Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day #24 - 30 Days to a Simpler Life

It's day 24 of 30 Days to a Simpler Life. Challenge 24 - Create hassle-free holidays Make a list of the holidays you celebrate annually. Besides each entry, write down what each holiday means to you. For example, Thanksgiving may mean organizing a big potluck dinner for friends who don't have anyplace else to go. Next, make another list of holidays with columns entitled "Joyful Activities" and "Stressful Activities." Fill in the blanks. For example, a joyful Christmas activity might be "Sending cards," whereas a stressful activity might be "Finding perfect gifts for household help." Once the list is made, vow to maximize joy and minimize stress. (30 Days to a Simpler Life, p. 152) I'm actually not a big holiday person. All the commercialization (despite my best attempts to ignore it) just gets on my nerves. We really try to keep things very simple. Here's what I came up with: Holidays we celebrate

  1. New Year's - Day off (Rest after putting away all of the Christmas decorations and new presents)

  2. Valentine's Day - Time with loved ones (Playing games together, doing a fun project together, writing a list of things we like about one another, etc. and I try to cook DH a nice dinner and get the kids to bed early.)

  3. Easter - Celebrate the Resurrection (Going to church, small gifts for the kids, an Easter egg hunt, read a passion week story, a nice dinner)

  4. Memorial Day - Remembering those who sacrificed everything (Read a story and have a cookout)

  5. Fourth of July - Be thankful for the freedoms others have gifted us (Read a story, have a cookout, watch fireworks)

  6. Halloween - Kids fun (Buy a bag of candy, take kids to church for fun Halloween alternative)

  7. Thanksgiving - Thanking God (Thanksgiving story, list/discuss what we're thankful for, cook a big dinner, do something fun together)

  8. Christmas - Celebrating Christ's birth (decorate house & tree, mail Christmas cards to friends and family, find/buy or make/wrap presents, advent wreath and readings, lots of yummy food, put baby Jesus in the manger and read the Christmas story)

Really the most stressful thing on the list is probably taking care of the Christmas presents. It's not hard to come up with ideas for us to give (except to DH's parents), but having to make lists of ideas for extended family becomes a balance of what gifts would they be willingly to give vs. what would the kid's like vs. what do we need or have room for. Just the thought of all that stuff gives me a headache, but I have yet to convince anyone else to simplify.

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