Simplicity Tip #1
Consider all the family/friends you need to see during the holidays. Find a way to combine any of those dinners/lunches and see multiple individuals in one sitting. For example, all meet at a restaurant. It's ok to bring different groups of people together and it can save you some time.
Simplicity Tip #2
On the holiday, you do not have to visit 5 places in one day, especially if you have young children. Choose a tradition of alternating whose family home you visit on a holiday. This year it's your partner/spouse's family and next year it's yours. Another idea is Thanksgiving at one family's home and the other major holiday at the other family's home. Spending the day on the road is not fun for anyone.
Simplicity Tip #3
Scale down on gifts. What most people truly appreciate is your time more than a gift. Is it really necessary to buy a gift for everyone? Set an age limit for giving gifts, such as: a child gets a gift from everyone until they finish college or until they are 21. Then they go into the adult Grab Bag where each participant picks a name and you buy a gift for 1 person instead of 10.
Simplicity Tip #4
Shop smart. Consider a gift's meaning, not it's price. My daughters, who each have their own apartments, have told me that one of their favorite gifts I give them at birthdays and Christmas is a box of useful household items. I wrap up a box of paper towels, dish detergent, laundry detergent, shampoo, body wash, etc. I get all the items in one place and they are useful things. Of course, they love the sweaters, boots, event tickets, too. Other meaningful home-made items or things you pass down to them are meaningful as well.
Simplicity Tip #5
Be flexible on the date you celebrate a holiday. Many people have to work on "the day" or will be away from family on "the day". Don't stress. Pick your own day to celebrate. If you celebrate Thanksgiving the weekend before or the Sunday after, does that really make a difference? The idea behind the holiday is to come together to celebrate and give thanks. You can really do that on any day. When my girls were small and sometimes, we were not home on Christmas, I made sure to email Santa to let him know that we needed to celebrate the holiday on the 23rd instead of the 25th at our home. Santa was always accommodating so we could celebrate both in our home and away from home visiting family.
Again, I thank you all for supporting my passion this year. May you have a memory-filled and safe holiday season.