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5 Ways to Do Less for the Holidays


Article by Kristen Fewel

Photography by Jeff Fewel

Everything is changing, so why do we find ourselves fighting so hard to keep things the same? Traditions. A lot of traditions and customs are started out of necessity, but they continue on for a sense of familiarity, not necessarily because they make sense now. The expectations (and stress) you may have put upon yourself last year are not expected this year. So much has changed. Even the cultural and family traditions that used to bracket our holiday season and glued it in place are clearly not fixed as they once were. What has been coined as "shopping season" has also been grotesquely prolonged to get us to buy more, and do more, as evidenced by winter decor displayed in stores when it's 100 degrees out in the dog days of summer. It's all quite confusing, but it's up to us to create order and simplicity. It's time to invite more balance in life by doing LESS, not more.

Reflecting on what you really want (or don't want) for the new year, and what makes sense for you and your peace of mind, here's five simple ways you can BE more by doing less.

1. Small (or no) holiday parties.

Entertaining can be exhausting and the safety of gathering indoors during a pandemic is highly questionable. Resist the temptation to plan parties solo, but if you do decide to host a gathering, consider a potluck with your "pod," a group of people who are consistent with pandemic protocol and know each other's health status.

2. Simple decorations.

A few classic pieces are all you need to make your home merry and bright. Just because you have collected a thousand snowmen over the years does not mean you are obligated to display them all.

3. Pare down your gift list.

Then pare it down some more. A simple, well-chosen gift for your nearest and dearest is enough participation in holiday giving without getting sucked into the rabbit hole of online shopping (and the excessive packaging waste that comes with it.) Last year's giving

4. Close your apps and put down your device.

Online companies have already planned out what ads to show you next month, and they are relentless. The more you search online, the more ads you will see, the more shopping you will do, the more packages (and the waste that comes with it) arrive at your door.

5. Stop apologizing.

Instead of feeling guilty for perpetuating unnecessary burdens on yourself, see this as a time of renewal. There's no need to apologize for making more time for you. Start now by making yourself more of a priority by doing a little bit less and enJOY the quiet time reconnecting with yourself.