Simplify your life {Week 45: Holidays and Traditions}

by Debra Dane on November 5, 2012

in Rhythm, Rituals & Routines, Simplify your life 2012

As we go through the holiday season this year you have looked at what you want and set your intentions. You have then say down and looked at what needs to be done between now and the holiday and started to organise and plan. Now we will pause and look at traditions – what you want to keep, let go of or start.

If you are married, living with someone and/or raising a family traditions can be complicated. Each adult brings along traditions they grew up with, then there are new traditions you may want to start with your own family.

The key is to move forward with traditions that work for you and make you happy, rather than carrying on traditions out of obligation to your past or pressures from others.

Think about previous years and decide what you want to let go of – what did not work? Also think about what was missing – what do you want to add in now?

Traditions need not be elaborate, expensive or time consuming – think about how you can take ordinary moments and make them special by adding holiday twists. Remember little things are often the biggest things in the long run.

Don’t compare to what other families are doing. What works for your family and makes you all happy is what is best. If you don’t want a big tree or a lot of gifts you can choose a more low key, downsized holiday. If you want to travel or stay home, do advent activities or volunteer, have seafood instead of turkey – do what works for you.

Don’t expect perfection. Let things unfold and focus on the positives, the fun, the experience rather than the outcomes.


Challenge this week: Discuss and start to decide what traditions you want to keep, let go of or add in this year. What will work for your family (keep), has caused you stress or not fulfilled you (let go), and what you feel has been missing (add in).


Find your simple,



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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bec November 5, 2012 at 9:26 am

I kind of did this in the first week about holidays. I think this week I need to discuss it with my family and see if they are on board too!
Bec recently posted..Life challenge – weeks 33-34 – exercise and foodMy Profile


Debra Dane November 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Sounds like a plan – that way everyone gets their thoughts out now and you can plan it together xx
Debra Dane recently posted..Simplify your life {Week 43 Holidays: visions and expectations}My Profile


Lulu November 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I decided to stop doing the challenge. I still read each week and I have just done a final post and I might come back to it at some point- especially the areas for health/marriage and holiday traditions that you are moving onto now but for now I know that things are going to be crazy around these parts for the rest of the year and I won`t have as much time to devote to it as it deserves.

I loved it though, Deb, really I did! I think your comment on the last post I did for this {10 weeks or so ago!} struck home about how the first 12 weeks, the core weeks, were the most important and that after that we could pick and choose what we felt we needed to work on. It definitely help me simplify things in a lot of areas and I thoroughly enjoyed the core values, mission statement, vision board and goals and intentions sections. I just wrote in my last post where I was at with my goals and intentions and I seriously doubt I would of gotten this far into them if it wasn`t for this challenge so thank you!

I still read often, still love what you do and I know you will understand!

We are just starting our family traditions since our family is still young- one thing I did last year that i will do again this year is an advent calandar that I bought from Ikea that has has small little boxes. Last year I wrapped up 12 Christmas or winter themed books and put them in a basket. Every day Noah would do the advent calendar {Shion was a bit young but he will join in this year} and open up one box- every second day was a card that said “choose from the box” and they would unwrap a story for us to read. On the other days was some christmassy stickers, or a little toy or a cookie. Can`t wait to set it up again for this year!

My children are still young but one thing i know I want to do in the coming month is get them to try to tell me {or I will write on their behalf as they are not so verbal yet although I think Noah can do it} what they are grateful for and what they are happy about and write it down for them to put in their treasure boxes.

ANother thing on our to do list is buy a christmas tree. Our current one is 30cm tall and is what I have had since I lived alone in an apartment here originally at 20!
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Debra Dane November 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Can’t wait to read your post – i think of you often. I am glad you made the challenge work for you in your own way xxx
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Kylie G November 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm

It’s SO easy to compare ourselves to others and get caught up in plans that are not true to our own values. Pinterest drags me down this rabbit hole all the time (as much as I love it).
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Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever November 8, 2012 at 1:14 am

As we become more sustainable, we want to stop storing so many decorations and use the space in our home for homesteading supplies and stored food.
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Karina November 8, 2012 at 5:22 am

We actually have few traditions in our family around Christmas time, it’s a go with the flow time of year. Whip inch actually makes it not feel very festive at all. This year I’m going to make an effort with my own home to try and make it feel more like a holiday is coming. I’m looking forward to the break, so I want those little reminders every time I come in the door.
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