The weather is turning colder (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), and it’s a time to start settling in. I love this time of year.
Not only are the trees and plants preparing for winter and a time of rest, so are we. It’s easy to get caught up in all the holiday craziness. I mean, there have been Christmas decorations out in stores since before Halloween.
I want to challenge you to do something to intentionally slow down, especially during the holiday season.
Here are a few ideas to make your holiday season a simple, slow time:
1 – Create yourself a book reading nook
Nothing says relaxation like having a place to curl up with a good book. You don’t have to get fancy. A chair, a lamp, and a cozy throw can transform any space as you lose yourself in a book for a few hours.
Don’t let the excuse of time keep you from reading either. Most of us can slip in at least an hour of TV a week (or scrolling through social media). If you have time for that, you have time to get lost in a book. Chances are, you will feel better when done too!
2 – Buy a new tea/coffee to try
Nothing says relaxation like trying a new tea or coffee as the colder months hit. Indulge yourself in something lovely (it’s cheaper at home anyway). Maybe step outside to enjoy it. Yes, it’s freezing cold in some parts, but that’s why they make good coats.
Reconnect with nature and warm yourself from the inside out with pure bliss in a cup.
3 – Make a slow recipe with your family
Grab your favorite cookbook and pick out a long, hearty recipe you’ve been wanting to try or make again but can never seem to find the time to do it.
If you have family visiting for the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to start simmering a pot in the morning so everyone can enjoy the lovely smells all day.
4 – Build a fire, inside or outside
Nothing says slowing down like sitting by the fire. Build one inside or outside, if you have the space. Invite friends or family over, and take the time to talk and catch up.
If you don’t have a fireplace, you can still enjoy the feeling. Put on a screen saver with a fireplace burning on your TV, and settle in with a good book.
5 – Go on a nature walk
Cold weather doesn’t mean you have to sit inside all day. Invest in a good winter coat, break out the hiking boots, and take a walk through the woods.
The forest in the wintertime is probably my favorite place. It’s quiet and peaceful in a way that can’t be replicated in livelier times.
6 – Make a craft out of fall-colored leaves with your kids
There is something joyful about finding the perfect, colorful leaf and studying it with a child. It is almost magical.
Break out the wax paper and iron, find some incredible leaves, and make a wonderfully beautiful window hanging to enjoy all season.
7 – Decorate with natural items
You don’t have to get all caught up in the expensive holiday decorations. One of the best parts of living a more minimalist lifestyle is enjoying the beauty of decorating with nature.
If you want some nature-inspired ideas, check out this Pinterest board.
8 – Have dinner by candlelight
OK, full disclosure. I don’t like dinner by candlelight, but my family does. I like to see when I eat. However, it’s another idea to slow down your holidays, spend more time around the table talking with your family, and enjoy the ambiance of cold, winter nights with a little warmth added.
9 – Play a game with your family
No matter the age of your family, family game night is always a nice way to slow down and enjoy each other.
Our game nights have morphed over the years. It started off with little preschool games, and it’s grown into strategy games, card games, and the like.
It’s hard for me to stop everything and just “play”. However, every time I do, I have zero regrets.
10 – Finish a craft
I took a holiday season 100% off from social media one year, and I made a quilt. Finishing the quilt wasn’t planned, but I quickly got bored, no longer knowing how to use up my free time. The quilt I started years prior and then packed into a box was brought back out.
Sometimes finishing a big project, slowly, over the winter season is way more fun than trying to do all the new crafts you see in your feeds.
11 – Create your own family tradition
So much of the holidays is about doing what is expected of you, whether it is family traditions we felt we had to keep doing, buying all the things, going to all the events, or buying presents for all the people.
This year, try creating your own unique family traditions.
- Maybe you make a Thankful Pumpkin for Thanksgiving
- Read a new Christmas book each day
- Learn about Christmas celebrations around the globe
- Make cookies and then give most of them away (or don’t and eat them all)
- Adopt a family for gift-giving
- Take silly photos
- Make homemade cards
- Send a letter to someone special
Get creative. You don’t have to do the same old thing as everyone else. Slow down. Make the holidays special and meaningful.
My point. Take a break from it all.
Give your body rest. Give your mind rest. Reconnect with those around you, especially as you move into the holiday weeks.
That’s the point of this whole decluttering and simple living journey, right? It’s not just about less stuff. It’s about connection, time, and purpose.
We want to spend less time cleaning.
We want to spend more time with our kids.
We want to have more money (from less wasteful spending).
We want to be able to give more.
We want to slow down and savor life, especially during the holiday season.