The Third Annual Do Less Be More Post

Grandma, Uncle Tracy, Aunt Alyson and Dad

There are 32ish days until Christmas.  And two things are certain; the days will pass faster than you expect and no matter how much you plan, this season isn’t going to be perfect.

Every year instead of focusing on what I’m gonna do, I first focus on what I’m not going to do.  Somehow it helps me feel a little more focused.  This year, I won’t put up lights outside {but my boys might} I won’t make teacher gifts, I won’t send Christmas Cards, I won’t enter a mall in a frantic search for the perfect gift,  I won’t say yes to things because I feel guilty for saying no.  My “no” got a good tune up and is running just fine thank you.

I will do less and be more.

Every Christmas for the past few years DaySpring has sponsored a post here at Nesting Place about that very thing–doing less and being more.  Kind of odd for a company that sells cards--don’t they know that sending Christmas cards is the first thing to go?  I always try to make sure they know what they are getting themselves into–so you are ok with me encouraging people to do less–even if that means they might rethink their buying habits?–yes they say in their gentle, confident way.  They remind me of that Santa at Macy’s on Miracle on 34th Street.  I mean, they sponsor a post and then I ramble on and on about how I wanted to move an armoire 2 inches to the right and then before you know it, I’m rearranging the entire downstairs.

So, back to me, since clearly I’m making this post all about my big self,  there are also things I do DO every single Christmas season.  We get a live tree, we watch Elf and of course, we give gifts.  We give gifts to celebrate the gift we have been given.  That photo up there of my Grandmother?  She made our childhood magical with the living room full of gifts each year.  She loved giving.  I’m not even sure she understood the real meaning of Christmas until the end of her life but, she understood the love involved with gifting.  Her home looked like it could be featured on a Christmas episode of Hoarders if there were such a thing of a hoard of beautifully wrapped Christmas presents precariously stacked on top of each other  in layer after glorious layer of shiny wrapped thoughtfulness.  Christmas at Grandma’s was the highlight of my childhood.

Prints by Jones Designs my post all about my love for them is here for your reading pleasure

I love gift giving and I want to be intentional with the gifts we give.  I’d love it if every gift we gave was Meaningful, Beautiful, Handmade, Personal and Useful.  But realistically, if I can hit one or two of those with every gift I give, I feel pretty good.

One thing DaySpring is really good at is providing us with Meaningful Beauty to keep and to gift.  They told me I could just link to the sale page to keep this post simple and to honor my love of doing less but, I wanted to show you a few of the super sale items because there are some things that we’ve talked about here before, things I’ve used in my own home, things my mom and friends like, things I think could make good gifts for people you love. And, you can avoid a crowded mall.  It’s truly a win win.

Here are some of the mind boggling sales on a few things I’ve used in my house–I’ll link to the posts but, the giveaways are closed for these old posts, if you are new here:

Lightweight Indestructible Grace Wooden Bamboo Tray

Wood Blocks

Wooden Caddy {a post about setting up a buffet shows how I use my caddy

Silhouette Nativity that you can remove the silhouettes and use year around

And because DaySpring is fun and generous, they are giving a whole slew of meaningful beauty.

One winner per 100 comments will win a few of my current favorite gifts to give: Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling and the flip calendar and my sister’s book Grace for the Good Girl along with a By Grace Alone necklace created by Lisa Leonard.  Great gifts to keep for yourself or to give away.  DaySpring even let me pick what I wanted to give away {I mean, they are giving it away but I got to pick because they are nice like that}.  These are the two gifts my husband and I gave away the most this past year.


And one super lucky person will pretty much get their Christmas shopping done.  One Grand Prize winner will get one of every item featured in the Super Sale–that’s over $530 worth of prizes–all that stuff in that photo collage above and more–click here to see everything and find out more about the sale.  And did you notice, that caddy is only $9!?

