Are Minimalists Oversimplifying Christmas?
Simplifying The Holidays
Since I started blogging I’ve surrounded myself with other people who write and talk about the same types of topics that I do. We all want to help others to simplify their lives. We all share ideas that we think will help you maintain your home and lives, and help you uncomplicate the complicated things.
Naturally, in December the hot topic is, “How are we going to simplify the Holiday’s?” Christmas, after all, is the craziest time of the year.
When reading and listening to others share their ideas of simplifying the Holiday, I agree with everyone, almost 100 percent.
Fewer gifts, more time, fewer toys, more experiences, etc.
I also agree that we should not overbook ourselves. It’s not realistic to try and make it to every party, every gathering, every Christmas Play, and every light show. Decide where your priorities are and overcome the feeling of having to say yes to everything.
But… there is a point where we cross the line with saying no.
This idea that we need to do what is best for us for the Holiday’s and stop going house to house.
Like I just mentioned, I agree to a small degree, but stay a while and let me explain why I think this is oversimplifying Christmas.
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Why This Is a Topic Of Discussion
It is common for us to rush around Christmas day and go from one house to the next. It’s a crazy whirlwind of a day and many times it rushes by.
The simplified idea is that we stop doing this. We stop the rushing and spend more time in our own homes, letting our kids enjoy their day with their new toys.
We don’t jump from house to house and tell our family it just isn’t going to happen this year.
Okay, so I totally get it. I am the first to grumble each year about jumping from one house to the next. We spend Christmas Eve at a large family party. Then, we try and make it to a church service.
Lastly, we make sure we get to my mom’s to open up Christmas eve presents before we get our toddler home for bed. (Yes I still get pajamas from my mom at 30 years old.)
Then we wake up the next morning, open gifts as a family, immediately pack up and go to my mom’s and open gifts with my side of the family.
Next, we head over to the inlaws to eat a late breakfast and open gifts with that side of the family.
Then at some point, we go back to my mom’s where everyone (inlaws and cousins included) gathers for Christmas dinner.
It’s a lot of back and forth. When will my kid take a nap? She will be miserable and crabby without a nap. Plus, she doesn’t get to play with the toys we got her. We pick up and leave right after we open gifts as a family. We don’t get to spend any time resting.
This all sounds crazy right?! Back and forth. Two full days of jam-packed obligations. I’m sure you know these overwhelming days well.
The minimalist or simplifier in me should say… no more. I can’t. My daughter needs time to enjoy her home and her new toys. We need to slow down. We can’t do it all. It’s stressful.
But I can’t do that. I won’t do that.
(Okay so before I move on I do have to say… I will do whatever it takes to make sure my daughter gets a nap so that her Christmas day doesn’t become miserable for her. Even if this means us parents take turns getting ready for Christmas dinner while the other waits in the car with the sleeping toddler.)
There are two main reasons why I won’t stop the craziness.
First… It’s not about me.
Christmas is not about me. It’s about everyone else. It’s about my husband and my daughter. It’s about our family.
It is not about me feeling overwhelmed by trying to please everybody.
My daughter loves seeing her family. She screams delight at the idea of going to Grammy’s and tells me every day she wants to go play at Grandma’s. She takes advantage of having her Papas wrapped around her finger. She loves cooking pretend food for her Aunts and making her Uncles play tag.
That is what she loves more than anything. More than any toy she will ever receive.
The greatest gift she can be given on Christmas is to spend time with those who love her. All of them in one day… it can’t get any better than that.
We are blessed and have the ability to do this so we will do this.
She can play with her new toys tomorrow and every day after that. Plus, we all know she is about to get spoiled and will have plenty to play with at the other houses.
I know the joy of spending time with my kid on Christmas day. There is nothing that would ever make me take that away from the mom’s in our life. My mother in law wants to see her grandbaby and son and that is the greatest gift I can give her.
Do I always feel guilty leaving one house to go to the next… yes. Does each mom wish we would spend more time at their house… probably.
One thing I will say is that we spend enough time with our family outside of the Holidays that a shared Christmas day should not be that big of a deal. We share our time on the day and may leave someone feeling like they didn’t get enough time.
To me, that is okay because I know I will see them again in a week. 🙂
Also, I do not have to travel across the country so I am sure your story will look different if that is your circumstance. I also am blessed to be in good standing with all of my family and know that may not be the case for many. Again, your story may look different than mine.
Okay okay, so let’s get back to this idea that Christmas is not about me and my second reason for not stopping the craziness.
Above all Christmas is about Jesus
Christmas is about Jesus, not because he made it about himself, but because we celebrate that he made it about us.
He gave the ultimate gift to us. He came here so that we can live forever in eternity with him.
Jesus is the ultimate example of what we should be doing on Christmas… making it about other people.
For me to simplify my Christmas so that my daughter can stay home to enjoy her new toys is not what Jesus would want me to do. He wants me to love on others and let them love on me.
So let a couple of the days in your year get crazy and stressful and bounce from one house to the next.
Think of the people who have no house to bounce to, people who can’t see their moms on Christmas, and remember that you are blessed.
Jesus made His own birthday about us, by living the life that led him to the cross so that if you believe, you can spend eternity with him.
That makes bouncing from house to house seem like such a small sacrifice. A sacrifice that I chose to no longer complain about.
So this Christmas remember that you may need to sacrifice some time but the smiles and the hugs and the memories are always worth it.
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Here are some more ideas for simplifying your home.
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