In 2020, I hosted 14 people at our house for Christmas for 46 hours without stress.
How did I do it?
I simplified Christmas.
Alternating Christmas Day
Firstly, I need to start by saying when my now husband and I first got together we simplified Christmas by not trying to cram catching up with both sides of our family on Christmas Day. I’m from Adelaide which is two hours from where we live. I didn’t want to spend two hours of Christmas Day in a car so we decided to alternate Christmas.
One year we catch up with my family on Christmas Day and the next year we catch up with my husband’s family. We then work out another weekend near Christmas to celebrate with the other family. 2020 was a Johns Christmas so we celebrated Sara Christmas on Saturday 19th December 2020.
For many years, we travelled to Adelaide to celebrate my side of the family’s Christmas. Recently we have started to host every second Sara Christmas at the farm. As I never liked driving two hours on Christmas Day we invite my family to stay overnight so they could relax.
We have a small extended family. There were 14 of us (my mum, dad, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, Aunty, Uncle and two cousins). We have a 4 bedroom home and do a bedroom juggle to fit everyone in (mum and dad sleep in their camper trailer tent). It’s cosy but that’s part of the fun. Our kids enjoy having a sleepover in our bedroom!
I don’t spend much time preparing for Christmas. I believe Christmas is a time to enjoy the company of your family. For me, it is not about showcasing a perfect home (which we do not have). Our 2020 Christmas planning involved:
- Choosing our Christmas menu Monday night
- Food shopping on Thursday afternoon
- Purchasing all our Christmas gifts Friday night online (I purchase experience gift vouchers or consumable gifts).
- I organised for a cleaner to come and mop all our lino floors and clean our bathroom Friday morning (#delegate).
We keep the Christmas meal simple. Mr Farmer and I looked through our freezers to see what we already have. We live on a farm and get farm fresh beef and lamb. We found a beef roast, a lamb roast and 10 T-bone steaks so that made the basis for Christmas lunch and tea. We organise all the food for Christmas and then split the cost between all the families. Everyone brings their own alcohol.
Our menu was:
- Dip and cheese platter and chips for nibbles
- Prawns with lettuce and mango with my Dad’s special seafood sauce for an entree
- Beef and lamb roast cooked in the Webber and sweet chilli prawn skewers cooked on the BBQ for lunch
- Potato salad
- Sweet potato, green bean and barley salad
- Easy gourmet salad
- Grandma V’s apricot slice (made by my brother) for lunch dessert
- T-bone steak with leftover salads for tea
- Icecream pudding drizzled in ice magic for dessert (Find my recipe to make it here)
- Pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs for Sunday breakfast
We do gifts differently for my husband’s side of the family versus my side of the family. As I said, I have a small extended family and for many years my two children were the only kids. We have continued to purchase gifts for all adults and kids for my side of the family. On my husband’s side, we were the last couple to have kids so once we all had kids to buy for we stopped buying gifts for the adults and just bought gifts for the kids. There is no right or wrong way to give gifts, it’s just what works for you!
The gifts we gave this Christmas were:
- Wiggles concert tickets for our 18-month-old nephew and almost 3-year-old niece. We gave them three op shop books (including a Wiggles book) so they had something to open on Christmas day.
- Event cinema and Dan Murphy’s vouchers for my brother and sister-in-law.
- Self-guided Scavenger Hunt of Adelaide and wine experience, art and antique gallery tour, lunch and
- Devonshire tea at Barossa Chateau for my mum, dad, Aunty and Uncle.
- Extreme Escape voucher and Dan Murphy’s voucher for my cousin and his partner based in Melbourne
- Dan Murphy’s voucher for my cousin based in Adelaide.
- Pool, Pinata & Boardgames
We spent Christmas Day relaxing and enjoying ourselves. We played in the pool, my uncle bought a Christmas pinata that the kids had a ball breaking it open, I did some cross stitch and we ended the day playing Uno Attack (A must get game if you have Christmas money to spend!) with nine of us aged 7 to 68!
Keep it simple
I encourage you to “stop, focus, notice” this Christmas.
STOP doing the same thing you have always done for Christmas if it isn’t serving you well.
FOCUS on what causes you stress at or around Christmas. Write it down. Get all the detail onto paper.
NOTICE what your options are. How can YOU simplify this Christmas? If things are set in stone for this Christmas, start talking to your family NOW about how next Christmas could be simplified.
I’d love to hear how you are simplifying Christmas.
Be Simply Free Gift Vouchers
If you would like support to simplify not only work physical spaces in your home but also your calendar and your mind, why don’t you ask for a Be Simply Free gift voucher to join my next online course starting in March 2022? Visit here to learn more. If you would like to see if working one on one might be a great way to simplify your life, let’s have a chat. Book a complimentary call now and if we organise a time to work together in early 2022 before Christmas you can bet the price rise happening in 2022. Book a no obligation complimentary call now. You can learn more about 1:1 mental load coaching here.