I'm trying to catch up on Money Saving Mom's 21 Days to a Simple Christmas Challenge. Crystal is offering a free copy of her e-book, 21 Days to a Simple Christmas, and inviting others to read it and act on the ideas in it together. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to catch up since Crystal's a great writer and the chapters are short.
Also, she starts the book out by talking about budget and keeping costs down, and I'm lucky that's the least of my worries. I really don't have that many people to buy for, and we don't even get the kids big gifts since they get so much from the rest of the family and we spend more than enough money on them throughout the rest of the year.
But what I'm looking for in this challenge - and already starting to get - is a reminder that things need not be stressful and complicated and super busy, just because of the season. I've already pared the gift list down to the bare minimum, and arranged for group gifts where appropriate. (For example, I'm going to bring in a large batch of cookies to the school office, instead of individual gifts for each staff member.)
As I've mentioned on Facebook already, I've normally accomplished much more by this time of year, because I traditionally do my decorating during Thanksgiving week. But this year, with Thanksgiving being so late, Hanukkah being so early, and the kids having sports activities, the decorations never crossed my mind once last week!
Now I'm trying to catch up on that, because I really do love my house being festive at this time of year. It's not that I go all out with decorations . . . it's just the reminder from seeing the (very small) tree, the stockings, and the Hallmark Singing Snowmen (I still have to get this year's), that this is my favorite time of year.
Today's challenge is to organize a gift list, so I've been working on that.
I have some gifts for the kids, teachers, friends, my husband, our parents, and our grandparents. But I need to take inventory and see what still needs to be purchased and made . . .
How's your Christmas planning/celebrating going? And are you planning on simplifying anything this year?
Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by jannoon028.