Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Making a not-to-do holiday list

I love lists. I have an old-fashioned with lots of lists. Without it, I'd be a lost mess. But as much fun as it is marking off tasks I've conquered, I'm discovering it's almost as freeing to make a mental list of all the things I choose not to do.

So as Christmas Day nears and to-do lists are longer than actually need to be, let's take a deep breath together and share what we are not doing this {or possibly any!} holiday season.

I'll go first ...

  • I don't bake other times of the year, so I'm not baking in December either. Yes, please notice my kids decorating cookies and licking their fingers in the picture above. My saint of a mother-in-law organized that activity when we were at her house Sunday afternoon. I applied icing to a couple cookies and then ate a few, otherwise I was completely uninvolved. So, yes, take it from me, it's acceptable to help others you love incorporate traditions they're better at executing. 
  • We don't care about outside lights, so we've never hung them. And we aren't starting this year, right, Greg?
  • Every room of my house is not decorated. This year it's less than my normal few and they're contained to mantel, a tree overtaking the living room, and some Christmas cards hanging on the kitchen wall.
  • We don't cram it all into one day. In fact, we did Christmas with one side of the family before it was even December.
  • And I still don't have a Pinterest account. Less pressure, really. 
  • I don't make a big meal. We so something simple for Christmas morning when it's just the four of us. {This year, my girl is requesting pancakes, which can be arranged.} The other holiday meals are organized by my mom, mother-in-law or grandma-in-law, who I'm grateful still like to entertain us grown-up kids and our kids this way. 
  • I shop early and mostly online so I'm not waiting until the last minute and rushing in and out of stores. I love to buy gifts. But I do not love the pressure that comes with waiting until right before I see someone. I like to pick up things as I see them in the months leading up to Christmas. Doing it this ways seems to produce better gifts, allows me to take advantage of deals, and enjoy the days leading up to Christmas.

While I'm not doing these things, I will be listening to my favorite Christmas songs, reading "The Jesus Storybook Bible" with my kids, giving gifts to friends and family we love, sharing meals those dear to us, and trying to savor the anticipation of the world receiving her king.

What's on your not-to-do holiday list?

I'm linking up with Jen Ferguson's Soli Deo Gloria party, where letting go is embraced; Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory, where others are anticipating the coming of the King; Beth Stiff's Three Word Wednesday, because NOT TO DO are important words to me right now; and We are THAT Family, where good tips abound.

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  1. Sharita ~7DaysTime12/17/2013 3:35 PM

    I like the way you think, sister! We are not doing several of these things as well... Christmas gets to complicated and too much pressure of GO GO GO DO DO DO ... and this year, we are resting and just hanging with Jesus. (The only baking I am doing is making a Happy Birthday Jesus cake to eat on Christmas day :-)

    Glad I stopped by from SDG link-up! Blessings.

  2. KristinHillTaylor12/17/2013 4:33 PM

    Thinking like this is so freeing for me. I love that you make a birthday cake for Jesus - we had a birthday party for Jesus last weekend with our friends. (My friend made the cake!) Thanks for stopping by. Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Our lists look pretty much the same! No extra baking, no entire house decorated, definitely no outside lights and family gatherings spread over several days. I've also decided not to put gifts in boxes this year - I'm doing all gift bags. It's a little pricier and not as pretty, but SO MUCH EASIER. :)

  4. lol..i love this.. i love the way you write and think !

  5. Wanda@The Watered Soul12/18/2013 7:28 AM

    It's interesting to see how others have simplified their Christmas. This year I didn't do any outside Christmas lights, no Christmas cards, and no extended decorating inside the house. I did manage to get my tree up and decorated.

  6. KristinHillTaylor12/18/2013 9:26 AM

    My kids wouldn't have let me forgo the tree. I'm glad we have that. Hoping you have a wonderful Christmas, Wanda!

  7. KristinHillTaylor12/18/2013 9:26 AM

    Thanks, sweet Jenn! :)

  8. KristinHillTaylor12/18/2013 9:27 AM

    Hooray for letting go, Mary! People will love your gifts, regardless of how they're wrapped. Hope you enjoy your Christmas.

  9. Tabitha Myers12/18/2013 10:22 AM

    We don't hang outside lights either and I prefer to do my Christmas shopping way ahead of time when I can, but the rest of the things on your list are things I enjoy! I do bake less than I used to and I try to say no to some activities, so that we don't get overwhelmed. We don't always have a very productive month of school, which makes enjoying Christmas easier. :)

  10. I love your no to-do list. You and I sound rather similar here. I do not bake (or cook); however I am baking some biscuits tonight because it is the only thing I know how to make. Christmas is simple in my home...I'm hoping to share my tour tomorrow in place of Friday Randomness. There have been no lights outside the past couple years. My husband does the lights for the village he works in so by the time he is done with those he has lost interest. :) I really need to be like you and shop earlier. I hear we are to get 10 inches of snow on the day I was planning to shop. :( I'm still debating sending cards this year. I don't do Christmas cards -- I do New Year's cards. The switch helped to take some of the pressure off of getting them done before Christmas.
    Merry Christmas, Kristin
    Much love,

  11. KristinHillTaylor12/19/2013 7:41 AM

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the season! Merry Christmas, Tabitha!

  12. KristinHillTaylor12/23/2013 3:14 PM

    A freeing list, at least for me! I hope you're enjoying your Christmas season. I've been loving your posts. So encouraging!