An Uncomplicated Holiday: Resisting the Rush

The following post is by Megan Tietz and originally appeared in December 2009. With just a little less than two weeks until Christmas, I thought her words would serve as a good, gentle reminder to keep the holidays simple for our kids and for ourselves. Enjoy! – Kara

With just ten days left until Christmas Day, the pace is beginning to quicken in my home.

Does it feel that way for you?

It seems that no matter how devoted I am to the pursuit of an uncomplicated holiday, the days leading up to Christmas and New Years feel more and more frenzied.  I find myself doing frequent “tension checks” throughout the day – noticing the curt responses to my children, the nagging weight of gifts still not purchased, and the inner turmoil over the dwindling Christmas budget.

When I take a moment to step back and assess what helps me resist the rush in the countdown to Christmas, I’ve noticed three practices that inspire me to an enjoyment of the season rather than an attitude of “I must endure.”

1) Stay out of the stores.

We’ve thoughtfully planned out our children’s Christmas presents, using the “Something she wants, something she needs, something to wear, something to read” idea as we made our purchases.  Yet a simple dash into the discount store or a brisk walk through the mall leaves me feeling bombarded with all that my children will not be receiving this year.

My days are so much more simple and guilt-free when I can stay out of the stores (and curtail my internet browsing as well!).

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December 11th: Gift Guide Showcase

christmasgifts Photo by Zecheriah Judy

I am experiencing lots of technical difficulties this week – perhaps my internet connection finds it difficult to move quickly in the winter in the same way that I do?

This week’s Showcase will be short and sweet.  Though the most organized amongst have surely completed gift shopping, I know there may be a few in our community still working on tackling the gift list (including yours truly!).

Today, I’m showcasing some of the gift guides I’ve come across in the past few weeks. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but hopefully it will spur some inspiration either for this holiday season or for gift-giving the year ahead!

Playful Learning Gift Guide: Presents that Stand the Test of Time

No Time For Flash Cards: Our Favorites, Reader Favorites, and Books Every Home Needs

Imagination Soup: Educational Holiday Gift Guide

thelongthread: handmade GIFT GUIDE 2009

Make and Takes: DIY Holiday Gift Guide 2009

And Twins make 5: 2009 Holiday Gift Guide (complete with discount codes)

If your family is looking for frugal and/or homemade gift ideas, check out the Frugal Friday: Gifts for $10 or Less link-up going on today at Life as Mom!

Finally, my past two columns at Simple Mom may also inspire a gift idea or two: 10 Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for Kids and Handmade Gift Ideas for Tweens and Teens.

And, speaking of Simple Mom, today Tsh is sharing some delicious ideas for creating edible gifts!

I’m curious – am I the only one who hasn’t completed Christmas gift shopping? Also, have you found some gift guides that you think might be helpful for others in the SK community? Feel free to share the link in the comments!

An Uncomplicated Holiday: Mission Impossible?

gift Photo by kevindooley

I don’t know about you, but my mailbox and email inbox are both quickly filling up with sale ads, catalogs, and invitations to buy more! more! more!

As you know, our mission at Simple Kids is to celebrate, promote, and encourage an uncomplicated approach to raising children.  Though I am a passionate advocate for a simple, slowed-down parenting philosophy, I find that as we enter into the holiday season, my vision for simplicity becomes blurred.

As we experience this month together, I hope to share inspiring thoughts and practical applications on how to create an intentional holiday season as a family. As always, I would love to share the collective wisdom of this amazing community.

Would you be willing to share your thoughts with me on this topic today?

  • Is your family’s approach to the holiday season more simple or more elaborate?  Does this depart from or complement your family’s status quo?
  • What are some practical steps you have taken in the past to create an intentional holiday experience for your family?  What do you hope to do this year to create holiday harmony?
  • When it comes to gift-giving, how do you know when enough is enough?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

October 23rd: Weekend Links

autumn
Photo by basykes

There’s nothing quite like caring for both a sick child and a sick husband to completely derail productivity for the week!  There aren’t any new submissions for the SK Showcase (more details on how and what to submit can be found in the Showcase FAQ), and my reading this week has been understandably limited. 

Here are a few quick links for your weekend reading:

Hopefully you are following along with the Simple Mom’s 12 Weeks to a Peaceful Christmas series!  Each Friday Tsh shares guidance on how to be happy, healthy, organized, and prepared for a holiday season with as little stress as possible.

Rachel at Small Notebook wrote about Taking the Day Off.  I think this is so important for parents and care-givers – we all need a day to rest and recharge!

When school started in August for our oldest daughter, we were introduced to the whirlwind of papers and paperwork that the school age brings.  Over at The Creative Mama, Thea shared a very practical solution to keep it all organized.

Have you carved jack-o-lanterns yet?  At Parent Hacks, Asha has a tip for making those jack-o-lanterns last!

What did you publish or read this week that you want to share with the SK community? Leave a link in the comments!