Making the holidays as simple as possible

I hardly ever do stuff like this, so bear with me, okay?

Unless this is the very first time you’re reading my blog, then you know I’m having a baby very soon. Literally, sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’ll be welcoming an adorable, pooping, crying, time-consuming bundle of joy into our home.

Some of my blogger friends who are in this position are very organized and motivated, and they’re getting their holiday shopping done early. For a number of reasons, though, I’ve decided to take Christmas off this year. Not only are we short on time, but our budget is very tight. As much as we love shopping for our families, we’ve asked to be excused from any holiday gift exchanges this year. We typically only exchange gifts with our parents and buy toys for our nieces and nephews anyway. The way I see it, our parents are getting a grandbaby for Christmas. It took me 9 whole months to make this baby for them, so they better like it. :)

For a hot second, I thought about baking instead of buying gifts. Or the old frugal standby — making gifts. Then I remembered that for the entire holiday season I’m either going to be very pregnant and preparing for baby, or I’ll be caring for a newborn. It’s just not happening this year. And that’s okay.

So what about other holiday traditions like holiday greeting cards? I usually send handwritten notes to friends and family wishing them a happy holiday and letting them know how we’re doing. This year, I’m simplifying our greeting cards by sending holiday photo cards from Shutterfly. With any luck, the baby will be here in time for us to include a photo of him on our cards along with a printed greeting. I’ll just pop them in an envelope, address them, add a stamp, and I’m done.

If you’d still like to add a handwritten message, there are plenty of stationery cards available with blank space for writing. I’m choosing to send photo cards with a printed message to make things as simple as possible.

If you want to make things even simpler, Shutterfly also has Christmas address labels and Christmas gift tags.

How are you simplifying the holiday season this year?

In exchange for this blog post, I’m receiving 50 free holiday greeting cards from Shutterfly. If you’re a blogger and you’d like to participate in this giveaway, you can get more information here.

9 thoughts on “Making the holidays as simple as possible

  1. Kacie

    First, I think this is A-OK! I think photo cards will be really lovely. If you wanna make things even simpler on yourself (in theory) you could try and type up people’s mailing addresses and print them off onto those stickers. Knowing me and my luck with printers, it would take three times as long to do it that way than it would take for me to just write the addresses by hand. But it’s a thought.

    We aren’t planning much for Christmas this year — just things for Johnny. Shane and I got ourselves an iPod dock and I think it will be arriving today. Cuz I want to have it for the birth center. Merry Christmas, us!

    Family members are getting gift cards. If I get around to it.

    Don’t feel bad at all!

  2. Cecilia

    I am rooting through the house trying to find things to part with that others would like for a present. I ordered Christmas cards from charity, so that will be the least we do. Other than that, we are going to focus on the food, the cards and the stockings this year.

  3. Jes

    We also asked to be excused from gift exchanges. I think we’ll probably buy for our parents (we normally do gift cards anyway). I’m hoping to have our girl’s presents all bought within the next few weeks, and we decided there’s no reason for the baby to need any gifts since he’ll be maybe a month old!

    Cards are going to be photos and like you, we’re hoping our little bundle decides to arrive in time to be on the picture cards!

  4. jonathanwthomas

    That’s an awesome decision and if anyone you know has a problem with it – sod ’em you have more important things to worry about!

    We had a bare bones Christmas last year due to some auto repairs that cost so much, we barely had the holidays. No one got gifts from us. Guess what, they still love us!

  5. Angela

    We normally pick up gifts during the year at 75-90% off for our family. Cards and giftwrap/bags as well. Normally we have nothing to “buy” for the holidays except a tank of gas to deliver the local ones and postal costs for the few others and thats not too bad.

    I think people can understand where you are coming from. I can’t even imagine being due during the holidays and trying to keep up with things.

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