Soapbox: Author Eleanor Ozich on simplifying Christmas
When it comes to avoiding the pressure and stress of the festive season, author Eleanor Ozich plans to pare back preparations for a simple Christmas
AA few years ago, my family and I moved to the outskirts of the city, and set about enjoying a much calmer way of life. Letting go of unnecessary clutter and adopting a simpler style of living, I found myself with more time and energy to appreciate family, friends and the small pleasures in life.
Since making this shift in lifestyle, I’ve become very conscious of just how overwhelming the festive season can be, and how easy it is to get caught up in the craziness of it all. In the build-up to Christmas, there’s all kinds of advertising trying to convince us the best kind of holiday celebrations involve more – more presents, more decorations, more events, more money spent, but truth is, we all know deep down that the most important part are experiences rather than everything else.
And so this year I’ve decided to take a step back, and to have a more mindful and peaceful approach to Christmas. While I love to embrace the magic and joy of the festivities, certainly there’s a way to do so that’s simple and relaxed – for everyone’s sake.
If you take a moment to think about Christmases past, and your most cherished memories, the chances are your best memories aren’t about stuff but the simple, little traditions, and the time spent with each other. And so with this in mind, and a pen and paper in hand, I decided to write down five things that, to me, describe what Christmas is all about. Love, quality time, food, giving and slowness.
Next, I used these three words to inspire a small Christmas list, keeping it attainable, and paring things down to what really matters the most. This includes gettogethers to attend, a realistic budget to stick to, and gifts to buy. The idea is that whenever I’m in a flurry of to-do’s, I can come back to this piece of paper, and feel reminded of what’s important.
We have a ‘one present per loved one’ policy, and find this to be a simple, straightforward, and easy to manage approach that ensures we don’t overspend, purchasing presents that are both
The chances are, your best memories aren’t about stuff but the time spent with each other