This Holiday Season, Less Is The New More

Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya.

The holidays can be a stressful time. Decorating, buying gifts, hosting family and friends — it quickly can become one of the most expensive, busiest and draining times of the year. So this year we’re keeping it simple with these easy tips.

Decorate Starting With The Basics

Choose pieces that give you the holiday feel without taking over your entire home. Some great, basic starting points include:

  • Putting up a Christmas tree
  • Placing a holiday wreath on the front door
  • Hanging stockings on the fireplace
  • Placing a snow globe or decorative lights on the sofa table

Give Experiences Not Stuff

The joy of material gifts fades quickly, so give a gift that’ll last (and encourage family members and friends to do the same). The gift of an experience will fill you up and stick with you — plus it’ll be something your kids remember for far longer than a new toy. Here are some alternative gift ideas for every family member and friend:

For The Outdoorsy/Adventure Seeker

  • Golf lessons
  • Zip line course
  • Guided fly fishing
  • Photography classes
  • Gift certificate to a glamping experience
  • Indoor skydiving gift certificate
  • Trapeze lesson
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Scuba lessons
  • Rock climbing lessons
  • Gym membership
  • Sailing lessons
  • Plan a hike together
  • Kayak tour gift certificate
  • Annual national park pass
  • Ski/snowboarding lessons
  • Ski/snowboarding season or day pass
  • Guided fishing trip
  • Garden seeds
  • Surf/stand up paddle board lessons
  • Axe throwing class
  • Run a race together

For the Foodie/Drinker

  • Private sushi lesson
  • Certificate to their favorite restaurant
  • Brewery gift card
  • Wine tasting sail experience
  • Champagne brunch cruise
  • Baking/cooking classes
  • Winery tour
  • Pizza making class

For the Artistic/Cultural/Music Lover

  • Museum membership
  • Painting class
  • Private tour of their favorite museum
  • Pottery class
  • Tickets to a play/musical
  • Knitting/sewing class
  • Apple music gift card
  • Concert tickets
  • Guitar lessons
  • Dance lessons
  • Acting classes
  • Tickets to a broadway show
  • Comedy show tickets

For Someone In Need of Rest and Relaxation

  • Spa treatment
  • Certificate for manicure/pedicure
  • Facial certificate
  • Yoga membership
  • Meditation classes
  • Meditation app membership
  • Afternoon tea
  • Certificate for a blow out
  • Massage certificate

For the Kids

  • Family memberships to attractions
  • Baseball tickets
  • Trip to the waterpark
  • Children theater season passes
  • Trampoline jump passes
  • Zoo membership
  • Plane ticket to visit someone special (grandma, aunt, etc.)
  • Pass to an art museum
  • Kids cooking class
  • Swim lessons
  • Ballet classes
  • Musical instrument lessons
  • A train ride to somewhere they’ve never been
  • Summer camp
  • Indoor rock climbing experience
  • Horseback riding lesson
  • Miniature golf adventure

Create Meaningful Traditions

Don’t get too stuck on “the way you’ve done it before.” If you grew up in a family or neighborhood that went all out for the holidays, maybe scaling back makes you feel a little like you’re doing it wrong.

Instead, focus on the value you want to cultivate with your family and community this year. Experiment with different ways to promote those values and don’t be afraid to change things up.

Do the best with what you have and don’t go broke buying new decorations, outfits, or gifts. You don’t need a new holiday outfit for every event you attend and you don’t need to purchase anymore decorations than you already own. Decide what you’re going to spend this holiday season — then do the best with what you have!

Lastly, the holidays are a perfect time to reflect and spread cheer. Declutter and go through your possessions and decide what’s useful and what brings you joy. Decide what items you’d like to save and place into storage and what items you’d like to donate. Donating during the holidays is a great way to give back and a wonderful new tradition you can start with your family.

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