Although I wouldn't classify cleaning and organizing as an actual hobby of mine, I do appreciate a simple, uncluttered home. I've always been a simple person-my dress, words, home and interests are all simple. I love the word simplify; less is truly more. So, I've made a decision to keep Christmas simple in my own way.
The consumerism associated with Christmas has always bothered me because (for me) it detracts from the simple reason we celebrate this holiday in the first place. Superfluous STUFF makes me hyperventilate. When I'm bombarded with lots of STUFF on Christmas morning, I hardly enjoy it in the midst of my thoughts of, "Where am I going to put all this STUFF? I don't NEED this STUFF." So, here are a few things I do to keep Christmas simple in my own way:
(1) I keep Christmas paraphernalia contained to one storage container. Sounds crazy, I know. But, for simplicity's sake, I must be able to 'take down' Christmas in an hour or two instead of a day or two. I love holiday decorations and I love my home to be filled with the Christmas spirit, so instead of the same decorations year after year, I have my children make new and wonderful things each year that we enjoy during the season and toss when it's over. Gingerbread ornaments, fresh cranberry and pinecone garlands, sweet 3 year old drawings of the nativity (this one I may keep!).
(2) To keep our traditions simple, we try to do 3 things each holiday season: attend a Christmas concert of some sort, decorate a family gingerbread house, and enjoy an evening looking at Christmas lights in our community. I can manage that! (3) I try to stay simple in my gift giving as well by keeping presents practical, useful, and often consumable. I've given jars of homemade jam or bags of simmering wassail scent (oranges, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and cranberries to be simmered on the stove top) to friends. Gifts that offer an experience rather than more STUFF are also something to consider. How about tickets to a musical, movie, or a gift certificate for a message? A year's membership to a museum or $ to spend on a family outing have been some of our favorite gifts.
I hope my ideas for a simple Christmas are useful to someone! I know there are many definitions of simple, so may we all celebrate Christmas in the way that best helps us remember our Lord and Savior's humble beginnings here on earth. Happy Celebrating!