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21 Days to a Simple Christmas: Day 1 {Update}

Join the 21 Days to a Simple Christmas Challenge

Today’s project was to read the introduction to Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas (Did you sign up for your free copy yet? If not, click here and fill out the form to be emailed a copy.) and to write down a mission statement for yourself for this Christmas season.

Here’s my mission statement:

This December, I want to slow down, savor life, and focus on being present not perfect. I want to take time to notice the little things instead of rushing from one to-do to the next. I want stop, listen, and look instead of being so busy and focused that I miss the moments.

What’s your mission statement for December? Share it with us in the comments. And if you’re blogging about this challenge, I’d love it if you left a link to your blog post, too. Let’s encourage each other to simplify and savor this season more.

Get a FREE Copy of Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas

Get Your FREE Copy of Celebrating & Savoring A Simple Christmas

Psst! Be sure to download your FREE Christmas ebook. It’s my gift to you this year — and you’ll need it if you want to participate in this challenge!

To get a copy, just fill out your name and email address here. Then, click on the link in your inbox to confirm your email address. You’ll be emailed a download link as soon as you do so. It’s my gift to you this year — and you’ll need it if you want to participate in this challenge!

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  • Shelly says:

    I’m so glad you are doing this challenge. I so need to really focus on what is important this year and simplify our Christmas. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with Christmas coming, like I am running behind. So this challenge is just what I need.

    Here’s my day one,

  • Victoria says:

    My mission statement: I will be more involved in the events than just crossing them off the list. I will be present and have fun with my children, not just go through the motions of the season.

  • My mission is to relax and enjoy the holidays. I need to accept that everything won’t always be perfect and that’s okay. Thanks for doing this, I am excited to follow along.

  • Anna says:

    1. Remember Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and keep that perspective and celebrate the spirit of Christmas by going to church activities. Make that a priority.

    2. Give back to those in need by serving dinner to the homeless and donating. My daughter has a tumor in her head and I need to be reminded of humility and grace to by giving to others so I appreciate my life and my family’s life more.

    3. Keep Christmas simple. Due to costs, I am only giving Christmas cards and family photos to my family and friends. Thanks to Walgreens and some other photo deals I have “free” photographs of my family to send. I have Christmas cards marked off at 90% from Hallmark that I picked up last January so the cards are beautiful. Each child will get PJs (I made), afghans (I made), new outfit (I made), hat and scarves (I made), and 2-3 “store bought” gifts (small) bought with the GCs I earned this year and saved. Each child will get a stocking with candy I got for free and other items I collected since last January or made. Most of what I have for Xmas gifts did not cost me much as I have been preparing ahead for months.

    4. Decorate simply. I put up a tree, garland on the fireplace and railing. Then I bought 10 poinsettias to put on the stairs and in the living room. I got them for 99 cents at Home Depot. They are lovely. My one splurge for Xmas decorations.

    5. Count down to Christmas with a calendar I got for 90% off at Hallmark in January.

    6. Put up a cross on the table along with a red table cloth and my mother’s Bible.

    7. Bake simple items and freeze them.

    8. Go visit family for an extended visit over the holiday.

    9. Attend Christmas midnight services.

    10. Read a Christmas book to the kids and myself.

    11. Read an advent book everyday.

    12. Attend 1-2 vocal choir events where Christmas music is sung.

  • Tara H says:

    My mission statement: I need to enjoy my children! It sounds simple enough, but I’m overwhelmed with a lot in my life right now and I seem to be more stressed with my boys. We’re doing Truth in the Tinsel this year. I’m praying we stay on track with that, and just have fun making goodies for friends!
    Thanks for doing this challenge…I need it!

  • My mission statement is to enjoy the people in my life and to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

    You can find what I wrote here,

  • Kat says:

    My mission statement is to be thankful for our family of three, instead of being angry and resentful because of our struggle with secondary infertility.
    Yes, there are only three stockings on the fireplace; I shall see it as a blessing and not a curse.

  • My biggest problem at Christmas is not seeking perfection but over committing. My daughter performs with a ballet and they do the Nutcracker each year. This would be fine but my church also puts on a Christmas production and I always tell myself I’ll say no to helping and performing in the Christmas production but somehow I always get pulled in and then that makes the first few weeks of December a nightmare between practices and performances. It really doesn’t leave anytime for other things. Add to that other “good causes” we like to participate in and I wind up with very little time to actually enjoy the season.
    Here is my post and mission statement:

  • Sarah says:

    My mission: Be content with what we are able to do this year – in all areas of Christmas – decorations, activities and gifts.

    With a baby, toddler and a variety of unexpected circumstances, a lot of what I had planned on doing isn’t going to happen. So contentment is the name of the game.

  • I love these challenges, and I definitely need this one!

    21 Days to a Simple Christmas: Day 1

  • Shari says:

    My mission statement: To enjoy my teenagers, to slow down and enjoy the company of family and friends without all the rushing. To stretch out the Christmas frantic for the month and not only for a day or two.

