The Helpful Guide to Simple Christmas Links

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.” – Bob Hope

I am often asked for thoughts and advice on celebrating Christmas. And when I am, there are a number of helpful resources I send out in reply.

Personally, I have written my Christmas thoughts elsewhere: I respect gift-giving as a love language and do not want to rob my family members of that simple joy. But I prefer quality over quantity, needs over wants, experiences over products, and provide gift wish-lists whenever possible. For the kids, we reevaluate toy boxes and closet space a few months after the holidays to determine if there are items (new or old) to remove. The philosophy is simple, straight-forward, and easy to manage.

But I am not the first to write about enjoying a simpler Christmas. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, there are countless posts/articles/guides on experiencing a simple, stress-free Christmas. And in an effort to create a valuable resource for myself and others, here is a comprehensive list of the best links in one handy, thorough, shareable guide.

The Helpful Link Guide to a Simpler Christmas

Rethinking Christmas.

The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents | Zen Habits – I love Christmas, but the shopping has got to go. Here’s why.

1 Simple Strategy to Save $2,000 this Holiday and Make Everyone Love You Forever | Far Beyond the Stars – You’ve been bombarded by advertising since the day you were born telling you that the only way Christmas would be a success was if you spent somewhere around $1,000 on gifts for people.

The $100 Christmas | Mother Jones – We felt cheated by the Christmases we were having — so rushed, so busy, so full of mercantile fantasy and catalog hype that we couldn’t relax and enjoy the season.

35 Gifts Your Children Will Never Forget | Becoming Minimalist – I have countless holiday memories. Most of them center around faith, family, and traditions. But very few childhood memories actually include the gifts I received.

Gift-Giving Guides.

The Ultimate Clutter-Free Gift Guide | Slow Your Home – The ultimate list of awesome clutter-free gifts that will impress your family and friends.

One Less Gift – A Holiday Gift Exemption Certificate | Miss Minimalist – Tired of holiday consumerism? Give a “One Less Gift” Certificate to someone special.

A Non-Consumer Christmas: Simple Gifts for Kids and Grown-Ups | Get Rich Slowly – Not sure what to buy for your loved ones this year? Consider buying nothing at all.

18 Non-Toy Gifts for Children | Nourishing Minimalism – A great way to combat too many toys, is to shift all the gifts to non-toy items.

Simple, Practical Guides.

The Top of Your Holiday To-Do List: Breathe. | Simple Mom – Your holiday preparation assignment today? Breathe. Relax your shoulders. And do the following.

Three Steps to a Simplified Holiday | Be More With Less – For far too long, Western culture has convinced us that the best types of holiday celebrations involve more – more decorations, more presents, more time commitments, more stuff.

Beyond the Tension: Having Christmas with Joy | Small Notebook – After sampling both sides, I choose to do those things that reflect joy in my activities and attitude.

Holiday Printable Guides.

Christmas Budget Worksheet | Life Your Way

Christmas Gift List | Life Your Way

Emotional Needs.

How to Survive (and Thrive) During the Holidays When You Feel Alone | Zen Habits – There may be some of you who are going through these holidays without family, without anyone perhaps, and I know that can be extremely rough. This post is for you.

This Christmas, Give Peace | Becoming Minimalist – Family relationships can cause conflict, turmoil, and stress at any time, but the tensions are often heightened during the holidays – that is what makes the Christmas season so difficult for many.

Finding Happiness in the Midst of Grief | Zen Habits – Pay attention to the people in your life because relationships are the only true wealth.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. Gayle McLaughlin says

    Loved reading your article and reading all the other articles. We can have fun, celebrate the meaning of Christmas without being in a frenzy!

  2. Jane says

    I’m sending this to my D.I.L because every year he works every hour he can to earn as much money as he can. Then every Christmas season he spends up large buying thoughtless gifts for family he’s become a virtual stranger to. We all wish he would realise that we would prefer to spend time with him. Slavery to consumerism has cost him his children’s childhoods, two marriages and now he’s missing out on his grandchildren.

  3. says

    I like how these lists and posts take on Christmas from different views! Lots of great advice in there. This year we connect the two sets of grandparents (although they live in different countries and don’t really know eachother) and have them give one mutual gift to each of our two kids. We have also helped them pick out what. (We live in yet another country, so they are not always up to date with what our “almost teenagers” might wish for). This way – grandparents still get to “give”, the kids still have gifts under the tree (just fewer), and it will be something they really want.

  4. says

    We’ve found Christmas to be much more enjoyable with less focus on making an elaborate meal and having a mountain of presents. Even our 5-year-old daughter has more fun now that it’s a low-pressure, crazy party.

  5. says

    Fantastic post (PS Found you through Reddit)!

    I’ve been looking for something like this. In addition to a relative level of poverty and a major moral issue against throwing good money at Stuff (worthy of a capital S), I’m trying to find the best way to break the no-gifts news to my family. Your resources have given me the guts AND glory! Thank you!

  6. says

    I blog frequently and I seriously thank you for your information.
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  7. Ann says

    Also the book, “Unplug the Christmas Machine.” Check your library. It has a number of wonderful ideas for figuring out your priorities in celebrating Christmas… without getting sucked into the machine.

  8. Kathryn Gay says

    After a few years of grandkids being unappreciative, this year will be about thoughtfulness… no toys, no clothes..I don’t expect gratefulness, I’ll hope for some thought.

  9. Debbie says

    My parents never gave my daughter, their only grandchild a lot of “stuff”. What they did do which was priceless was to put tuition money away for her. We are still stretching the money to help with graduate school. My daughter will have a Masters in Ed to teach chemistry in 2015.

  10. Joy Carrera says

    I realize that for most Americans, we try to “declutter” Christmas to make sense of it all. As a missionary in a foreign country, I have the opportunity to start from scratch. We have no decorations except a shoe box full of things plus stockings. There aren’t fancy parties to go to, no big family get togethers, no well meaning Sunday school teachers or libraries or stories handing out little gifts. I am afraid this Christmas will be TOO simple. I have one gift per kid and another might arrive in the mail from a grandparent (or it might not.) I don’t want to MISS Christmas. I want to decorate, but without accumulating clutter. I want to create special memories, without over spending. I want magic and lights and memories but not sure how to do this. Any suggestions?

  11. ralf says

    Grew up in “communism”. We had Christmas, but no advertising. No jingle bells songs and last Christmas whereever you went. On Christmas eve, Santa Claus came with a sleigh and hessian sack across the snow. Before Christmas mom was baking cake and cookies. We helped and sang Christmas songs. Before getting a gift from Santa we either had to recite a poem from memory or sing a song.

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