Say it - we all say it every. single. year, right?  This year, I'm going to simplify Christmas.
Ignore it - but then we turn right around and start planning, shopping, addressing and baking.
Moan about it - until we are so stressed out that we can't see straight so then we just complain.
Pretend it - but then we remember that we can't do that during the holiday's.  Bah humbug's are frowned upon.  So we must keep up the act.
Lose it - until we can't keep up the act any longer and we finally lose it.  We hit our wit's end.
Invite it - so we decide to invite the spirit into our lives.  We invite the chaos and the joy to fuse together.  We surrender to the inevitable.
Find it - and we FINALLY find it.  We find the true meaning of Christmas.  We find the peace, the joy and the love this time of year can bring.
You did it - then we pat ourselves on the back and say "You did it!"  And we swear that we've learned our lesson and that next year will definitely not be the same...until...

Please tell me that I'm not the only one who goes through this viscous cycle every single year?  I'd love to say that this year I am only "ify" ing.  There will be no "simpl" going on around here.  Or else I'm just stuck in the whole "pretend it" phase.  Either way, we're having so much fun celebrating the holidays.  So far.  So good.  Here's how I'm "ify" ing Christmas this year:

1.  Do things that work for our family.

We went to the Festival of Trees.  Our dear friend donates a tree every year.  Payton & Parker are standing in front of her tree (the one with all the cute bears) along with the McAllister girls.  Cooper wouldn't be in the picture.  He was too busy throwing a tantrum on the floor, in his Spiderman costume, because we wouldn't let him play with the toys surrounding the trees.  Love that kid!  (Just reminding myself.)  One way that we are "ify" ing our Christmas is by agreeing when something isn't working out.  If our kids aren't enjoying the hundreds of trees (even though I am), then let's move on.  And we did.  We spent an hour there.   We went to Hires for dinner then stopped by my parents house for a visit...Happy Holidays!

2.  Do things that make me happy.

This wreath makes me happy.  When I walked past it in the store, I thought it was so fun and pretty, but decided that it maybe it wouldn't work well with the whole scheme of everything else in my house.  Instead of going through to whole "simpl" process, I just said, "what the heck!"  I "ify" ied the situation (anyone still following this?!) and bought it! 

3. Let my family help.
This year, for the first time ever.  My kids decorated our family tree all by themselves.  It was done in 20 minutes and looks exactly like it has every other year.  Also, Tim offered to buy gifts for all the men in our family.  At first that scared me, but then he gave me no choice and I realized that I was crazy to have not given him that burden wonderful job years ago. 

4.  Enjoy the simple things.

My kids love the Christmas shows on TV.  Disney's Prep Landing, Shrek the Halls and A Charlie Brown Christmas are this week's favorites.  I'm realizing that these simple things are more fun for my children than many elaborate ideas I come up and it's their way of celebrating the season. 

They also love reading Christmas stories, drinking hot chocolate and eating candy canes.  Simple, right?

5.  Don't over complicate everything.

Normally, I take all my everyday wear dishes out of my cupboard and replace them with my Christmas dishes.  This means I have to take 6 loads of heavy items down to our basement storage just to bring them back up again 4-weeks later.  This year, I decided to leave my everyday dishes were they are and put my Christmas dishes on my shelf.   Now, they also serve as a decoration.  Win.  Win.

I also tried to keep my decorations super simple this year.  This is as simple as it gets...





{Random kitchen items displayed together}

6.  Focus on the true meaning of Christmas daily.

I've been looking for small and simple ways to do this.  Scripture study, prayer, reading the Ensign or any uplifting articles are a must for me.  Trying to see the needs of those around me.  Serving my family.  This time of year it's easy to let the every day things get lost so I've been determined to make family dinner and homework a priority every night.  It's so simple, but it's helping me stay focused on the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

I'd love any other ideas on how to "ify" Christmas?

Happy Holidays,


Erika said...

Sister, you are SIMPLY amazing. Remember it! Not going to lie I was a little confused with the "ify" ing :) But once I went back up to see what they meant I got it. I can't wait to see you guys and spend Christmas together with all of our crazy-hectic-ridiculous schedules, because that is what Christmas is all about!!! Being with family is what I look forward too. I appreciate it even more now that I live far away.

Andi said...

Thanks for the post. Again, you should move to a small town. Doesn't get more simple that that!! We just stay at home and do activities together and you don't have to get caught up in all the shopping (of course you probably enjoy that...me, not so much!). Again, thanks for posting and inspiring us all to be better. You are awesome!!

Marie said...

We did a lot of our Christmas shopping online. It didn't feel as personal, but it saved us a significant amount of time. Christmas movies are our favorite!

Annie said...

I am still trying to ify my christmas. I love you brit. I love your blog. Thanks for letting me read it and be your friend.

Heather said...

I admit I get caught up in it all. It makes me such a scourge. Thank you for some reminders of the simple things we can do.

Us said...

I do feel the same way every year. I always say I am not going to do this or that this year and then I always end up doing whatever is was I said I wouldn't do. However, I have completely given up on the decorations. Yes they are out, but is the tree beautifully trimmed? Heck no. The day we put up the tree the decorations were already messed up and all the ornaments mysteriously got placed in one spot on the tree. Guess what it still looks that way, it's not worth the stress, Christmas is supposed to be fun!Em

Jaimy said...

I'm totally trying to "ify" this year but my chest has began to seize up with all that is not done yet. How do I solve this?!! No matter, I still love it all . . .

jennie said...

I just linked to your blog from facebook & I'm so glad I did! I totally needed this tonight! I've been so focused on making everything "perfect" & I haven't been enjoying the simple things. I'm sure my kids could be enjoying it more, too. You have a beautiful family & some wonderful ideas. Thanks again!

Patty said...

Wow, Brit you wrote a beautiful article! Amazing once again - great idea!