Remember when you were a child and just in awe of the Christmas lights, the sounds, and the smells of Christmas? What do you remember the most about Christmas? If you are embracing a “less is more” lifestyle or just simply don’t have the extra to spend on the holidays this year, you can still make Christmas memorable and magical.
Since we moved and became a one income family, our budget is a bit tighter than it has been in the past. We also downsized which propelled us into this more mindful life of buying less and decluttering. Christmas will not involve a lot of gifts for anyone, but it will still be magical and full of meaning.
With Little Mister, we definitely want to promote a good ideal of what Christmas is truly about and try to avoid the entitlement factor. Gifts are fun, but receiving them is only a small part of the equation. There are so many ways to make the holidays fun, gain new traditions as a family, and to have that Christmas cheer without breaking the bank and while raising grateful children. These 10 inspiring ideas will help you do just that!
“It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!”
You know that smell that just makes you warm and cozy? Whether it be vanilla, pine, or spiced pumpkin, fill your home with the cozy scents of the holidays. Around October of every year, I yearn for the smell and taste of the spices of the season. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and so many more!
This year, I have been revving up my diffuser to fill my office and home with the autumn and winter scents. I particularly love the Holiday Joy from doTERRA, but there are so many more. Check out my link to my Pinterest board here if you want to know what I have been diffusing. Follow my Pinterest for more oily secrets too:)
This is a given, right?! I let no room go undecorated during the holidays (okay, MAYBE the laundry room). Little Mister absolutely loves to have a Christmas tree in his room so last year we bought a $10 miniature tree to place in there. If you don’t have the cash, check out thrift stores for some retro and new items at amazing prices. I found this Christmas tree at a shop for $3. It was the same one from my childhood so I just had to have it.
You don’t have to decorate like I do, though. Put a Christmas tree up, a string of lights, maybe some window decals, and you can be done! Do what is right for you.
3. Christmas music
Let me let you in on a secret. I *almost* turned Christmas music on in September. Yes, it is true, I love Christmas music. Normally, I am a fan of NPR, Podcasts, or classical music, but come the holidays, it is all Christmas music all of the time!
Dig up those gems from when you were a child. I find that those really strike a cord with me. I play oldies and Oakridge Boys like crazy although my hubs doesn’t quite get it ? . Pandora also has really good stations for whatever you like. Childrens’, Christian, Classical, Rock, Oldies, man, the list could go on and on!
4. Enjoy the sights
I always admired the lights when I was a child. We didn’t do too much decorating because we were military and didn’t want to move so much stuff. Now, people light up whole neighborhoods, sync up with music, and just do amazingly inventive scenes for Christmas. This lights up my soul! (pun intended). Check out your surrounding neighborhoods for the “best dressed” ones. This is always a fun game of “who can find the best Christmas display” too.
5. Go explore!
If you live in a neighborhood like we do where people can’t do too much decorating (condo life I guess), then get out and explore! My favorite places are zoos, amusement parks, and downtown areas. Get out into your town or city and really find all of the cool events that will be going on throughout the holiday months. There are for sure enough to keep everyone occupied.
6. 25 days of Christmas
Yep, that is right, 25 days of full on Christmas, movies that is! Christmas movies are so fun, cheerful, and just memorable. I myself really like to watch Hallmark movies. The sappier the better, no joke. Childrens’ movies are also perfect, especially the old-school ones. Stay tuned for my list of movies that every child should watch.
7. Holiday treats
Baking and holidays just goes hand in hand. I love to bake anything from cookies, to candy, to pies for the holidays. See about doing a cookie swap with some of your lady friends so that you can enjoy all of the wonderful tastes of the holidays, but only have to bake a bit. I love to bake and my family loves my baking so bring it on!
If you are not much of a baker, try infusing the tastes of holiday into your drinks or even in your breakfast foods. Pumpkin pancakes and apple pancakes are some of my absolute favorites and you can eat them in the morning and not feel soooo guilty (I mean, it IS breakfast). Try making your own hot chocolate to drink while you are watching those Christmas movies or buy some apple cider.
8. New Traditions
Traditions are those ties that really bind a family together and are unique to each unit. I love the traditions that we set as I was growing up to decorate the tree while drinking our holiday drink, listening to Oakridge Boys. Mr. Hubster’s family would drink slushies the night before Christmas, sing carols, and drive around looking at Christmas lights (they lived in Florida so it was perfectly appropriate ? ).
I would love to incorporate a new tradition in our own home, but we are still young and growing so it will happen. What are your favorite traditions?
9. Practice gratitude
This is not just for the children in our home, but for ourselves as well. Being thankful for all that we have is and should be a daily practice. Unfortunately, sometimes we get caught in the rough spots of life and forget to be thankful.
With our own little one, teaching him to be thankful with whatever he gets is a constant struggle. I remind him to not have expectations, but that is still something that I myself struggle with. Gentle reminders in our daily lives to be grateful is so needed, especially during a time that so many people struggle with so much “life” stuff.
10. Enjoy the gift of giving
The older that I get, the more I realize that I love to give gifts. It is a strange thing because I try to be super thoughtful with those gifts and feel defeated if I don’t find quite the right item. Giving is definitely fun and the highlight of the actual day of Christmas. Also, those bell ringers, usually, I am giving a dollar to Little Mister to give to them. It is a good lesson in giving especially when he feels like he would like to keep that money instead.
Whether you are minimalist or a maximalist, you can make Christmas memorable and magical for all those involved!
What is your favorite way to get into the Christmas spirit?