Holidays

Simplicity of the Season

Over the years, I have learned to focus on simplicity especially this time of year. It is an active and sometimes difficult choice for less is more. With every ad and holiday activity this time of year, the season can easily be overwhelming but what year better than this year to scale it back and be more present for the season. Being purposeful with how I spend money and giving the gift of time spent together as often as possible is in the forefront. This article is a great way to get started. The way our home feels, smells, and sounds are not only nostalgic and sentimental but become a big part of the stories we tell for generations to come.

A moment that really resonated with me was when our oldest was 8 years old. He was harassing me in ways that only an 8 year old can torment a parent about getting the holiday decorations up in the house. I’ve always been one of this moms that holds Thanksgiving as sacred time to reflect and intentionally practice gratitude so holiday decorations don’t come out until after Thanksgiving. I know, I know, clear the benches for the brawl between those that go all out holiday after Halloween and those that won’t put it up until the first day of December. Honestly though, if you had your holiday decorations up in July this year, you get a virtual fist bump from me. Plus there is actual research that says bringing that holiday spirit into your home earlier improves your wellbeing! Go figure…

No matter when you begin to get your home ready for the holidays, it is MAGICAL. Our kids just love it but our oldest is on a whole different level of joy when it comes to decorating the house. This is why he was on my case that Thanksgiving. I compromised with him and said we could get out the storage bins and pull the holiday books for him to read before bed after our Thanksgiving dinner was cleaned up. Sweating as I lugged storage bins from the gloomy basement storage, he slowly opened that first bin. It felt like everything in the basement froze. He let out in a whisper of warm breath, “I love that smell. It smells like Christmas.” Eyes closed he drank it all in and he paused in that moment a little longer. I stayed right there with him; grateful for the reminder of what’s really important. It’s not about when you decorate, what the decorations are, or how much stuff you have. I hope that smell brings him right back here to this moment every time no matter how old he is. This season, whenever you get started, breathe it in deeply so that it fills your soul. If you don’t feel it in your soul, slow down, it will if you let it.

The decorated tree is hands down his favorite so I’m highlighting our tree here. We have done both a real tree and we have a fake one and we let the spirit move us each year as to which one we go with. A real tree takes a little bit more work and time but well worth it when the whole house smells of evergreen. We go to a local tree farm and sadly the one we have been going to is closed. We’re going faux this year and lighting up our favorite scent with one of these Balsam Fir Candles.

Start with a great story. Here are two of our favorites.

The Tree That’s Meant To Be by Yuval Zommer

The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry

Each year our tree has a unique personality but there are some staples that haven’t changed a whole lot from year to year. There must be a train around it. Depending on the age of the kids and what they are into, the train might be different. We currently have a Lego train that I take apart every January and store with the Christmas decorations so we can participate in the fun of rebuilding it each year and minimal amounts of pieces are lost.

This is our exact one

If you have younger ones and want to avoid small pieces, this one is works too!

Many of our tree accessories have been bought over the years from Target. Of course, every year the holiday decorations take on a different theme so the exact items may not be available from year to year. Here are what is available this year that is similar to what we have.

Select trees at Target are 50% off right now! We go with white lights but colored lights and unlit trees are available too. 50% off Christmas Trees

We went with a snowflake beaded tree topper that shimmers in the light but I also like the look of this Grapevine Wrapped Star and this Mirror Panel Star

I have my eye on this Ivory Pom Pom Tree Skirt and love a good Burlap Tree Skirt

Have fun with garlands and ornaments that reflect the lights on your tree. This will make it glow. Try Iridescent Bead Garland or Red Mirrored Bead Garland

Every year we have an ornament for each kiddo. They will take their yearly collection of ornaments with them someday to their own homes and trees of the future to continue to share the stories of their past. We always select a meaningful ornament specifically for the year, vacation, area of interest or big moment that the year brought to them. Be thoughtful about the ornaments you add to your collection because they will be the story starters for years to come.

Cheers to a meaningful holiday season!

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