PS: is there something from DaySpring you’ve had your eye on but it’s not included in the Super Sale?  No worries, use code SUPER30 for 30% off your entire order {not including the Super Sale items}

Leave a comment telling us what you ARE NOT doing this Christmas season to enter to win one of these meaningful, beautiful prizes.  This contest will stay open until midnight Monday, November 28th, winners will hopefully be announced on Wednesday, the 30th.

{Winners announced HERE!}

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Comments

  1. I’m not going to by a bunch of junk for my kids so they have more presents to open This holiday is about Jesus…we’re NOT going to miss that.

  2. I am not going to make 20 different cookies. I’m just going to make larger batches of a half dozen different cookies. Thanks for hosting this terrific giveaway!

  3. No cards…yep..that’s right…not a one! All my news is on Facebook…plenty o pics too :)
    Also I am doing less random stuff and intentionally scheduling a few must dos. Jesse tree
    every night for sure. And the annual carpool cousins olders vs youngers Gindgerbread House
    decorating smackdown! We love it!

  4. Keeping it simple this year…a lot going on in life (not so happy types of things) which is making me very reflective this year and in the long run may be a very good thing.

  5. I’m not going to worry about making a stocking for my one year old son. He won’t care about using a hand-me-down, and then I’ll have all next year to make his very own. :)

  6. I will not buy all the christmas gifts alone this year. I am making my husband get involved.

  7. I’m not going to wait until the last minute or worry about finding the absolute perfect gift.

  8. I’m not going to freak out about things being perfect. I’m going to do the things that have meaning for me, like mixing the traditional with trying something new.

  9. Instead of focusing on the negatives of what I can’t possibly accomplish before Christmas, I’m focusing on the reason for the season…Jesus and the blessings and positive things he blesses us with each & every day. And in doing so….I hope to pass on a new tradition of gratitude to my grandchildren.

  10. I’m NOT buying my kids a bunch of junk for Christmas. We are doing meaningful gifts that they will love and enjoy, not just filling in a budgeted amount…now remind me of this on December 23rd when I’m at Target looking for stocking stuff.

  11. I’m decorating more simply and more intentionally. Just because I bought a decoration last year or have something my daughter-in-law gave me to decorate with 3 years ago does not mean I have to use it. I will feature a large Advent wreath in the family room, our family tree done with fewer decorations and more natural accessories in the living room and the rest of the house with a few simple floral arrangements and a decorative pillow or two. Of course, lots of lovely white candles. I think I will breathe more deeply and enjoy the season more intensely with the simplification of my holiday decor.

  12. I will not be buying a ton of gifts. I will be keeping it simple and memorable for family and friends.

  13. We too are trying to keep it simple. Being a type A person this is so difficult. I remember my mom decorating every room even the bathrooms and it made holiday time magical. I want that for my own children, just on a lesser sale that allows me to enjoy it as well.

  14. Bonnie Jean says:

    This year I am not trying to do it all at once. I am trying to be content with what gets done and not focus on what does not get done. I am sending our a few cards each day. I am not sending everyone the same thing… some get just our “annual letter” … some get a letter and pictures… some get a letter, pictures and a card. It all has to do with what the recipient would enjoy or value. I am decorating a little at a time… something I learned from several bloggers this year… I am just decorating with what I really like(and I am not keeping the stuff that I no longer like so as I unpack the decorations I am either giving them to someone I know would like them or want them or getting rid of them). I am not worried if everything doesn’t get done on the day planned. Due to the List Plan It Web site I have planned catch up days !!!! (Getting her service is the greatest gift I have given myself this year next to my new gray suede pumps on sale at Nine West !!! which has a 25% of sale till Dec. 5th !!!) And List Plan It has a great deal for its services too !!! Anyway, I am not trying to do everything… just what means the most to my family. I am spending more time alone with God than ever and getting more positive things done than ever. I am also not trying to outspend anyone. I stuck to my Dave Ramsey Money Makeover Budget !!! I am giving to Samaritan’s Purse and Doctors without Borders and other organizations that I believe in. Even if it is not alot… it doesn’t take a lot to bless those in third world countries. And prayer costs nothing but time !!! I guess I would love to get the Oh Holy Night Red Letter Words sign. And I know just where I would put it. On my front door so everyone can see it even the mailman and the UPS man and everyone who comes to my door. God Bless You all in this Joyous time of year !!!

