November 29, 2007

Keeping it Simple

Last year I wore myself out during the holidays hosting all the holiday dinners and a few parties, as well. This year we're not hosting anything. We also aren't putting out every single Christmas decoration that we own. Our goal is to keep it simple and festive this year. There will be no buying gifts for anyone who isn't family.This also means no credit card bills in the mail come January. Aside from the girls' trees in their bedrooms, I'm only putting up one tree. I'm not even sure if I'm going to mail out Christmas cards. You know what I am going to do? Spend time with my family. Play games in front of a roaring fire. Bake cookies. Enjoy the holiday season. Do Christmas projects for the joy of it and not so I can cross it off my to do list. The idea of keeping it simple really appeals to me this year and pictures like this prove to me that I can do it without a large investment of money or energy.

51 comments:

  1. Why oh why does it take us so long to understand that it isnt fun to cram so much supposed festivity into one season? I am with you this year, I am saying no to anything I dont really want to do and simplifying the gift giving. It isnt about the gifts to me anyways, it is about the family time and remembering Jesus birth and what he has done for us. Christmas CAN be more fun if we just let ourselves relax a little! (Love those pictures by the way, I am determined to make myself one of those incredible wreaths made out of ornaments, maybe after Christmas when the ornaments are clearanced. for next year:>)

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  2. good for you! Last year we didn't have as many parties, though this year I am having more... I guess there is just an ebb and a flow to these things. I say go with your gut and not with your guilt when it comes to holiday plans!

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  3. Those pictures are beautiful. And, good for you for simplifying. We don't really do much around the holidays except spend time with friends and family. I don't host large parties anymore and we don't try to buy gifts for everyone. We've even cut down in our family.

    I am still not simplifying my decorating, though. I just love it too much!

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  4. Jen,
    Each year I do less and less and I find that I am enjoying the things that I do do much more. It's hard with kids, I know, but stick to your guns and be good to yourself and relax and enjoy the holiday.
    Janet

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  5. I love and whole heartedly agree with your take on Christmas.

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  6. Go, you! I think that is so smart. I can't wait to read how it goes. By the way, the photo of that wreath is off the charts. Gorgeous. Thanks for posting it.

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  7. Wonderful! I, too, am minimizing this year. Both gifts and decorations. I was going through the boxes today taking out only the things that I truly love. Guess what? It would all fit in one box! A message I do believe to do some major weeding out.

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  8. One of my least favorite things to do is wrap all that garland around the entire stair bannister. This year I just don't want the irritation! So I'm starting to keep it simple too! Pictures are beautiful!

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  9. What an awesome post! Did you make the wreath? If so, are there any tips you can give us for how to make it with the least amount of headache?

    Thanks for your blog. I love it!

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  10. I applaud your keeping it simple attitude. Spending time with family is what is most important.

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  11. sounds like a great plan. hope you are having a lovely week.

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  12. Simplicity, yes, that's the ticket. Oh, wait, I'm already renovating my living room just before Christmas... I guess that ship has sailed (for me). Those pictures are pretty--I especially love the cabinet of ironstone.
    ~Angela :-)

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  13. I have neither the time or the money . Keeping it simple appeals to me. I love the mental picture of sitting in front of the fire. Mary

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  14. What a good message. I think we all need to heed that advice and remember what the true meaning of the season is really all about!

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  15. Yep, that's my theme for this year. I saw that wreath in Christmas Ideas mag and for a moment I thought about doing one cause I really like that size. But that's something I would have had to start months ago and all those ornaments! Maybe for next year.

    Manuela

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  16. Great Post! I am doing the same thing this year~we are truly simplifying to enjoy more of the holidays! That shot of the ornament wreath is gorgeous~I am tackling one next week! :) chris

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  17. Absoulutely stunning!! Your pictures are great decorating inspirations for me. I feel a few well done decorations have a much more stunning effect than a lot of decorations. I too am weeding out some decorations that I have already put in a box marked "goodwill". And a long with that, I've started cleaning out all the toy boxes and closets. I also totally agree with your simple approach to Christmas this year. It's about the quality time you have with your family. I feel with life in general, it is about the quality that you put into it, not the quantity. Happy Holidays!

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  18. Gosh your photos are so gorgeous! I really love stopping by. This season, I have been in stall mode with decorating, as it's been a busy week. I like doing a bit at a time the past couple of years. I am tempted to forgo that large tree this year! I have you tagged at my blog, so check it out when you have time!

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  19. That sounds delightful! I few years back I decided to scale down all the Christmas hoopla, and each year I scale down a bit more and you know what? I enjoy the holiday so much more!

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  20. Love the pictures and your ideas about Christmas. I am hosting an Old Fashioned Christmas Eve for my family this year. No presents, no electric lights only oil lamps. We are making a real Gingerbread House and playing Victorian games that I have searched for all year. Then we will eat a huge dinner that everyone participates in preparing and my husband will read the real Christmas Story from the Bible.

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  21. Me, too! I think it comes with age and maturity, no? We are so much wiser now, knowing ourselves better and understanding what really matters in the end.

    Lovely post.

    xo

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  22. that sounds great!! i decided a while back this year i too am not putting up every decoration i have....

