You’re Slow as Christmas: 4 Ways to Simplify the Holidays

For the 27th day of this Clutter-Free by Thanksgiving challenge, I have a special guest to share with you about her experience simplifying this time of year.

Sarah has some practical advice for you to make the holidays a time when you remember the joy and fun by reducing the chaos and stress.

Today’s Task: Choose one of the ideas below for simplifying the holidays and start implementing it now, whether that’s just planning it and writing a reminder or getting part of it started.

Simplify Holidays

 

You’re Slow As Christmas

In the south, we like our catchphrases. “That car is parked all cattywampus.” “You’re too big for your britches.” “Why, she’s slow as Christmas!”

 

That last one always gets me. As a kid, I couldn’t wait for Christmas to arrive, and it always seemed like it took for. eh. ver. When the blessed day finally arrived, it seemed as if it was gone the instant it came.

 

As an adult, and mom of two under 5, my entire holiday season seems to be blowing right past me faster than a greased up pig at a bacon factory (yes, that is a thing people say where I’m from)! Parties, family events, church events, community events, baking, shopping, decorating….am I making any of you sweat yet? I’m sweating over here and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!

 

It’s just all become too much. We are all guilty of doing too much, especially during the holidays it seems. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Aren’t the holidays supposed to be about something more than doing all the things? My answer is yes.

 

Here’s how I plan to slow down and take it all in this holiday season:

 

Be Intentional. Seems so simple, right? “Of course I have time for my family!” But do we really? My lip service and my actions don’t always meet up, but this year I’m going to make it a conscious decision to put my family first. Is it really in everyone’s best interest to stand in line for 2 hours at the mall to meet Santa? Do we have to attend every single holiday party we are invited to? Only you can make those choices for yourself and your family, but I’m finding more often than not, saying “no” is the best thing I can offer my family.

 

Disconnect to connect. Ok, this seems a little off, I know, but go with me here. I am a blogger, and chances are if you’re reading this post, you’re also one or, at the very least, you participate in this wonderful, global thing we like to call social media. It is way too easy to pull out your phone or tablet and ignore everyone around you during the holidays. Don’t be “that guy.” Step away from your life on the internet for just a bit and connect with people face to face.

 

Make time for family traditions. It doesn’t have to be elaborate either! My family has traditionally gone to the movies after dinner on Thanksgiving Day for as long as I can remember, and I love that time we share together. Whatever you do, make time to do it! Yes, there may be ups and downs to establishing traditions if you don’t already have some, but isn’t that what life is all about? Loving your family through all of those stories that start with “remember that time…”

 

Lastly, take time to rest. The holidays are a great time to recharge by just being present with the people you love. Our culture today prides itself on always having an answer for the question, “What have you done today?” and I think that’s a shame. Sometimes you need a little time to do “nothing” which, more often than not, is not really and truly “nothing” (moms with young children can I get an AMEN?). The holidays are the best time to take that break and refresh yourself. As a mom, it is especially important to take advantage of willing, helping hands whenever you can get them, and the holidays are a great time to do that.

 

I know a lot of these ideas are easier said than done, but I truly believe if you make a concerted effort to slow down this holiday season, you will reap the endless benefits of that choice. After all, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

 

What are your plans for the holidays? I’d love to hear how you make time for the important things this holiday season!

 

Sarah

 

Sarah is a mom of twin girls who writes about her family and their adventures at sarahinthesuburbs.com.

 
She’d love for you to stop by and say hi!

 

Decluttering Your Time: Day 17 Challenge

I’ve talked a little about decluttering our calendars, but in the video below, Heather Parady takes it a step further. When I think of decluttering my calendar, I think of staying at home more or not doing as much in a week or a day.

But Heather has reminded me how often I clutter up a single minute trying to do too many things at once instead of focusing on the one thing I wanted to set time aside for.

Enjoy her video!

Isn’t she great?

I did not ask Heather to give you guys a discount on her time-management course. She chose to do that out of her own generosity.

Even if you aren’t interested in that, be sure to find her on social media @heatherparady. She is passionate about helping people start a business and is all around inspiring, encouraging, and fun.

 

Today’s Task: Actually set a timer while you declutter if you haven’t been doing that. Set one now for 5 minutes so you don’t forget. Then if you can, set it again later for another 15 minutes or so. Set the timer again to take 10 minutes to write down what you’ve gotten rid of today and what you’re gaining in its place. I’d love for you to post a picture of it on Facebook or Instagram!

How to Use Writing to Build Your Tribe

People have asked me how I got my website to where it is today, or they’re surprised by how many subscribers I have.

Jeff Goins had a lot to do with that.

I started out just reading his blog, but then I watched his videos, joined his course, attended his intensive workshop, and listened to his podcast.

He always shares great information, which is why I wanted to let you know that he has an awesome free video series on how to use writing to build your tribe. Every training I’ve seen of his has been amazing and full of value. Plus, I’ve met him in person several times, and he genuinely cares about people and enjoys being creative and inspiring others.

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4 Benefits of Living Tiny: Day 9 of the Clutter-Free by Thanksgiving Challenge

How do you let go of attachment to things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them. -Eckhart Tolle

This is Day 9 of the 30 Day Challenge to focus little-by-little on getting rid of stuff before Thanksgiving so that there isn’t a ton to do the week before.

I’m intentionally trying to keep them short since they’re daily, and I want you guys to focus on actually getting rid of stuff not just reading about it.

 

30 Day Challenge

Day 9

If you aren’t enjoying the benefits of a clutter-free life, you’re not going to want to continue it.

Pay attention to the way getting rid of stuff is making your life better.

Make a mental list of those things now. Better still, take the time to write them down.

Here are a few from my list:

1. More joy and freedom (because I’m not carrying the guilt and responsibility of taking care of things I don’t like or use)

2. Being able to help others make similar changes (whether it’s by inspiring them with my story, giving them practical tips, or showing them that it’s possible and they’re not alone)

3. More room for activities and things and people that I like

4. Knowing where stuff is and focusing on enjoying what I have

 

It’s not too late to join the challenge. Just sign up for the newsletter by entering your email in the bar at the top of the page, and check out this information to help you get started.