Simple Christmas: It’s About Presence Not Presents

Presence Not Presents- Keeping Christmas Simple this year! | Harrington Harmonies

A Simple Christmas Idea

A simple Christmas idea isn’t a DIY project for me this year. It is just an idea, a philosophy if you will. I’ve had it on my heart to make this year a Simple Christmas. Christmas shouldn’t have to be expensive to be enjoyable or significant. It should focus on Jesus and being “present” to one another. It’s my goal to keep Christmas simple this year with a focus on presence, not presents. However,  I’m not advocating being a scrooge. I know that there will naturally be enough material things that just go along with the season and that’s OK; it’s good and we are blessed. It’s not about quarantining Christmas by eliminating every material thing that is a part of it.

Rather, it’s about remembering the point. Jesus came into this world to redeem all of creation.  So there is no point in getting all jumbled up by to do lists and stressing out trying to make everything perfect, because as long there is Jesus then Christmas will be complete. It’s about making memories and having Jesus as the focus of our celebrations.

When Presence is in our Hearts

Family is another important ingredient for a simple Christmas. But as a military spouse, I know that family can’t always be together. I’m grateful that our soldier can be with us this year for Christmas and am praying for all those who are far from home or whose loved ones can’t be with them. For even though they are not physically together they are always present to each other in their hearts. Make those phone calls that need to be made as Christmas approaches and say the things which need to be said, even if over the phone.

Make Homemade Gifts, Goodies, and Decorations for a Simple Christmas

One practical way to have a simple Christmas for me will be making a few things from scratch-using what I have. My children have always enjoyed this over the years. Collecting pine cones and decorating them, making homemade cinnamon ornaments and stringing popcorn and just using what we have for decorations. I’m going to try to abstain from buying new things this year. It will be hard but I wonder what new creative ideas will result?

Giving more than presents. Giving time and presence.

As moms we are busy. Crazy busy sometimes because we homeschool, have businesses, a home to run, ambitions to pursue, our families and ourselves to take care of, meals to plan –the list goes on. Now add Christmas to the mix. Do you see where I am going here? I don’t mean to be a hypocrite. I am the first to admit that I get too busy with my commitments and obligations to be truly present precisely at the moment when my kids or even my hubby wants my attention. I have to work at keeping my priorities in the right place. So you may not hear much from my blog in December as I try to apply being mindfully present to my children and spouse this Christmas. It’s a simple gift, it doesn’t cost anything. It’s my gift to them this year.

Jesus is on my list to be present to this year as well. I want to have a little time to pray better too. Who is on your “presence” list this year?


With Thanksgiving approaching next week I want to put a little thought into being thankful.

I’m thankful too for the Lord pricking at my soul to make a conscious effort to have a simple Christmas this year and I am giving myself permission to do it. Today I am thankful for:

  • time and having it to be generous with
  • family recipes and traditions
  • nature: holly, evergreen trees, snowflakes
  • candles…I love candles
  • warm sweatshirts just coming out of the dryer on a cold morning
  • flowers that bloom indoors
  • going home for Thanksgiving this year

What are you thankful for today? And how do you plan to celebrate Christmas this year? What special traditions do you have and what new ones do you want to begin?

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