Everyone has limited time, energy, and resources. We can’t do everything. Sometimes it’s hard for us conscientious folks to let these things go, especially if they are objectively good things to do, or things that our culture deems important. Or even things we’ve done every year in the past but don’t have time for this year. That’s why a “Don’t-do” list can be so freeing- by giving ourselves permission to not do some things, we can do other things very well. This 2016 holiday season has been easy as pie. My “Don’t-do” list is a mile long. My “To-do” list is pleasingly short. And yet everything feels nicely balanced in our household.
- No Christmas lights on the exterior of the house.
- Not a lot of decor inside the house. We do the basics- a paper banner, a tree, stockings. I just don’t like the clutter.
- No Elf on the Shelf or Santa. In our home, Santa is a lovely folk tale that none of us take seriously.
- No Christmas shopping at malls/stores. What few presents we buy all come from online stores.
- No pretty gift wrapping. It’s butcher paper with sharpie doodles over here, which I like to think has it’s own special charm 🙂
- No Christmas cards. Never have, never will. But I do love receiving them. Very hypocritical of me.
- No daily advent calendar activities. I don’t like the pressure.
- No Christmas cookie bake-off. We eat paleo, so the cookies take twice the effort, twice the cost, and taste half as good. Not even trying this year.
- As evidenced in the picture below, I don’t clean up pine needles. I just let em fall and fall.
My Christmas Must-do list…
- Nightly Weinachtspyramide lighting ceremony.
- Buying a fresh-out-of-the-ground tree the day after Thanksgiving.
- Impromptu dance parties in the kitchen at least 3x a week.
- Making our own ornaments. This year was salt dough sculptures, and I finally caved and let my kids use glitter for the first time ever.
- Low-maintanence magnetic advent calendar.
- Almost nightly Christmas devotionals. If we skip some nights, no biggie.
- For our kids’ gifts, we are trying the “something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read” thing. It was so easy to shop for them this year, and we actually used our charter school funds for the “educational” toys.
*Don’t do lists are very subjective. We will all differ in our priorities and values. Please don’t think I’m telling you not to do any of those very good things. And please forgive me if my daughter tells your kids that Santa isn’t real. I have sworn her to secrecy, but we’ll see how that works out.