It’s December 3. I’ve seen posts about the holidays for the past month, but until about a week ago, I hadn’t done a whole lot of planning. Is it too late to plan simple, intentional Christmas traditions? No! I’m starting today – and if you haven’t had a chance to plan either, let this be an invitation to sit and write down how you want to spend this Christmas.
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Planning Simple, Intentional Christmas Traditions
Simple and intentional Christmas traditions are going to look different for each family. Yet, as I was writing, I thought these were three common themes that a simple and intentional Christmas could include:
- Following traditions from the past that are important to you and your family – using what you already have
- Focusing on experiences versus things
- Making deliberate choices and not going along with “what everyone else is doing”
There are only three more weeks until we leave to gather with my family for Christmas. We’ve decided not to get a tree this year, but have pulled out our advent calendar, nativity set, advent wreath, and our Jesse Tree devotional. Taking time to anticipate the coming of Christmas is important to me, so we use our advent supplies that we already have.
We have Christmas movies that I’ve bought on sale in the past and we’ll plan our weekend family movie nights around the ones we already own. They’re classics and worth watching once a year!
What do you already own that you can plan to bring out and experience together?It's not too late to plan simple, intentional, Christmas traditions #ChristmasTradition Click To Tweet
Focusing on Experiences
My extended family has agreed to focusing mostly on experiences and I’ve been busily planning what I want to contribute to our time together. Some members of our family may be able to afford to pay for everyone for an outing or a meal, or they may buy one gift for each child, or they may plan an experience for us to share. I’m planning three experiences for us to share.
Experience One: Adult Coloring with Snazzy Colored Pencils
I was really excited to get these in the mail. I’ve printed out some coloring sheets before, but this is the first actual adult coloring book that I’ve bought. To make the time extra special, I ordered Prismacolor Premier coloring pencils. They got the seal of approval from my husband who is an artist! I think the adults and children will both enjoy this.
Experience Two: A Christmas Puzzle
I brought a 1000 piece puzzle of the 12 Days of Christmas last time we gathered together for the holidays. It was really nice to have something that we could work on through the week together or individually. Children and adults both enjoyed working on it – and we actually finished it! I ordered another 1000 piece puzzle this year – Holiday Doors!
Experience Three: Baking and Decorating Cookies
It’s a tradition in our house to bake sugar cookies and gingerbread men sometime during the season. The gingerbread recipe I use was from FamilyFun magazine from 2007. I did a search and it looks like the recipe is in their book, FamilyFun’s 50 Cookies for Christmas. The actual recipe for the gingerbread clan is available on the “Look Inside” portion on Amazon so you can get it without buying the whole book if you need a recipe! It’s simple and I’ve been using it for years.
The sugar cookies we make every year is from Real Simple 2004. I tore it out of the magazine back then and have been using it since. You can get the version I use here.
What is one experience you can plan to share with your immediate or extended family?Three ingredients for a simple, intentional #Christmas #simplechristmas #slowliving Click To Tweet
Making Deliberate Choices
Sometimes we have traditions that don’t fill us, but drain us. Planning a simple, intentional Christmas might mean cutting some old traditions and starting new ones. It will all depend on your family and the season of life that you’re in.
This year we’re making the deliberate choice to only buy individual things for the children’s stockings, as well as a couple of gifts that all of them can enjoy together. We started making the deliberate choice last year to begin moving towards experience celebrations versus exchanging gifts.
What deliberate choice/s will you make for this holiday?
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Share your favorite simple Christmas tradition in the comments! I’d love to hear them.
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