I don't know about you, but this year I caught the shopping bug and have been shopping the Pre-Black Friday Sale, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and now Cyber Monday. I was pleasantly surprised that all the stores started their sales last Wednesday, so I even got a jump start on my list by visiting the outlets the day before Thanksgiving. No lines, easy parking, amazing prices...I'd highly recommend it for next year! It's a constant struggle to not get caught up in the bargains though, and to stay focused on the things we need or the few things we really really want.
I'm always trying to not make "stuff" the focus the holiday season. I'm bucking against our old tradition of having a huge pile of toys and gifts that fill our living room on Christmas morning. I want a simpler and quieter Christmas. Less stuff. More intention.
So, when my daughter came to me with the ENTIRE American Girl catalog circled, I knew we needed to print out our wish lists that we made last year. This Christmas Wish List printable is focused more on things to do together, things to read, and then a few things to play with.
We talked together and brainstormed ideas, really considering how she likes to spend her time and her greatest interests. Again this year she is ALL about gymnastics (she doesn't even play with American Girl Doll stuff, so why buy more?). The girl does a cartwheel every 2.5 seconds. So, we talked about going to see a gymnastics competition, seeing the musical Anastasia when it's town, buying a bar and some mats for our basement.
We also pulled out the photos we had been collecting in Evernote of her digital Christmas Wish List. Whenever we've been in a store this past year and she has been begging to buy something, I told her to take a photo. We go through it around this time of year and she decides if she still wants it, or was just caught up in the moment.
I wanted to share this FREE PRINTABLE with you in case you are feeling the same way.
Click HERE to download, print, and use it.
It's good to take the time before shopping to think VERY carefully and deliberately about what we bring into our homes. It's so easy to buy things and SO hard to get rid of them! (This is why I'm booked 5 days a week as a professional organizer!)
Instead of adding more clutter, I would encourage you to invest in classes, experiences, books, and just a few favorite toys or games.
Last year I was nervous about the lack of the big pile of gifts on Christmas morning. I hated thinking that they may be disappointed. But, it was remarkable to watch their reactions. Instead of feeling like they are missing out on more "stuff," they have been thrilled because they have received just the few presents they really wanted. Less IS more.
A few more things:
Kindness Advent Calendar
I've been getting ready this week for my favorite tradition of the year. For the whole month of December, we do a Kindness Advent Calendar and it focuses all of our hearts on giving to others (rather than on what we want to GET for Christmas) and doing fun holiday activities together. You can read the blog post and print out the free Kindness Advent Activities HERE
School Memory Boxes
If you are needing a special gift for a mom in your life (sister-in-law, friend, or yourself!), check out my School Memory Boxes on my Shop page. They are personalized keepsake boxes to organize and preserve kids' most special artwork and school keepsakes. This gift doesn't add clutter, but rather reduces all the piles of papers and is something that preserves memories. You can check them out HERE.
Give the Gift of Organization
Feeling overwhelmed by clutter in your home? Tired of things never getting organized? Need a reset before your holiday guests come into town? I'd love to help. Give yourself or someone you love the gift of organization and schedule some time with me in December or January. You can find out more about my rates and services here and then contact me to get on my calendar here. You'll feel so much better starting off the New Year right.
I hope you and your family have a lovely holiday season and that it is filled with fun family traditions, joy, and intention.