Simple Christmas

Instead of a to-do list this Christmas, I’ve created a not-to-do list. These are things I usually  do, but I’m not doing this year.

1. Not-to-Do: Bake. No, I won’t be doing a ton of holiday baking. I’m going to make two things: gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies with little Alyssa.

2.Not-to-Do: Buy an excess of Christmas presents. On a recent episode of Amish Wisdom Suzanne Woods Fisher gave the idea of giving four simple gifts:

    – Sometime you want
– Something you need
– Something to wear
– Sometime to read

I loved this! My kids didn’t get any expensive gifts this year. They didn’t get an excess of packages. They got four simple gifts, and the plan is to spend more time enjoying one another and celebrating Christ’s birth.

3. Not-to-Do: Decorate the whole house. Instead I’m just putting out our tree and a few focal spots . . . namely nativity scenes.

Two of my favorite decorations come from my friend Barbara Rainey. Barbara is also a MomLife Today blogger and I’ve been blessed to get to know her through MomLife and through John’s work at FamilyLife.

Barbara created some beautiful items, including this He Came Near Nativity and this Leave Him Thanks wreath.

I purchased the wreath for Thanksgiving and love it so much it’s staying up for Christmas!

To-Do: Celebrate and save! Interested in these items for your home? Use “MLTFriend” at checkout and save 20%! This is an ADDITIONAL discount after the sale price!

If—like me—you’re wanting a simple Christmas this year, then I know these simple decorations will be a treasure. Or, if you’re purchasing them for a friend, what a beautiful reminder that God’s gift to us is something we ALL need this Christmas!

Sign up with Rafflecopter. We’ll be giving one nativity set and one wreath!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tricia Goyer (77 Posts)

Tricia is the author of more than 30 books and has published more than 500 articles for national publications such as Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine. She won the Historical Novel of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006 from American Christian Fiction Writers, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Book Award in 2005. Tricia's co-written novel, The Swiss Courier, was a nominee for the Christy Awards.


  1. Susan Fryman says:

    Really enjoyed today’s blog. Some great ideas. Most folks emphasize the to do list and don’t think about a not to do list. What a big help in keeping things simple at this crazy busy time of year. Praying for you and your family. Blessings and Merry Christmas, Susan

  2. mary ellen ashenfelder says:

    We cut down on things this year too. Much less stress and more time to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas.I delivered my book/gift basket to the chemo dept,Our grandson donated toys to a local charity and he used his own money to get gifts for his mommy, daddy, Pap and I. Wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas.

  3. Love your list, my friend! Isn’t it interesting that some of the things we do to prepare for Christmas can make it so busy that we risk losing sight of why we’re celebrating. I like the idea of a not to do list. Have a Merry Christmas!

  4. I usually like to decorate as though Christmas just vomited all over my house, but this year most of the full tubs when back into the garage. My daughter’s little tree went up in the toy room, our family tree went up and our bear tree (one bear for every child we’ve lost (25)) is also up. Most everything else was put away.

  5. I don’t have a big bake-a-thon anymore either. I found the bake goods just got stale and then everyone would stop eating them and sadly I would throw the rest out. Now I ask each child (and my husband too) what is their favorite cookie, then make a list of their requests and bake just one batch of each cookie at a time starting at Thanksgiving and ending at New Years. The first week I made gingerbread for my husband, the second week peanut butter kiss cookies for my middle son, then a week of sugar cookies (for everyone) and this week peppermint candy brownies (for me). Less stressful and less waste.

    • Christmas is usually simple for me. For the last six years real simple, I don’t think I even decorated last year and I know I didn’t do any baking. This year, for the first time in 6 years I’ve decorated, and I’ll be doing some baking. Now I’m ready and I want my decorations out. Christmas gifts for the grands are something I made and for most of them, something they wanted/needed, the others are getting something I think they’ll enjoy (quilts, fun vests).

  6. Juanita Cook says:

    We cut back some this year too. But really love to decorate for Christmas. I have a four foot tree and a couple of smaller ones. Decided they would all look nice grouped together in our picture window. So I have them all at different heights and they look so pretty. Now need to start my baking. Wishing you all a very blessed Christmas & New year.

  7. I love nativity sets and have a variety of them. All are very different and have special memories attached.

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