It hits me every year, the last week of October. I begin to feel the expectations building, the stress of content creation, the subtle nudge to please all the people around me, and the pressure to make it look effortless. So a few years ago I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t sacrifice my physical and emotional health during the holidays even if that meant saying “no” a lot more. I chose instead to simplify the season.
I stopped throwing a Christmas party and sending holiday cards. I make the living room festive and I hang garland on the stairs but I no longer decorate the entire house. I wait until December to buy a Christmas tree and decorate it with my kids. Once I took the pressure off myself the immediate result was I began to feel more joy during the holiday season.
I watch the stories of people I follow on Instagram and already there’s so much creativity happening. I love it, it’s beautiful, and I look forward to being inspired by more. I still like to make things and if they turn out well, I share them here on the blog.
But one thing I’ve realized as the years go by and in all the holiday seasons I’ve celebrated is that time is the only thing with real value and our energy is finite. We get to choose where we spend it.
So instead of stressing myself out during the holiday season, I opt for simplicity in decorating and entertaining. Right now that looks like leaves clipped from the backyard paired with luminaries made of leaves and wax paper.
To me, simplicity is a choice to not get caught up in what everyone else is (or seems to be) doing.
To you maybe that looks like decorating with swags of popcorn or construction paper garlands made by your kids or grandkids instead of store bought gilded versions.
Perhaps it’s the pie you buy from the bakery to bring to a party because you don’t have time to bake.
Maybe it’s prioritizing kicking your feet up and snuggling with your favorite people with just a string of twinkle lights for the mood, instead of hauling out bins of holiday decor and decking the halls for days only to have to put it away a few weeks later.
Whatever it looks like to you, I’ve learned for myself that choosing simplicity leads to a less stressful and more joyful holiday season.
If you’re interested in how to make these simple leaf luminaries with wax paper, I posted the supplies and instructions on Instagram Reels today. This fall craft is a return to basics – decoupage leaves as a simple centerpiece. (Just be sure to use flameless candles). I used the leftover skeleton leaves from these embellished pumpkins.
Today’s post is really just a word of encouragement and a reminder this holiday season there’s no need to stress out when decorating or entertaining. You can choose simplicity in all you do and still create seasonal beauty.