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JLeslie's avatar

Have you simplified your Christmas time of year?

Asked by JLeslie (59760points) November 21st, 2016 from iPhone

Fewer decorations? Fewer presents? Less complicated meals? What have you done to ease the burden? Why did you change the routine?

Every year my MIL says she is going to cook fewer dishes for Christmas dinner and she doesn’t do it. It’s ridiculous. Tons of food that takes two days to make and hours to clean up. If we can’t make it to his parents’ house I make Christmas dinner for just my husband and me, and I just make one or two items that we like best from the traditional dishes he is accustomed to and it’s fine. I didn’t grow up with Christmas though, so I can’t really answer this Q.

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12 Answers

BellaB's avatar

I really cut back the year I had a rescue puppy and never really went back to the big meal. Decorations were always fairly low-key since they’re only around for 4 – 7 days for me.

Turns out neither Set nor I really like a lot of the big meal thing so I prepare the dishes we like in advance so we’ll have leftovers – which is the part we really like.

elbanditoroso's avatar

As fate has it, Hanukkah 2016 starts the evening of December 24 (Christmas Eve). – thanks Adar II!

So in one respect, it’s simpler because of the calendar.

(I bought my box of Hanukkah candles over the weekend. I’m ready.)

Coloma's avatar

Absolutely. Over the last dozen years or so after divorcing and my daughter being older/grown I keep it very simple. Only a few decorations, no tree and just a little get together to exchange a few gifts and have some holiday snacks. Maybe a buffet or just appetizers and goodies. I don’t miss all the years of Xmas insanity, buying for like 17 people, tension over all the commitments and obligations, whose house we were going to, my controlling ex-MIL, juggling multiple celebrations. Gah!

chyna's avatar

Oh yeah! After my mom died I stopped putting up any decorations or tree as it made me sad. I go to my brothers for a small dinner on Christmas Eve and spend Christmas Day at home.

Cruiser's avatar

When I married a Jewish woman my Christmas routine was infinitely simpler. Only one set of parents to have to visit on Christmas. My wife and her sister who is also married to a non Jew call that time of year “Chanoumas”. Still, my Christmas traditions live on. Tons of light outside, tons of decorations inside. We have a Christmas eve party that now that my parents are gone is almost entirely made up of Jewish Guests who devour the spiral ham I serve. It all may be wishful thinking this time out as after losing my mom this spring, I have zero gas in my tank for doing much of anything festive right now.

jca's avatar

Last year, after the hectic holiday season ended, I put a note on my calendar for this October that said “holiday season 2016: attend less events, start shopping earlier.” Last year I tried to attend a lot of parties (most work related) and like every year, was doing Christmas cards three days before Christmas and struggling to get shopping done.

What I do every year is if the friend/gift recipient is someone I’m not seeing until after Christmas, I don’t kill myself to get their gifts prior to Christmas.

There are two major holiday parties that I attend that are work related and both come with a free hotel stay. This year, I’m attending only one. I like both and the one I’m missing is the one I like better, but the one I’m attending is mandatory so I’m cutting out the optional one. Also, with the overnight stay at the hotel, it screws up all of Saturday as I’m packing my bag and getting out of the house, and Sunday I’m returning home after having breakfast with coworkers and then unpacking. Two weekends screwed up! This year it’s only one weekend so the load is lightened a lot.

I have to make a list of people to buy for and start shopping asap. What I do every year is go shopping for other people and the prices are so good, I end up buying stuff for myself.

At home, I keep decor to a minimum. I buy stuff and let my daughter put it up. She’s 9. I have nice stuff but it’s all in the basement. It’s easier to buy cheap stuff, new stuff and let her get a sense of accomplishment by putting it up herself.

Pandora's avatar

All of the above. Fewer everything. I give gift cards instead of gifts, with the exception of my kids and husband. And for Xmas, I cook the usual. Whatever, I’m in the mood for. The only difference is I will have made a dessert like flan, or tembleque, or arroz con dulce and we may or may not make coquito. As for decorations. Last year I didn’t put up a tree. Just put out some small light fixtures or candles and a few table top decorations.

ucme's avatar

Give the staff xmas day off, especially Carstairs who stood too close to the open fire during a rather raunchy game of charades last year & roasted his nuts, jolly bad show.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

If I’m alone, I won’t decorate.

I order all my gifts from Amazon and have them shipped directly to the recipients. My shopping takes about 15 minutes. I fight no traffic to get to the stores. I do not have any crowds to contend with. I burn no gas. I will then be able to turn my attention to reading or surfing the Internet.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Yes. I will have a pizza or KFC for Christmas. I will call my mom and sleep in.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I am a child. I’ve said this here before. I love Christmas! If anything, in some ways, I’m regressing.

We have a few more decorations. We are baking a Christmas cake.

Apart from that, we don’t do the big meal now. We go out on Christmas morning as a family and have a very special breakfast. Then we all bring/make something to eat later in the day.

So simpler in some ways. More festive in others.

Now we all have to bag an invite to @Cruiser‘s Christmas Eve Party.

Lonelyheart807's avatar

My mom stopped doing Christmas dinner some years ago, as it was just too much for her to have a bunch of people over and cook a dinner for everyone. Honestly, I like the way we do Christmas now. My sister and her husband and I come over Christmas morning to my parent’s house and open presents. My mom fixes brunch, but everything is very casual…people don’t dress up, etc. It is nice and low key. Later, my other sister and her kids come over, and we visit for a while, but everyone goes home before dinner time. I usually go home, take a nap, and then get up and have a late supper and watch TV. Nice and relaxing!

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