Monday, December 10, 2018

5 Quick Ways to Simplify the Holidays

2018 blew me away with all the travel it involved! From starting the year in Palm Springs to ending it with our last trip of the year coming up in Nashville, I'm so thankful to be grounded with my kids at home for their December recess.  This is our 3rd Christmas as homeowners, but will only be our 2nd Christmas actually at home. To make it extra special, I've partnered with Wayfair to reflect on 5 quick ways I'm simplifying this holiday season. 

1) More experiences, less stuff - from cutting down our Christmas tree at a nearby farm, to attending local performances and neighborhood holiday parties I've been intentional about scouring our community events listings for activities to experience as a family. It's also meant I've been paring down the existing items we have and bartering for what we need which has been really easy through our community social media groups. 

2) Creating Low-Stress Sensory Memories - in years past we've hosted EPIC  holiday cookie exchange parties, but this year we're laying low and have decided not to have one. While eating those cookies was a delightful treat, this year I've decided to focus on regular activities that will evoke long lasting memories like lighting our Advent candle, which our dear friend gave us to mark each passing year in our home, sprinkling holiday decor such as pine cones, leftover ornament balls and candy candles into our dining room cabinet and creating a simmer pot that the kids help with adding ingredients like cinnamon, orange peel, cloves and star anise. 

3) Getting the Kids' Input on Holiday Decor - Each year I'm struck by how much the kids remember when I bring our holiday decor from the basement. This year was especially cute when Grayson got tired of me waiting to find our Christmas ornament hooks and found candy canes on his own to place on the tree. He was so proud of himself! I was almost tempted to bring our glass ornaments back out this year (they've been in hiding since 2014), but Mr. Lovebird confirmed that sticking with the plastic ones for now is best with the kids allowing them to freely place them where they want. This is definitely a challenge for my Type A self, but it's been fun seeing their delight in setting everything up. 

4) Crafting it Up - I tend to be the craft enthusiast of the family, and one of my all time favorite ideas is getting a huge roll of kraft paper - I'm talking about my height - that I use as a table cloth/drop cloth/photo back drop for all things holiday craft related. I scrounge up remnants of craft supplies and let the kids go to town. I'm especially obsessed with anything involving a glue gun while the kids have been on a slime kick lately!

5) Using Consistent Outdoor Decor - I've decided to stick with the same decor we used our first Christmas as homeowners: lit candles in the windows which are adorned with a simple evergreen wreath. This has been the most budget friendly way to create a warm glow of our home that as corny as it sounds, really does make me warm and fuzzy when we pull into our driveway. The battery operated candles are on an auto-timer (shout out to Nia who for the first time gave me a hand quickly twisting the bulbs into place!), and I just added bows with dangling bells to faux evergreen wreaths. Easily hung with floral wire, at the end of the season they go right back into our oversized storage boxes. 

How are you decorating for the holidays this year?