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Tips for a more simple Christmas holiday

Christmas is one time during the year that causes much stress for many people. Not only due to the financial issues that may arise but also, Christmas can be a bit chaotic. You have parties, work events, school events, decorating the house, holiday baking… not to mention Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well.

Let’s face it – Christmas can be pretty overwhelming. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be.

The following are ways that you can enjoy a more simple Christmas holiday this year.

Be selective with invites
If you wind up with a bunch of invitations to different holiday parties and events, cut yourself some slack and avoid trying to attend them all. Weigh the pros and cons of each event you’ve been invited to and figure out one or two that you would like to attend the most.
As for the others, a simple “thank you, but I have other obligations” is a good enough response. Remember that you don’t have to attend everything, and people shouldn’t expect you to.

Stick to homemade gifts
To save mega money this Christmas, try your hand at giving only homemade gifts this year. Not only is this an inexpensive alternative to the prepackaged, over-priced gifts you find in the store, but many people appreciate the effort that goes into a homemade gift much more than they do a gift that you picked up at the mall the week before Christmas.

Don’t limit yourself to just food gifts, though. There are many things you can make from home that lots of people would love to find under the tree. Jewelry, lip gloss, body scrub, bath salts, holiday ornaments… and so much more. Check out this list of 50 Homemade Gift Ideas From Around The Web for inspiration.

Stay home
Many families travel to visit relatives during the holidays, and while this is a great time to connect with family and friends, consider visiting before or after Christmas to avoid having to drive/fly all over the place. Travelling can be very stressful and we’re trying to have a stress-free holiday, remember?

For us, we usually have 5 invitations during the holiday. My mom, my dad, my grandparents, Richard’s mom and Richard’s aunt. Even though we love our family and appreciate their invitations, we simply cannot visit all 5 houses in just 2 days (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Richard often works on Christmas Eve until late afternoon, so we can visit one home during the evening and then we usually visit one home on Christmas morning and another Christmas evening. That’s it. We visit our other family members before or after the Christmas holidays to make up for those missed invitations.

Once our kids are older, though, we plan on staying home on Christmas Day. I think it’s important to have your own family traditions once you have a family of your own. Not only does staying home allow you to connect with your immediate family, but you will save time and money from having to travel to all of those other places.

Limit gift giving
Christmas has become so commercialized that all anyone can think about this time of year is what Santa Claus is going to bring them.

Christmas is about giving, not receiving – but the media has us thinking otherwise. We need to change that! Don’t let the big box stores lead you to believe that your child needs to have 20 different toys under the tree this year, or that your spouse needs an iPad or some other crazy expensive electronic item.

Remember the reason for the season and focus on that.

My favorite holiday of the year is Christmas (more so than my own birthday!), and that’s because I enjoy seeing the look on the faces of my family members when they open up a gift I made or purchased with them in mind.
More so than the gifts, the best part about the holidays is spending time with family and enjoying being surrounded by love.

What do you plan to do to have a more simple Christmas this year? Let us know in the comments.


  1. Holly

    We are going to make and decorate cookies together. I also saw an easy home made ornament “recipe”. It’s for bread glue. Use cookie shapes to cut and hen decorate. As well as light bulb ornaments and baby’s first Christmas Han print ornament. We are broke ne don’t even have a tree up. So a few lights to entertain the baby should do well. And a couple stockings. We are using a home plant for a Christmas tree. Hopefully we will be able to score a good deal boxing day. We are also wrapping presents in newspaper with frilly bows!!! K… Now I think I’m done.

  2. Amanda

    I checked out the link you posted for 50 homemade gifts from around the web you may want to let the people who own the blog that #32 on the list brings their readers to a site with a bunch of half naked women in lingerie and has links to sex videos so they may want to look into that 🙂

  3. Elizabeth

    I was just cruising the 50 homemade gifts from around the web as well, and link #12 is a dead end.

  4. Betty

    We’ve never gone overboard for buying Christmas presents except for if we needed something (like fixing a broken down vehicle; we declare things like that as our Christmas present to each other). when girls were little, they looked forward to the stocking stuffers more than the presents (candy, nail polish, jewellery, colouring books, crayons, etc.). We wanted to get rid of our 27 yr. old artificial tree cuz it was falling apart when we moved to an apt. but our kids didn’t want to. The tree helped us out by breaking in 3 just before Christmas. So after Christmas I bought a table top tree for $2. and it works like a charm. presents still fit underneath!! We used to make coupon books for each other (like a free back rub, offer to make cookies for recipient, etc.). Didn’t cost money but we enjoyed the coupons even if they were home made). As long as you don’t listen to the consumerism, everything will be fine. You can still have a great Christmas & your own traditions without all the stuff businesses want you to buy.

  5. Linda S.

    December is getting to be stressful this year. Just as we planned to finish the gifts, the car broke down and cost us $960. Honestly it’s the gas cost of traveling that I’m worried about. We are both from other city then the one we live in. IL`s are 4hrs away, dad is 2.5hrs on the opposite side. So that is about 200-250$ just in gas 😮

    What we do, is we alternate every year. One year we do Christmas with my family on the 24-25, the next is with the ILs. We go to the family we won’t be with at Christmas the week end before.
    As for our little family tradition, once I gave birth to my oldest, we now have a night where it is OUR Christmas. It`s a day in the middle of the week, between the visit with our families. It works for us and we LOVE it!!

    I will be making my girls some barbie and dolls clothes. My oldest as been asking about that alot. I will also apron for both girls, as they love to help me cooking 😀 FOr my oldest kindergarden teacher, I will make peanut butter fudge and an apron. She`s one of my best friend, I know that is her favorite and she loves to cook too!

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