I used to be that person who spent months and months working on Christmas decorations, planning my trees (yes, plural), making lists (oh, the lists!), deciding on recipes and gift wrap, ribbon and tags, wreaths and arrangements, and....I'm getting tired just remembering all of it. I had notebooks full of "perfect" ideas, "perfect" rooms, "perfect" tablescapes, and on and on.
I've lightened up a lot. Over the last few years, we've been trying to simplify our lives in many ways. Not by avoiding doing anything, but rather by spending more time doing the things we truly love, and less time worrying about how it may "look" to other people. Focusing on real food and nutrient dense foods, eliminating un-needed "stuff", enjoying the outdoors, and solitude. We're quirky and we know it. So our home doesn't look like a magazine spread, but we love it...and it works for us and the way we live.
So, here I am ready to help anyone who would like to get off of the "Christmas done to Perfection" merry-go-round! Here are a few tips to help you become an Un-Perfectionist :
How to be an Un-Perfectionist
Lose "The List"
No, you don't have to stop making lists (like I could). But you do need to lose "The List". You know, the one that has 143 things to be done in 3 days, and 4 of those things involve a glue gun. That's a recipe for disaster. So, make your grocery lists and gift-giving lists, but stay away from anything that sounds like :
- Solder 36 napkin rings together
- Hemstitch 36 pure linen napkins and embroidery holly on each
- Make 28 meringue mushrooms for Buche de Noel -TODAY!
- Gather greenery and make 8 fresh 24" wreaths - TODAY!
Really...and Christmas magazines are the worst. All magazines are trying to sell you something, either directly or indirectly. And it's usually something you don't need. If you are desperate to look at Christmas ideas, go through the 57 magazines you've collected over the years that are stuck in the guest room closet (you know they're there).
Don't try to out-shop, out-bake, out-decorate, out-wrap anybody else. Do you remember what the gift wrap looked like on the gift your aunt gave you 4 years ago? Yeah, me neither. Nor do I remember what the gift wrap looked like that I gave my mother-in-law 2 years ago. Let it go.
Celebrate the small things
This one should probably be at the top of the list. Celebrate. The small things. A wood fire, the lights on the tree, fresh baked bread, the smell of balsam, flannel sheets, beautiful music, crisp air, bare branches, a buttery cookie.
Use what you have
Especially, the things you love. We have candles, books, mugs and bowls that we love using at Christmas. Using them each year becomes a tradition in themselves.
Simple really is better
It's a cliche' for a reason...it's true. Using good quality products, favoring natural things, focusing on easy recipes, developing and celebrating traditions...all of these make the holidays more of a celebration instead of a chore!
How do you keep the season simple?