  15. Here’s what I did last year – I let all the non-essentials go! And there never was a better holiday season! Relaxed, refreshed, renewed.
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2010/12/letting-non-essentials-go.html

  16. Thank you for the great “A ha” post. Speaks to my heart! Merry Christmas!

  17. I’m not going to buy gifts from big box stores. I’m going to handmake things (or buy handmade) for my friends and family. I’ll also make sure these gifts are something they will actually want – not just something I want to make/give.

  18. Over the last few years I have felt somewhat overwhelmed with my roles of working woman (I am a school nurse for the cognitively or severely emotionally impaired), sister (I have a brother who is a spared quadriplegic and has some health issues), daughter (my parents have both had life threatening illnesses this last year and I get to assist in the health choices and healing choices), mother (I have 3 children ages 17, 22, 24 at home in school or college), and wife (married for 26 years to a wonderful christian police officer). I have noticed a hardening of my heart over the last few years toward my ‘responsibility’ of housework and cooking, cleaning, and personal acts of service toward my family. This is probably motivated by a sense of righteous indignation. There are many voices out there that will remind you that household jobs should be shared, and teaching autonomy to these college students is right. What I am noticing is that I am letting ‘a good thing become a god thing’. I think I may have made ‘efficient housework sharing’ into an idol.

    I have this recurrent theme going on in my head. It goes round and round. From memory, Romans 8, the part about the flesh: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of Life has set you free, in Christ Jesus, from the law of sin and death, for God has done what the law, weakened by FLESH could not do, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful FLESH, and for sin, He condemned sin in the FLESH. (WOOT, CHEER, We are not defeated or held paralyzed in sin! hooray!) so that the righteous requirement of the law might be found in us who walk NOT ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, but walk according to the Spirit. For if you WALK ACCORDING TO THE FLESH……. YOU WILL SET YOUR MIND on the things of the flesh, but if you walk according to the Spirit you will ( who will? YOU!) SET YOUR MIND ON THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT! To set the mind on the flesh is DEATH, but to set your mind on the Spirit is Life and Peace.

    Flesh= desires not submitted to God. These desires can be sinful or good, however they are in the process of becoming and IDOL. The progression of anything becoming an idol is that they go from being the humble “I desire” , to a self righteous “I deserve”, to the angry ultimatum of “I demand”.

    I am in the “I deserve” range.

    Spirit= Trusting God to supply all my needs, banking on Him, looking to Him for my direction, how should I respond (WWJD), how I should live, love. How do I keep God on the throne in my life and on the throne in my home?

    The phrase “set your mind on” tells me there is something I can do to help me live a godly life characterized by peace. I can ‘set my mind’ on flesh or on the things of the Spirit. People will tell you that they cannot control the way they feel because they assume feelings are spontaneous. They are not. They flow from what you “set your mind on” and WHAT YOU DO! As you think, so you do. I have found that as you work, so you think. Perspective is everything. By simply caring CAREFULLY for something makes your feelings love that thing more.

    That’s why God says to “take captive every thought to obedience to Christ”. He wouldn’t tell us to do something that He doesn’t also give us the power to do.

    When I am overwhelmed by anything, I tend to ruminate on it. Think it over and over and over. It begins to consume me…. and if it is to do with the ‘things of the flesh’ I become very unhappy, nervous, despairing, hopeless, angry, bitter….and the progression continues. I don’t like what I tend to become. But thanks be to God, when I choose to “set my mind on” the things of the Spirit” , like memorizing His word, obeying His word, forgiving perceived wrongs, setting God glorifying boundaries and enforcing them in love, not giving in to fear, extending love (God’s when I don’t feel any of my own), well then I find my mind ruminates on peace. I go to sleep with His word in my prayers, I wake to His songs , and I have a kind of joy that is in spite of circumstances, not dependent on circumstances.