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  23. I'm with you on that one. Simple is best and in the end, I believe we will all have a much happier and merrier Christmas!!!

    Leigh Ann

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  24. Amen! Over the last several years I have simplified my holiday decorating....still working on the gift giving thing with non-family.

    Have a great weekend.

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  25. I am so happy to see that I'm not the only one wanting to keep it simple...I haven't even started putting up decorations...but when I do...it will be simple! Thanks for the added encourgement...your photos are lovely!

    Have a wonderful season this Christmas by kicking back, taking time, and loving each moment!

    Blessings...
    Teresa

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  26. I agree! We need to slow down and enjoy the season. For the first time in a long time, I'm keeping things simple. Simple gifts, simple treasures. By the way, I love the picture of the living room and wreath. Now that's not a simple project!

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  27. Good on you - brilliant. I didn't send any christmas cards last year, and felt liberated. It comes and goes so quickly and people spend too much energy worrying etc. I'm in your camp.

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  28. I'm with you, although I still seem to drag a bit more decorations out each day as the mood strikes me. Which actually is okay, as I'm am now really in the mood to do so! AS for parties, I just don't do them...not in the true sense anyway. If it's not with my favourite people and centered around potluck meals, then it will never happen!!

    Enjoy your simple approach to the holidays...just promise me you won't attempt that wreath...beacause I KNOW that wasn't simple!!

    Lovely photo and message, as always!

    Linda
    xox

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  29. Oh. my. gosh.

    I want that wreath in the first picture!!!

    We are doing the same thing you are for the Holidays. Keepin' it simple!

    Enjoy your Holiday season, Jen. The kids will always remember the games in front of the fire and the cookie making.

    xoxo,
    martha

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  30. Good for you...I'm going to keep it simple at home this year too. After all the decorating at the shop, simple sounds beautiful to me!

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  31. I think you have the right idea!!
    Good for you Jenn!
    Rosemary

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  32. I am with you on not over doing it. I already weeded through some stuff and donated it. Is that Jennifer pagnellis's place? Love the wreath but def. don't have the patience for it. Whatever you do Jenn it will be stunning. xoxo, cherry

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  33. Last holiday I tacked Christmas lights on the ceiling perimeter of my daughters' room, they said we had to leave them up all year, they are like fairy lights for sleeping!Maybe your girls would like it too? Lights, $1.00 at dollar store!

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  34. Way to make the choice to simplify! I'm not doing cards this year and simplifying in other areas as well. It feels good. Although, I'm hoping to do cards again next year. :)

    I LOVE the wreath. Is that one of Jennifer Paganelli's? It's just gorgeous!

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  35. Your wreath is just gorgeous! And I agree with your "keeping it simple" idea. I made that choice a few years ago when I found myself in tears a few days before Christmas because I just didn't think I could get everything done. The answer.....don't give myself so many things to do!

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  36. I so am with you on this. I brought down from the attic only enuf ornaments to put on my small, table-top tree and just a few things to sit around the house. Several boxes I haven't even touched and don't plan on it. I love just a few things out...the stockings, a tree and a wreath or two.
    I, like kathleen grace, want to make myself a pretty wreath using ornaments, like yours.
    happy, easy day,
    bj

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  37. I like that. It seems like there isn't enough time anyway so why not spend it with the ones you love! A person can always do the party thing next year.

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  38. Amen, sister friend! I am on the exact same track...we have cut down on our social engagements and we are hosting nothing this year! I was just looking at Christmas decorations and decided I would not put them all out and not feel guilty about it. Honestly, if it wasn't for my young kids, my only holiday decor would be the tree plus live greenery and candles. More of a winter decor. I love your plans to keep it simple and keep it real. Love the photo!

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  39. Good for you! I agree, we're drawing names with our family and there is a $25.00 limit. I've never had a more stressfree holiday season!

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  40. Good for you! That’s exactly how I feel. I don't decorate much, and only buy gifts for close family. Christmas should be a remembrance of the birth of Christ; not a time for over budget expenditures and stress.... how hard to understand is that?

    Have a wonderful time

    Cielo

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  41. Me too! As another commented here I only pulled out Christmas decor that I really really loved and the rest will be fresh greens from the yard. LOVE that wreath and your blog. ~ Lynn

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  42. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the need to simplify and slow down, especially at this time of year. Your simple decorating is very elegant. Where did you get such a large wreath? Did you make it? It's breathtaking! I made one once ( not as big as your)and then dropped it one Christmas while I was putting it away :(

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  43. Good for you! Life can be crazy, especially this time of the year. Sometimes we miss out on the special times, because we're too busy rushing around trying to make things special.

    Hugs!
    Kat

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  44. Nothing is more precious than time with family! That is what Christmas is all about.

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  45. Good for you. I need to follow your lead.
    Nan

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  46. I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to know what that wreath was made. it looks like dried roses and peonies.

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  47. Simple sounds great to me. I've decided this year to slow down and enjoy my friends and family too! Love your blog!

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  48. I totally agree Jen. I want this time of year to be so special, not full of stress. I love the pictures in your post. Just my kind of style.

    I hope your holidays are perfectly stress-free and simple.

    allie
    www.mycozyhome.typepad.com

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