  • Linda says:

    I need to work on this. I am a people pleaser and want to make everyone happy. I stress over what to give others (co-workers & family) for Christmas and in the past have gone into debt because of this.

    Another one of my issues is that I set money aside for gifts and end up buying stuff for myself and spending a lot of money on me. I get excited with the sales and forget about my purpose. I know these are signs of insecurity and am working on it.

    I am trying to catch myself early enough so I don’t overspend this year. So far, I’ve only ordered two low-priced items online and printed the receipt so I can keep track. I am planning on withdrawing the cash and putting it with the envelope so I don’t think it’s still available in my account.

    Maybe this year I’ll be able to focus on what’s important. Spending time with my family and my true friends.

  • FT says:

    Hi Crystal! I’m with you in this challenge, and I already share it in a post in my blog. In fact “simplify” is my 2013 word, so I really want to finish the year with that word (from begining till the end)!

    There is nothing in specific to simplify, but everything, even the way I breathe, I live and I love the others and the life.

    Here is my portuguese post (there is a translation button):

  • Laura says:

    I am a day late, but not a dollar short! I have spent a lot of time in 2013 concentrating on people and not things. What a difference that has made. With that in mind my mission this year is to give more time than gifts. I will spend some extra time creating memories with my teenagers. Now that they aren’t “little kids” it is time to create some more grown up traditions that fit their personalities! Pray for me!

  • Michala Macks says:

    Thank You!

  • Gwen says:

    I grew up in a household where the entire holiday season was committed to being perfect and doing everything( and making everyone miserable). When my oldest was a toddler we were very broke and I was very discouraged because I couldn’t afford to create the kind of Christmas that I thought was expected of me. The whole thing felt very empty to me and I was worried about what my attitude was teaching my little boy. At some point, I realized that what brought me joy was teaching my son what Christmas really is and seeing him grow in that. That revelation changed everything! So this is how we have done it ever since. The reason we give gifts is to represent God’s gift to us so our Christmas gifts are not earned or withheld based on grades or behavior because we could never earn what God has given us. Also each of our children (we now have 5) gets 3 gifts each, just as baby Jesus did. (if it was enough for Him then its enough for them.) Each person has a large felt Christmas bag which all of their gifts go in so I’m never up till midnight wrapping gifts. Also, I try to shop early in the year so that I can stay on budget and so that I don’t get swept up in the holiday sales hype. My kids know that the man in the red suit isn’t real. However, they know the story of St Nicholas as a man who helped those in need. So when we do Santa Clause we actually are referring to providing Christmas for someone less fortunate than ourselves. We might pick tags off of the “angel tree” or we might go work at the homeless shelter or children’s home. My kids do our tree themselves, so every year the decorations get higher and higher on the tree. It might look funny but they love doing it and are so proud!
    These are the ONLY things that I absolutely commit too during the holidays. Anything else happens because we all want to do it, we have time, and because it is free or cheap. This works for us and I encourage people to decide what parts of the holiday season are most important to them and why and then they can decide what will work for them.

  • Melissa says:

    My mission statement is to keep it simple, and not worry so much about what others think, but instead focus on the things that my children, husband and myself want our holiday to look like. We will focus more on what Christmas is all about – the birth of Christ – and our immediate family time vs. running like chickens all month long.

  • Sandy says:

    My mission statement is Simply Christ. While I enjoy much of what the season brings, I want to remain focused on what the season is truly about. Oh, certainly I enjoy the gatherings of friends and family, the decorations and festivities. I just want to keep focused that the birth of Christ was a blessing with a purpose. Christ is my Lord and Savior and because I believe I will have eternal salvation.

    I’ve decorated my home simply using ornaments and displaying the wrapped gifts I have for those whom I love. I’ve placed ornaments in a centerpiece bowl, apothecary jars and from ribbons in my windows and the wrapped gifts are atop my entertainment center, under my tree and on the tables in my living room. As I placed each ornament and gift I thought of a blessing I’ve received. The gift of life, my relationship with God, His Presence which blesses me continually, His Peace which is there for the asking, the provisions and abundance I have because of Him, and for each and everyone of those whom I love.

  • Cat Whatley says:

    My Beloved Husband and I have a great need to simplify this year. As a US Navy Family, serving and living Overseas, the Holidays can be wrought with unexpected developments. Normally, we start out with a simple plan, but it becomes more complicated with constantly changing schedules and as we end up opening our home to Single Sailors who cannot be with their families for the Holidays. This year is no different in that aspect, but we’ve had a few new wrenches thrown into the works! So this year, my mission is to keep things as simple as possible. I shall strive to remember that less is more…that it’s not a fancily decorated tree and house that makes the Holiday “perfect”, but rather a warm home and a table full of good food surrounded by friends and loved ones. I shall endeavor to be nice to me…to slow down and take time for myself, to rest and relax, to not do too much, to ask for assistance and graciously accept help when offered. To encourage in myself and others that giving is better than receiving…that the best gift we can give to our community is to do for those in need, and the best gift we can give ourselves is to be thoughtful in our giving so as to NOT give ourselves the gift of debt.

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