Friday, December 12, 2014

Simply Joyful Christmas: After Christmas


The presents have all been opened and you are laying on the sofa looking at all the carnage before slipping into a food-coma. What do you do now that Christmas is over?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Simply Joyful Christmas: Movies and Music


All of your Christmas errands are done and there are no special events to attend. Time to make some hot cocoa, build a fire in the fireplace, and listen to some Christmas music or pop in a Christmas movie. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Simply Joyful Christmas: Church & Charity


Over the past week we have cut down on shopping, decorating, and cooking so that we can free up our schedules for the things that are truly important to us. Things like quality time with our families and what many would argue is the most important of all: church and charity.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Simply Joyful Christmas: 50 Family Activities



Alright, we have established that we want to get rid of the things that cause chaos and stress around the holidays so that we can spend more time together as a family. So now what do we do? Here is a list of 50 fun, family activities for the holidays. Obviously you don't want to do all of them in one year or you would just be trading one kind of chaos for another. Go through the list as a family and pick out a couple that you would like to do together. Save the rest for next year.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Simply Joyful Christmas: Stress-Free Entertaining


First of all, I know you want your house to be clean before company comes but don't be such a clean-freak that you stress out yourself, your family, and your guests. Okay, now that we have that out of the way, lets focus on the main task of holiday entertaining: the food spread. Below are 10 ideas to simplify your cooking and turn getting others involved into a game.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Simply Joyful Christmas: Treats in Moderation


Show of hands: Who is afraid to step on the bathroom scale every January? Come on, I know I'm not the only one. The holiday season seems to go hand in hand with gluttony. Here are some tips that we could all probably use (myself included) to remain indulgent around Christmas instead of over-indulgent.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Simply Joyful Christmas: Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping


Yet another aspect of the Christmas season that is excessively wasteful: the gift wrap. The EPA estimates that Americans create an additional 1 million tons of trash because of the holidays. What is worse, most wrapping paper is not recyclable. 

Today we are going to talk about some gift wrap alternatives to save money and the planet:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Simply Joyful Christmas: Take The Focus Off Of Consumerism


Gift giving. Typically the greatest cause of holiday stress and over-spending. The end result of which is often disappointment whether it is because of unreasonable expectations or notoriously bad gift-givers. Either way, the focus and anticipation continues to build up to the grand finale: opening presents. Is that really what we want Christmas to be about?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Simply Joyful Christmas: Cards


A couple of years ago I read this really interesting article about a sociologist who conducted an experiment. He  sent Christmas cards to 600 strangers and received more than 200 in return! All of those people took the time and money to send a stranger a card simply because of the rule of reciprocity.

As Sheldon's mom would say, "it's a non-optional social convention." :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Simply Joyful Christmas: Decorating


Believe it or not, minimalist Christmas decor can still be fun and festive! :) A couple of years ago we downsized our Christmas decorations and now it all fits in one storage bin. We have also decorated with the same items for the last three years, most of them longer than that.