The older and wiser we at Things With Wings get, the more and more we are becoming fans of the “Pared-Down Christmas.” We want to do away with all of the extra distractions that the world tells us we need in order to get the max out of celebrating the holidays. Some people thrive on a copious stream of holiday activities and they are able to do it with joyous, generous spirits that celebrate all God has done for us. You will not find us among these people!
There is nothing wrong with Secret Santas, holiday parties, trips to the mall, decorating, gift-buying, baking treats, Christmas cards (involving the always-stressful family photo and writing a newsletter that makes it seem like we’ve got it all together!) But it becomes an issue when the tasks pile up and we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves that steal our joy, keep us running, and distract us from focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. It’s amazing how filling our days with the busyness of the season can leave us feeling so empty.
The Pared-Down Christmas looks different to different people and the key to its success is to give yourself grace and free yourself of guilt. You cannot do it all. No one expects you to do it all. Your family will not die if you do not do it all.
For some of us it includes being ok with NOT sending out Christmas cards or finding a different, easier way to communicate instead. Make a family video message or send out a greeting at another, less busy time of year. Unless of course you’re sending out our adorable new nativity Christmas cards, in which case, send! Send away!
It may mean deciding NOT to travel to faraway family every year, and staying home to start a new tradition. Or conversely, taking the money normally spent on THINGS WE DON’T NEED and going on a trip that bypasses the obsession with STUFF and refocuses on spending time with each other making memories.
It could mean baking treats earlier in the season and freezing them. OR if your family has developed the expectation that you will always make ALL of their usual favorites, find a way to end that vicious cycle!
It may include the mutual decision to forgo exchanging gifts with the other blessed adults in your life (who are just as content as you are with what they already have) in favor of spending time together or limiting the kids’ gifts to a very few special things and doing away with all the extra junk.
It might be creating and valuing simple, inexpensive traditions like taking a pajama drive to look at Christmas lights or listening to a comforting old Christmas album by the light of the tree. Simple is beautiful and so much better.
“Simple” is exactly what we had in mind when DEMDACO asked us to design a nativity for “This Thing Called Family” and our new Christmas collection. We wanted the nativity to celebrate the real reason for Christmas in an artistic, but family-friendly way. We designed the handmade feel to complement your holiday home decor, making it perfect for mantels, tabletops or shelves. Our hope is that the simple scene will quickly become a family keepsake and tradition. The pared-down shapes and sturdy wood block characters make it an easy, hands-on way to recreate and celebrate the story of Jesus’ birth.
Simple is beautiful and so much better because all of the non-essentials and distractions are gone. All that’s left is a clear path to celebrating what matters: the simple, humble and pared-down beginning of Love here on Earth.
By: Jill Brown, Things with Wings
Today we’re excited to giveaway 5 sets of this O Holy Night Christmas Card Set to 5 different winners along with a This Thing Called Family Christmas item of your choice! Just leave a comment below with your favorite This Thing Called Family Christmas item and why you love it. We’ll pick 5 winners next week! Take a look at the full Christmas selection here!