As many of you know, minimalism and slow living seem to be taking over not only our home, but our lives these days. I'll be the first to tell you Christmas preparations look a thousand times different now, than they did just last year.
In the past, I would have lugged in SIX different Christmas Rubbermaid's... full of decorations, stockings, garlands, ornaments, wrapping paper, etc. Decorating for the holiday season was no easy feat, and oftentimes cluttered the house with all things nutcracker, sparkly, and even remotely Christmas. The kids would kind of help... but because I'm so OCD about where everything goes, they just sat back and played with toys while I wracked my brain about where to put the snowman that literally doesn't look good in any room.
Six totes to dig through, organize, pack + unpack, and store... all year round. Not including the fake Christmas tree that took up a large portion of the shop because you can't break down a 7 foot tree into very small pieces. I am not a crazy hoarder... but six Rubbermaid's of Christmas makes me sound so.
This year I vowed not to continue with this insane tradition.
Not only would I dread dragging all that crap out, but spending well over a 6 hours putting it all away after the Christmas craziness literally made me go nuts. All I wanted to do was play outside with the kids, or enjoy a nice snuggle on the couch with my hubs... and all that useless shit took my attention instead.
So here we are, December 2016 & deep in the year of our Minimalism journey. I've been eyeing my favorite bloggers, and Instagram friends for inspiration in this "new" way of Christmas, all year long.
The other night, I sat down with lit candles while the girls were playing to make our Advent Calendar. With each fold of a mini envelope I began to feel that peace again... remember the Thanksgiving Pie?! I was doing something with my own two hands, that would be cherished by our children, and was literally free. Something that would compliment my home, and my heart.
Planning all these different activities for December made me want to throw those six totes away... every single one. Who has time for store bought things when I could go ice skating with my kids instead?! Look at all the fun activities I can do, and memories we can make. Right then and there I felt so silly for thinking (and getting so caught up in believing) Christmas was about who's home was most decorated...
because that was the LAST thing I remember about my childhood Christmas.
So I began to make a list, of everything I remembered about December at 5, 8, and 12 years old... and we are doing just THAT.
Below is a list of activities I put in the mini envelopes, feel free to use any or all to accommodate your family, or new tradition. I hope that by sharing our 2016 Minimal Advent Calendar you'll be inspired to make even just a small change - so you Mama's can actually enjoy the Holidays too.
The 25 DuBay Advent Activities:
- Make paper snowflakes + hang in bedroom windows.
- Watch a Christmas movie with Daddy. - I had a holiday show at night.
- Collect sticks + make Gods Eye's for friends.
- Christmas Tree Hunting + Decorating.
- Bake Cookies.
- Read the Polar Bear Express.
- Make Beeswax Candles.
- Write Christmas Lists to Santa + mail.
- Attend our Local Christmas Stroll.
- Sleepover at GG + Korey's.
- Build a Snowman.
- Put together Christmas presents for our Post-Men.
- Make salt dough ornaments.
- Go shopping for local Food Bank.
- Decorate Gingerbread Houses.
- Watch Home Alone.
- Drink hot cocoa + outside bonfire.
- Go sledding.
- Deliver friendship gifts.
- Read Luke 2: 1-20 together (Christmas Story).
- Christmas at GG's.
- Family Game Night.
- Drive around + look at Christmas lights in Pajamas.
- Go to Lights Parade on Big Mountain + set out cookies for Santa.
- Christmas Day Ice skating with Papa + Grandma T, and auntie Brielle.
Many of these activities require either little or no money, and won't add any physical items besides handmade decorations to our home. Also, I'll be posting our Orange + Cranberry Garland tomorrow... which was amazing by the way.
With a full, true heart... I can finally say I'm "excited" for the Christmas season.