Sunday, November 26, 2006

Simplify Your Holidays

Mood Tune: Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt (YouTube)

There's a book I keep on my shelf that I always pull out to look at as we head into December: Simplify Your Christmas by Elaine St. James.

Lots of interesting ideas, including ways to cut back or substitute meaningful traditions for store-bought ones. The one suggestion I like is looking at our personal motives -- Why do we shop, instead of make? Do we give out of obligation or to hold on to someone? Do we do the trip back home just because we're supposed to, and not not because we want to? Do we let guilt drive our holidays?

It can be a fun and stressful time of year. My personal stressor -- dealing with the numerous holiday party invitations. I like being invited. I hate feeling like I have to choose... or having more than one party to attend in a night or weekend. My buddy Eric B. and I were talking about how already every weekend until New Year's is scheduled. Kinda crazy.

What are your holiday stressors? Or ways you've simplified?

And of course, this is taking the MAJOR assumption (that we tend to do in the U.S.) that everyone does celebrate something during the month of December.



Anonymous said...

A very good friend of mine gave the best christmas party I've ever attended. Let me start by saying he had five decorated christmas trees in his home. The food was catered from three of his favorite restaurants. Spirits flowed like the niagra. Special gifts were given to each invited guest. The DJ played music and we lip synched and danced like we were auditioning for American Idol. Hot and worst date stories were told. Folks laugh, shook their heads in disbelief. A good time was had by all. The host of this grand party laugh, danced and shared. He loved life so much!! His heart was always BIG. He knew this would be his last Christmas with family and friends. We didn't. And he was not stressed.

Kevin C

Anonymous said...

Each year I vow to simplify my holidays. It gets better each year because I plan ahead. I try to think about things I can do or buy that will complement someone's life instead of adding to the madness.