Before kids life was completely opposite of all that i’m about to mention, but now being a Mama to 2 young kids, life has changed a little and so has my level of Holiday stress. I don’t know about you, but once Thanksgiving is over I turn into a totally different anxiety filled Mama! It starts after Halloween, but I always tell myself, “it’s not event Thanksgiving yet, I still have time” until I can’t tell myself that anymore. Then Thanksgiving rolls around and the next day is Black Friday and then Small Business Saturday, and then Cyber Monday and then Giving Tuesday and by the end of that whirlwind of giving money I am so balled up in stress that I literally want Christmas to be over already. I feel stress that I haven’t even STARTED my Christmas list of who to buy for and what to buy for people so therefore I missed out on “The Biggest Sales of the Year”. I feel stressed that my Christmas decorations don’t look like Martha Stewarts, I feel stress that I don’t have time to give each person on my list (that has yet to be made) a well thought-out, personal, something they’ll absolutely love, earn me the best gift giver of the year award, gift, I feel stress that i’m not giving my kids ALL of the Holiday experiences out there (let’s not even mention the elf on the shelf that I simply said no to this year after stressing about it last year), and honestly, I am just so OVER IT!

This year, my husband and I vowed to really put forward the effort to Create and Intentional Christmas. What’s an Intentional Christmas, you ask? It’s simple, keeps gifts meaningful & purposeful. Focus more on being together as a Family and enjoying the small things. Walk the block after dinner and look at the Christmas Lights, Read Christmas Stories by the fire, Make Hot Chocolate with whip cream and watch a Christmas movie as a family. There are so many fun experiences you can create around that Holidays that if you aren’t so stressed and focused on the gift buying, you can really focus on what’s really important. Below you will find 5 ways you can keep your gift giving simple for everyone on your list and by doing this you’ll be sure to say goodbye to some of that Holiday stress and hello to some more Holiday cheer!

  1. Something to READ – Kids of all ages can benefit from BOOKS. There are so many out there and it’s always nice to have new bedtime stories to read. They are a great gift idea for anyone really, not just kids.
  2. Something to WEAR – We all know kids grow fast and are needing new clothes every season. Gift them something new to wear or maybe even a clothing item they really want but you wouldn’t typically buy for them.
  3. Something to LEARN – Children are little sponges and always curious to learn. This would be a great category to gift an experience. Maybe a cooking class, passes to the zoo, membership to the Children’s Museum, or art classes.
  4. Something to PLAY – This could be a toy they’ve been really wanting and asking for. It doesn’t need to be anything big or expensive, just exactly what they’ve been asking for (within reason of course).
  5. Something to do as a FAMILY – This could be a game that the family could play together, or an activity (sporting event, movie tickets) that the family can do together.

There are several different variations of these Christmas gift giving guidelines to Create a More Intentional Christmas, so add a few more categories or a few less, but just keep it simple and remember this.

  • BE PRESENT.
  • LESS SPENDING, LESS COMPARISON, MORE GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION
  • TIME > GIFTS
  • EXPERIENCES > DISPOSABLE ITEMS

I truly hope that you have a HAPPY, STRESS FREE, Holiday Season!

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