Welcome to day 4 in the 5 Days to a Debt Free Christmas series! Today we are going to talk about 6 steps to a simple Christmas.
Over the last 38 years of my life, I have enjoyed celebrating a simple Christmas. Growing up, I didn’t even realize how “simple” our Christmas celebration was compared to other family’s celebrations, but once I left home I began to see the difference. When visiting other people’s homes during Christmas I saw how stressed out those doing the brunt of the work were. I saw the emphasis on presents and not the birth of Jesus. I saw the attitude of entitlement running rampantly through the time of year that simplicity should be on the forefront of the family’s day-to-day agenda. But for most people, a simple Christmas is unheard of.
I am going to share with you 10 steps to simplify your Christmas celebration to allow for more family unity with more focus on giving than receiving. This, my friends, is what as simple Christmas is all about.
If you consider everything I share, you will see how having a simple Christmas goes hand-in-hand with a debt-free Christmas.
6 Steps to a Simple Christmas
1. Make a plan. Sounds simple enough, right? Well sometimes it’s not always so easy to plan for the holiday season when the buzz of the season sets in. I suggest that you make a plan well in advance. I’d suggest starting to plan what you will be doing for Christmas no later than July. It’s just a plan, so be flexible. This gives you a lot of time to focus on what really matters to you and gives you the time to accomplish those goals. This has really helped us simplify and give us the ability to focus on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
2. Focus on giving rather than receiving. As simple as this many seem, it is the crux of enjoying debt-free Christmas’ with your family. When we truly encompass this mindset, we realize that the type of gift we give doesn’t need to cost us any money, it can simply be our time or our God-given talents. This focus has been a wonderful witness of our true heart behind giving and has shown us even more just how enjoyable it is to give to others.
3. Don’t go into debt to buy presents. Set a budget and stick with it. I am not sure who started this trend of spending money we don’t have for Christmas gifts. I am quite sure it was spearheaded by marketers when they realized that emotional advertizement would “guilt” the average consumer into buying things for their children (and other family members) because “everyone else has one”. Get rid of that mentality and watch how your new perspective will save you time and money.
4. Use Chinet to serve Christmas dinner on. Seriously. Some people may scoff at this, but in reality it has saved our family lots of money over and over each year. Why? Because we can buy a pack of Chinet to serve Christmas dinner on and it saves us time and money. We purchased a 100 pack of Chinet and we are on the 3rd Christmas dinner this year! Now, that’s frugal. And besides, now we don’t have to worry about little Johnny breaking a piece of that expensive bone china.
And sometimes, if we have some leftover from another evetn, we even us disposable silverware too. It gives us all peace of mind as there is little to no clean up and then we are able to spend more time focused on our family – isn’t this the goal?
5. Get back to the basics. Who told you that Christmas has to be complicated? Where did that mindset come from? You don’t need to spend a ton of money on Christmas decorations and expensive foods to impress your guests. Rather you can do what you are able to do within your Christmas budget.
6. Give yourself (and others) lots of grace. This has proven to be one of the single most important life-lessons that I’ve been able to use in creating a simple Christmas for our family. I have thrown out all the expectations and just opened my heart to a time with those who matter most to me. This has positioned our family to be able to serve others out of a pure heart – not selfish motivation. And this, my friends, is what the Christmas season is all about!