This post is sponsored by Basic Invite.
The new approach to living your best life, minimalism, is the new “she can have it all,” and I am on board. Gone are the days moms are expected to have Pinterest-perfect houses while entertaining flawlessly, or kids dressed to the nines and eating only organic, gluten-free meals. I could not be happier.
The new “tres chic” seems to have evolved (much more realistically) into figuring out the best shortcuts and dedicating time and space for the important things in life. Returned are the priorities of truly connecting with beloved family and spending more time on what matters. Instead of juggling a million different plates, the modern mom chooses only one to throw up in the air and expertly guide down to her maybe-not-so-perfectly-decorated table.
I will be honest, I think we CAN have it all but it is just SO EXHAUSTING. And once we work our assets off and get every little detail perfect, we look up and realize that we missed the good stuff. The funny face your kid makes when he or she opens a present and the time in the yard playing a game or throwing the football. My goal in life is not to HAVE it all but actually to ENJOY it all. That is an important distinction. I can’t sit back with my glass of wine and talk and REALLY connect to my loved ones if I am in the kitchen cooking or cleaning or running the hundredth errand.
My approach to the holidays has always been more simple. However, I admit I am often guilty of getting swept up in the festivities. I make myself responsible for every single person’s magical holiday memories; having that perfectly-homemade marshmallow cream-topped hot chocolate next to the perfectly-constructed crackling fire with twinkling Christmas lights and the exquisitely-decorated living room with the perfectly-erected, trimmed and coiffed Christmas tree. NO REAL LIFE MOM is capable of accomplishing this. Not without a full paid professional staff, unrealistic amounts of advance planning, and not to mention unlimited funds.
Thankfully, for all of us there has been a movement towards simplicity and minimalism. I intend to embrace this concept moving forward, especially for this Christmas holiday.
Here are the key items I plan on focusing on this year at Christmas
Jesus: We typically do a pretty good job of this, but now that my kids are older, I want to really focus on scripture in more detail during Christmas. This year, we plan on doing a Jesse Tree. (What is a Jesse Tree, you ask? See here.) I have ordered this book, and am planning an ornament-decorating session soon. My kids know about Santa and it’s a fun tradition, but we have worked hard to make Jesus the core of the holiday in our house. This will build on that and keep our focus on the main reason for the season.
The tree: I am not going to decorate my house within an inch of its life this year. We might put a few other things out, but the tree will be my main focus. Here are some amazing tree ideas I plan on using as inspiration.
Family Christmas card: Instead of shopping in October and November (or even all year?) and feverishly wrapping and packaging, standing in long lines at the post office, and mailing presents to every family member we won’t see on Christmas, I am keeping it simple. I am sending out some really special family Christmas cards, and we are ordering ours this year from Basic Invite. They have almost unlimited options for colors and custom-printed samples. Considering what a mess my Christmas card address list is, I might even go one step further and use their address capturing service. This facilitates requesting and collecting friends and family addresses through social media. (Bonus: they are offering 15% off right now with code: 15FF51)
Service: We usually do a Samaritan’s purse box and give to local toy drives but this year, I think my kids are old enough to do a bit more. I am looking into what it will be, but a strong contender is spending a day delivering food for our local Meals on Wheels.
Food: Ok, I can’t give up on ALL my Christmas cooking. However, I do plan on making an effort to focus on one or two really special meals (Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with maybe a special soup or stew for New Year’s Eve) and not have everything so planned out. Leftovers are always good and having things prepared ahead and in the freezer is a specialty of mine. For the majority of the time, I will rely heavily on what I have stocked in my freezer, simple, easy to prepare meals and yes, even some pre-packaged meals or takeout.
What are YOU focusing on this Christmas?
This post is a sponsored collaboration with Basic Invite.