even though I cannot recall the gifts under the tree, I do remember the feeling…one I can only compare to the excitement and beauty of the very first snowfall.

Those simple memories remind me that Christmas is more than presents and parties. It is the anticipation of sharing family traditions, helping those in need and remembering why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.  

At our house, we don’t stress over the perfect gift and we don’t over-extend ourselves financially trying to buy memories.  What we do is look for ways to keep Christmas simple.

Here are a few things we do to keep our Christmas simple:

  1. Simple Decorations – Long gone are the days of decking every hall in our home.  A few simple decorations are all we need to remind us of this special time of year.  A nativity scene, a poinsettia on the mantel and a very simple Charlie Brown tree decorated with pine cones, cranberries, and popcorn.
  2. Simple Traditions – While we don’t wait until Christmas Eve to put up our tree we do look forward to a Christmas Eve lunch with our children and evening service with our church family. Christmas Day is spent in front of a roaring fire, enjoying the peacefulness that the holiday brings.
  3. Simple Giving – Taking back Christmas is a holiday tradition at our church.  We match dollar for dollar every penny spent on Christmas to give to two designated children’s homes in our community.  This year hubby and I will be forgoing Christmas gifts to each other to provide our matching dollars to very needy children in our area.
  4. Simple Shopping – For years we have built our present buying on these three principles.  1) Something they want. 2) Something to read. 3) Something they need. Keeping those three saying in mind we control our spending and gift giving.
  5. Simple Cookies – My girls and I keep our cookie baking to just a couple favorite recipes each.  We look forward to the day we get to spend together more than the actual cookie baking.

As you plan your holiday, I would ask that you dig deep into the memories you cherish and find ways to re-create the feeling of Christmas for your family.

This Christmas season let us try
To do some golden deeds,
To carry someone’s burden,
To help someone in need.
There are always those who need us
As we journey on life’s way,
And the friends we win by helping
Make us richer every day.
So when you see a saddened face
As Christmas time draws near,
Do your best to lift the load
And spread the word of cheer.

5 Tips for Keeping Christmas Simple

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

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