Rosemary's Story

After taking the Simplify the Holidays pledge last year, I set a few concrete “rules” for the season, which made it easy for me to follow while still allowing me to enjoy a wonderful holiday with family and friends. As we approached the holidays, I told my family that we were excited about simplifying and that we would keep the focus on spending time with each other.

One tradition my family dropped was exchanging gifts among the adults. The kids still get gifts, but not exchanging gifts with my siblings and parents has cut down on the stress and expenses! Instead, my sisters and I go out and enjoy a delicious meal together while our mom takes care of the kids. Spending this time together, talking about the upcoming year, and enjoying ourselves is what we really want for Christmas (not more stuff!). On years we can’t all be together, we exchange handmade ornaments that have inside meaning.

One important gift-giving tradition that we’ve kept is that the kids in the family always GIVE gifts (usually handmade, sometimes baked, often with help from the adults). This way, they understand the importance of giving and not just receiving during the holidays.

— Rosemary