It's right around now that the pressure of the holidays begins to mount isn't it? Pressure to decorate your home Pinterest-perfectly, select special & expensive gifts for an ever-growing list and send beautiful and thoughtfully written cards to long-lost friends. This. of course in addition to your already packed schedule of kids concerts, hockey tournaments, year-end work projects, holiday parties and flu shot appointments.
It's a lot. Unless you intentionally dial it down and simplify.
This year, consider a simpler and more natural holiday season by scaling back the gifts & decor, glitz & glamour. Take time to intentionally plan a season that's filled with experiences instead of stuff, natural decor instead of plastic, and peace instead of stress.
Here are some simple ideas.
1. Decorate intentionally.
Put your effort into decorating your home for cozy nights playing family games instead of for impressing neighbors with the most lights and glittery bulbs. Pull out board games and decks of cards, add cozy blankets and pillows to your living room, have some holiday-scented soy candles ready, play your favourite festive songs, and rearrange your furniture so that the TV is not front and centre. Here are a few items to help you get ready.
2. Bring nature indoors.
Go for a hike in a local woodlot or farmer's market and pick up some tiny fir or spruce trees for pots, and fir or pine boughs for swags on doors and your mantel. They'll smell wonderful and add a simple festive touch. This post gives you 10 natural DIY holiday decorating ideas.
3. Give fewer but more meaningful gifts.
Order handmade, vintage and ethically-made gifts online instead of spending valuable time running around the mall only to find expensive gifts that are quickly forgotten. I've curated a 2016 Sustainable Gift Guide to make it easy for you. Gifts that are made with love, whether by you (cookies anyone?) or craftspeople you support, are much more meaningful and have a lasting impact.
4. Wrap simply and sustainably.
Ditch the commercial wrap and go for natural and recyclable gift wrapping. It simplifies the season and makes you feel good about giving to the planet as well as the people on your list. Click on the items below to order online in time for your wrapping, and this post gives you some simple DIY wrapping ideas.
5. Send e-cards.
Write and mail all your cards over a single coffee with Paperless Post e-cards. Import your address book, choose a card and bulk mail to everyone you choose. There are many free options or inexpensive paid versions as well. Or give back through sending e-cards with Greet for Good, a site that allows you to choose the charity of your choice to donate to through your e-card purchase.
So, are you ready to swap a stressful season for a slower, more joyful one? Me too. Cheers!