Making the holidays as simple as possible

by Karen on November 3, 2010

I hardly ever do stuff like this, so bear with me, okay?

Unless this is the very first time you’re reading my blog, then you know I’m having a baby very soon. Literally, sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’ll be welcoming an adorable, pooping, crying, time-consuming bundle of joy into our home.

Some of my blogger friends who are in this position are very organized and motivated, and they’re getting their holiday shopping done early. For a number of reasons, though, I’ve decided to take Christmas off this year. Not only are we short on time, but our budget is very tight. As much as we love shopping for our families, we’ve asked to be excused from any holiday gift exchanges this year. We typically only exchange gifts with our parents and buy toys for our nieces and nephews anyway. The way I see it, our parents are getting a grandbaby for Christmas. It took me 9 whole months to make this baby for them, so they better like it. :)

For a hot second, I thought about baking instead of buying gifts. Or the old frugal standby — making gifts. Then I remembered that for the entire holiday season I’m either going to be very pregnant and preparing for baby, or I’ll be caring for a newborn. It’s just not happening this year. And that’s okay.

So what about other holiday traditions like holiday greeting cards? I usually send handwritten notes to friends and family wishing them a happy holiday and letting them know how we’re doing. This year, I’m simplifying our greeting cards by sending holiday photo cards from Shutterfly. With any luck, the baby will be here in time for us to include a photo of him on our cards along with a printed greeting. I’ll just pop them in an envelope, address them, add a stamp, and I’m done.

If you’d still like to add a handwritten message, there are plenty of stationery cards available with blank space for writing. I’m choosing to send photo cards with a printed message to make things as simple as possible.

If you want to make things even simpler, Shutterfly also has Christmas address labels and Christmas gift tags.

How are you simplifying the holiday season this year?

In exchange for this blog post, I’m receiving 50 free holiday greeting cards from Shutterfly. If you’re a blogger and you’d like to participate in this giveaway, you can get more information here.

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