There is no doubt that this time of year can leave you feeling frazzled and fatigued. The holidays can feel like the great race, instead of beautiful and meaningful. Falling short of two people I know who simply cover their Christmas tree, ornaments and all with a blanket, and bring it up each year, I have adopted a local professional organizer, author, and friend’s holiday motto. Jennifer Ford Berry in her ‘Tips for a Simple Fun Holiday Season‘ says good enough is the new perfect. In this web article, Jennifer gives eight tips for simplifying your holiday season.
- Get real about your expectations: Even craft challenged individuals like myself gaze lovingly and adoringly at Pinterest sites, Martha Stewart magazines, and blogs that show people who are oozing over with Christmas ideas to try. I think it is helpful to remember that Martha Stewart has a staff and that Pinterest and blogs are pretty places for other peoples’ ideas.
- Quit being ungrateful: When everything is feeling like a never-ending to do list during the holidays, be grateful. There is so much to be grateful for in our lives.
- Develop a holiday vision that is unique to your family: Decide what is a must for your family this holiday season. What are your family’s traditions? What new holiday traditions do you want to try this year? What things are just unnecessary or lovely but not realistic?
- Stop cluttering up other people’s homes: Gift certificates for experiences, memberships, or services go far!
- Just say no to the perfect holiday card contest. In the popular vernacular, matching outfits, perfect hair, really? Fun shots from last summer are just as fine and not so, really!
- Again, stop being Martha Stewart and keep it simple when it comes to entertaining. The five course holiday dinner is unnecessary. Embrace the potluck dinner or a simple cocktail party with appetizers. Good food and good company are what matter, not extreme food measures.
- Pair down the gift wrapping and recycle your kids’ artwork: Nothing is more frustrating to me than all the wrapping. (Unless it is receiving presents that are so beautifully wrapped, I know I could never replicate it). Keep it simple. As a professional organizer, Jennifer is always looking to tame, reduce, and recycle the gobs of paper that come into our homes. Whether it is your child’s artwork or giving them some old paper to make some uniquely interesting wrapping paper for your presents, here is a way to lessen the paper trail we call wrapping paper.
- Cut down on your holiday storage and use natural elements. I love this idea! Jennifer suggests using natural elements such as: pine cones, popcorn, berries, cookies, and birds nest to decorate with in our homes, things that can be disposed of or put on a compost pile.
It is so easy to lose sight of the wonder and meaning of the holidays. Rather than being swept away in the blur and haste, consider simplifying where you can and making good enough your new normal.