This is a guest post by one of my new favorite bloggers, Hannah at seeingthelovely.com. Be sure to visit her blog and follow her on social media!
I don’t know about you all, but I am super excited to celebrate Christmas this month!
I love seeing the lights on houses, hearing Christmas music, and going to parties with family and friends. This season is such a fun and joyful one and a great welcome to the winter months.
Although I love all of the decorations and festivities, I am also frustrated with many aspects of this season. Instead of being a time where we can celebrate God’s gift of Christ, it has become a crazy season of shopping and stress! This definitely does not fit in with a simple living lifestyle.
In addition to the added business of finding and buying presents, there is also the problem of way too much focus on stuff in general. Instead of just giving the latest cool thing on the market, let’s take the focus off of presents and instead do things that will build our marriages and our families!
Here are a few ways to celebrate the Christmas season and show your family that you care about them without presents!
1. Attend a Christmas show or service
One of my favorite things about December is how many amazing performances are put on throughout the month. When I was a little girl, my granny used to take my sister and me to see The Nutcracker every year. It was such a special tradition for us, and now whenever I listen to the music from The Nutcracker I remember the fun time I had with my granny.
Trying to cut your spending? Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend a ton on Christmas concerts! Check any community choir, symphony, or church and they will probably have a Christmas performance on their schedule that costs less than $10 or is even free! If your budget is a bit larger, you can also take a look at local colleges, they often have excellent performances.
2. Bake and decorate Christmas cookies
We don’t do this every year, but when we do, it’s a blast! Baking cookies is something that your whole family or group of friends can do together, no matter what age! They are great to give to friends and neighbors, and of course, snack on while baking! I usually pick 3-4 types of cookies to make, which takes a good afternoon to complete. These giant ginger chocolate chip cookies are my favorite (Confession: I bake these all year, not just Christmas!) You also may want to try some gluten free cookies to have available so that no one is left out.
One last note on cookies: the fight to cut down on food waste is difficult around Christmas, especially when you’ve gotten carried away with baking! Instead of letting your lovely little cookies get dry and stale, stick a dozen in a bag and freeze them. They will still taste great when thawed, and can be eaten alone or as an ice cream topping!
3. Make Christmas cards
Making Christmas cards is another way to creatively show your Christmas spirit. Just grab some craft supplies and you’re good to go!
Over Thanksgiving my cousin and I got out some pencils, markers, and stamping supplies and began creating some awesome Christmas cards. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, we just picked some pretty stamps and went at it!
Maybe this December you can take an afternoon with your kids or friends and make a few cards to send to family or neighbors. Family members love getting homemade cards, and they don’t have to be perfect! Do you have some cute photos of your family? Print them out and make photo postcards! Super easy and super cute!
Whatever kinds of cards you make, focus on having fun with your family and just enjoy being creative!
4. Go Christmas caroling
Music is one of the best parts about Christmas, and sharing it with others is so much fun! All you need are some copies of your favorite Christmas carols (or your phone!) and some willing voices!
You can sing around your neighborhood and maybe even pass out some of your extra cards and cookies! Another place to go caroling is your local senior center. There are many who aren’t able to get out much, so don’t be shy in bringing the fun to them! You will be so appreciated and it’s low key, so it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake!
5. Follow an Advent calendar
It’s easy to let Christmas become overrun with Santa and presents, but following an Advent calendar can help you and your family keep the focus on Christ.
I like the way that Advent calendars lead into the celebration of Christ’s birth, through Bible readings and sometimes little pictures or objects that kids can remember. Last year my husband and I did an Advent calendar that had a Bible passage and Christmas carol for each day, and I loved how it helped me prepare for Christmas!
No matter what your family does this Christmas, I hope that you have a blessed time building relationships (and not piles of stuff!) with each other!
Do you have any simple ways that your family like to celebrate Christmas? Which of these ideas are you most likely to try this season?