simple christmas

What is the number one piece of advice you would give someone to help December stay beautiful AND simple? I find December a magical time. I love the changing weather, the shorter days, the smells, and white lights everywhere. The children’s anticipation provides so much tangible joy. If I make the time, baking cookies, giving gifts (and wrapping them!), and attending a local chorale production all add to the season. We’re a family of advent calendars, decorations on Thanksgiving weekend, and playing Christmas carols all month long.

But in reality, the glossy magazines and store displays overwhelm me. The budget is constantly having to be watched. The pressure of expectations can crush the magic. Dust bunnies and grimy floors still materialize in December. And three family birthdays are celebrated, more than any other month of the year. I struggle to keep December beautiful and simple.

So I want to hear your PRACTICAL suggestions. What is your number one piece of advice for all of us at Tea Party Girl? Have you switched to e-cards for Christmas card greetings? Do you skip out on the school/church pageant? Do you serve Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas Eve dinner? (I HOPE not, but you never know!) What do you do or not do?