Keeping Christmas Simple: Part 3 (Appreciation)

by Merissa on December 14, 2012

in Featured, Simple Living

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Appreciation is something we seem to talk a lot about here. I think that's ok. :) If you don't appreciate what you have you ill never be satisfied in life!

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During Christmas we can get many gifts. We can have lots of time with family members. And we can have many baked goodies and treats. But are we really appreciating all of it? I think the best part of Christmas is the realization of how grateful we should be for what we have.

Clean out things you don't really need.

Maybe the reason that we aren't able to appreciate our new things and our new gifts is because we already have too much! Take a few weeks before Christmas and get rid of all the "extras" that you don't really need.

Set extra time aside to spend with friends and family this holiday season.

Yeah, we all see each other and maybe even exchange gifts, but wouldn't we rather have the time with each other than the normal short pleasantries? Take time to invite a family member for lunch or have your cousins over for a small impromptu dinner. Take the littles in your family to a local event. Make Christmas Eve family game night. Whatever you do, take the time to appreciate one another!

Donate to your local food pantry or donate time to your local soup kitchen.

Do we really appreciate all the special baked goodies we are making or are given? Do we appreciate our huge Christmas feasts? Take time this holiday season to work a day at a soup kitchen. Or grab some extras at the grocery store during all these great holiday sales and donate them to your local food pantry. Another nice idea is to take treats to a local senior center or to some seniors homes. They love the goodies and they often go forgotten!

Here are some of your ideas on how to best be able to appreciate the holidays and what we have:

  • I try to not get so caught up in "getting it all done" and rather concentrate on making special time for our family. - Velda
  • Buy less "stuff." - Sicily
  • I volunteer at the local humane society all year but during the holidays I adopt several animals from the angel tree and bring in cat litter, food and toys to help. - Teresa
  • Decorating the house and diffusing oils like Christmas Spirit, seems to help my beloved husband. He works so many looooong hours, so I do my best to make home a Haven of Rest:) - Marilyn
  • Focus on the reason for the season: Jesus. - Char
  • Celebrate them in February. - Kristal
  • Every single evening, I turn out the family room lights and decompress, by the light of the Christmas tree, with a hot cup of tea. - Dolled Up Dolphin
  • Look at the holiday they the eyes of my young grandchildren. - Colleen
  • Relax as much as possible - and plan for lots of leftovers so there is no cooking for a couple days. - Marci
  • With each holiday I try to do one big volunteer project (and more if I can) 1. It's good for the soul 2. Reminds me what it really means to give. That giving isn't about buying. Oh and drink lots of hot cocoa!! - Corey
  • Plan out baking and ingredients early and stock up. limit the amount of parties and festivities away from home. Mainly don't spend so much time running around in the frey. make gifts; or buy at smaller shops. Stay home, relax and enjoy it. - Jan
  • We choose two names from the angel tree and buy gifts for them as a family. Helps to remind us of how blessed we are, and how important it is to give to others with no expectation of getting anything in return. We also wait until a couple of weeks before Christmas to get a tree and decorate. So it seems more special. - Carrie
  • Bake cutout Christmas cookies with my kids. - Gaylene
  • Spend time with family, decorate and take some time off!! - Tammy

What do you do during the holidays to help you appreciate them and what you have more?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gail December 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm

All good ideas.
For me, the balance of fun & festivities and time for family and reflections leans more and more to the last two over the years..
Other than buying supplies for the other adults favorite charities ( I get cat food for my rescue work, most years), we decided years ago to forgo traditional gifts (sweaters, hobby stuff, golf clubs, etc) as a group. Makes shopping simple and enjoyable.

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2 sarah December 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm

We (family of 5) started a new tradition this year…and it is simple. At least once a week we drive around different parts of town looking at the lights. It’s amazing to see my 3 year old twins and my 8 year olds faces and to hear their squeals of laughter and awe. It’s the little pleasures that bring the most happiness.

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