    Perplexing situations used to keep me up all night, but not usually now. Now I remember my God’s promises, like:
    You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.
    Trust in the LORD forever,
    for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV)

    It is training for my mind. It takes time to take captive my thoughts, but He is the payoff. His presence is the peace. I changed the above verse into a song I sing in my head at night:

    You help him sleep in perfect peace
    him who’s mind is steadfast,
    because he trusts in you.

    My family depends of me to set the tone of my home. I will walk in the Spirit, creating an atmosphere of peace. I will SET MY MIND ON THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT, singing songs and hymns, praising Him for my family, and acts of service toward my family(caring for my home and family as though I really care about them…..which I do!), while depending fully on God to provide the proper perspective, time, energy, patience, and love.
    He is already changing my perspective! Now off to make cinnamon rolls for my son. We have a fog day!

  19. I am not going to attend any big Christmas sale rush days. In fact, I did no Christmas shopping over Black Friday, and will not on Cyber Monday. Christmas is a time of peace, love, joy, and giving. Big push “sales” reflect none of those values. Also the gift of Jesus, that God sent to all mankind, was not a gift of “things, stuff, and decorations” but Jesus was a gift of love, forgiveness, peace, and relationships, etc. The gifts the Magi brought were gifts of honor, not gifts of stuff and things. I hope people give what others truly need and cherish–love, respect, caring, and reaching out to those in “need.” Give others the message of Jesus this Christ-mas!!!

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  21. This year I do want to simplify my girft-giving! No big bills for me this Christmas Season, especially when the New Year rolls in! I’ll surprise myself and others by not being “up-tight” like a timed-spring ready to say things that I’m sorry for when the “Beautiful Day” comes into view on December 25th! With all the expectant JOY and quiet PEACE that this “Season” brings with a “birth of the new Child” in me and in others I meet with a smiling “Light from within my heart!” . . . No worries about “no room in the inn, this year! Already on Thanksgiving Day I am having dinner at the “Nursing Home” with the residents and a person who means a lot to me with his musical sharings of a life-flowing-into-the-Joy-of-spirit-gift! Simplify! Simplify! Simplify! this is for me today the Hope that all complications with the next 29 days will not overwhelm me into escaping from of unexpected Angelic Energies that swirl around in the crisp night air! Simply being myself this year without the competitions that come with wanting to be loved and recognized . . . It’s about time at 79 to have let go of all the useless anxiety and humbigness of Christmases Passed and the whispiness of Christmases to Come! This Year it is CHRISTMAS PRESENT in the Now Moment of the Star that guides to the essential in Life!

  22. This year I do want to simplify my girft-giving! No big bills for me this Christmas Season, especially when the New Year rolls in! I’ll surprise myself and others by not being “up-tight” like a timed-spring ready to say things that I’m sorry for when the “Beautiful Day” comes into view on December 25th! With all the expectant JOY and quiet PEACE that this “Season” brings with a “birth of the new Child” in me and in others I meet with a smiling “Light from within my heart!” . . . No worries about “no room in the inn, this year! Already on Thanksgiving Day I am having dinner at the “Nursing Home” with the residents and a person who means a lot to me with his musical sharings of a life-flowing-into-the-Joy-of-spirit-gift! Simplify! Simplify! Simplify! this is for me today the Hope that all complications with the next 29 days will not overwhelm me into escaping from the unexpected Angelic Energies that swirl around in the crisp night air! Simply being myself this year without the competition that come with wanting to be loved and recognized . . . It’s about time at 79 that I have let go of all the useless anxiety and humbigness of Christmases Passed and the whispiness of Christmases to Come! This Year it is CHRISTMAS PRESENT in the Now Moment of the Star that guides to the essential in Life that I look to and follow with a “heart stilled and open” to inflowing Love!

  23. Sorry I tried to correct little errors and my post was printed TWICE! First step in simplifying . . .

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