Monday mission: let something go


It is a common feeling this time of year:  even those who look forward to the holidays usually also have something about the season that they are dreading, a feeling of busyness and obligation that is hard to shake.

I love this time of year, I truly do, but there are some things that make me cringe.

This week I wanted to do something different and give myself a Monday Mission, a task to do to help simplify life for me and the kids, and you can join in if you’d like (I hope you will).

This week’s mission: let something go and simplify your holiday season.


I strive to keep the holidays fairly simple, but over the years there are still some things we do that I’ve come to realize are done out of obligation or because, well, that’s what we did in my family growing up.

Now, I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with tradition or even in doing some things out of a sense of obligation (because occasionally, that is the right thing to do).

But this year one of those traditions I’ve been thinking we might be better off letting go of is visiting Santa. Every year, during the week of Thanksgiving, we pack up the kids and head out to visit Santa Claus at our local mall.  But this year, we’re staying home.  I know, I know, but hear me out.

If you have happy experiences taking your kids to go see Santa, please continue to do so.  I have fond memories myself of vising the drugstore Santa in my small town as a kid and I love the pictures taken over the years that my mom displays in her home of me and my siblings.  They tell our family’s story and how we grew and changed from year to year.

But, my kids?  Well, my oldest knows the secret about Santa, my son is pretty shy and likes Santa but absolutely does not want to talk to him, and two youngest are actually pretty terrified of him (I think it is the white beard and hair).

I don’t think we’ve actually had a successful Santa visit since my seven year old was a 5 month old.  That’s a sign, don’t you think?

I’m fine with this and don’t believe in forcing my kids to see Santa or sit on his lap just for a picture, but you know, for some reason we still mark it on our holiday calendar and attempt every year, even though it almost always ends in disaster.

I think when I tell the kids this week that we aren’t going to go visit Santa this year, that we’ll write him letters instead, that they are going to be just fine with it. This is something I have finally decided I can take off of our list.

Your mission

Is there something on your family’s holiday to do list that you can let go of?  A tradition that doesn’t really work for you?  A task that you or your kids don’t really look forward to but do simply because you’ve always done it that way?

Your mission this week is to let something go.

If you need to make other plans or let friends and family know you’re making a change this year, let them know this week so there aren’t any surprises.

Maybe there are some tasks that don’t bring you joy that you can delegate to someone else?

My aunt’s family doesn’t cook a big Christmas Eve feast, instead they go out for pizza and mom gets a night off.  A few years ago I decided to keep our holiday decor simple and we downsized many of our decorations and haven’t turned back.  The point is that I bet there is something you can take off of your plate, cross off of the calendar or to do list, and let go of to make the holidays a little bit simpler for you.  So, do it!

Find one or two things you can exclude from your plans this year that will simplify the holiday season and make it more meaningful for you and your family.

Speaking of simple, Tsh from The Art of Simple is hosting her first-ever Facebook chat and I’m going to be there.  This Tuesday, November 19 from 7-8 pm PST (so, 10 pm EST) we’ll talk about simplifying Christmas.  RSVP right here— see you there!

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. Our kids sound so much alike, Kara: shy and terrified of Mall Santas. We took this off our list many years ago. It was never worth the hassle, especially when our kids hated it. (I still remember a mall Santa that reeked of whiskey from when I was a kid. So it’s a relief to give that up.)
    Robin from Frugal Family Times´s latest post: Simple Buttoned Pillows (Made Easier Through Imperfection)

  2. Diana Bolstad says:

    We refuse to get caught up in gift-buying this year. No secret Santas. No gift exchanges outside of our immediate family. Just my two kids and husband. It’s too financially stressful and not an obligation.

  3. We are of the belief that we don’t want to tell our kids about Santa, other than the true historical version. I find the whole concept of going to tell this old guy at the mall what you want kind of materialistic and odd!

  4. We don’t plan on telling our daughter (17 months) about Santa either. But we are hoping to have a simple, happy Christmas season! This year I’m letting go of Christmas cards, and instead sending out fun postcards to friends and family, one per day : ) A postcard has just enough room to write a loving note!
    Lyssa´s latest post: This Moment: Zombie Attack

  5. We live away from family, and we don’t have a lot of extra things to do at Christmas (no child in school, no large office parties, no church activities outside of church, etc.). In fact, it\’s kind of a lonely time of year, as everyone else around us is immersed in Christmas activities. I actually want to add things in. 🙂

  6. This year my family is ordering Thanksigivng catered from a local grocery store. With my sister stugglring with a newborn and my grandmother in the hospital and my mom managing my grandmother’s health, it’s well worth the money. I hope we can find a similarly simple solution for Christmas too. We don’t really DO alot during the Christmas season for precisely the above kinds of reasons. Being together is special enough, but hauling all over to do special activities is only fun if it doesn’t consume all of our free time. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Our little family of 4 has been going through a lot this year. The kids are 3.5 and 19 months. We’ve been overwhelmed by the Holidays in the past. Extended family present exchanging, celebrating 5 or 6 times to keep everyone happy, spending spending spending. Dad’s birthday’s on Dec. 8th, Eldest daughter is on the 14th, Hubby’s is ON CHRISTMAS DAY, and Great Grandma’s is on New Years Eve. I DREAD December. This year we decided to cut down. Just buying for the 4 of us and picturebooks of the girls for the grandparents (7 altogether!). And the family FLIPPED. We told them our plans back in October to give them fair warning but I think the big changes we’re enacting were too much for them to accept all at once. We aren’t going back on our plans though, so with any luck this holiday season will be a little less stressful… and we won’t be in the red financially at the end of it.
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  1. […] week I shared with you the personal mission I gave myself to let something go during the holiday season.  I invited you to join in and accept the Monday Mission challenge if […]