5 Holiday DOs That I DON’T

Everyone has favorite holiday traditions. What are yours? Do you have a certain menu you must prepare? A tree lighting ceremony you always attend? A favorite Christmas book you always read?

Things not to do during the holidays

Is there something you must do or it just “wouldn’t be [insert holiday of choice here]”? We all have the list. It wouldn’t be the holidays without it. Guess what? I have that list, too. Only mine is a list of things I don’t do. UPDATE: Be sure to read my 5 Holiday DOs!


5 Things I Don’t Do During the Holidays.

1. Decorate to the Hilt. I would love for my home to look like the inside of the December issue of The English Home magazine. (Oops, did I just admit to reading The English Home? How embarrassing.) It’s just that I don’t want to upset the delicate balance I’ve created between the toy clutter on the floor and the paper clutter on the counter.

2. Bake Dozens of Cookies. I promise that if you don’t give me a plastic-wrapped paper plate with 16 kinds of cookies I won’t give you one, either.

3. Make Tons of Crafts with my Kids. Is it just me or does it seem like Pinterest everyone ratchets up the craftiness during December? This is precisely the time of year when I want to tone things down and relax. Also, I’m just lazy.

4. Give Lots of Gifts. Good news! You don’t have to get me a present. Bad News. I won’t get you one either. Seriously, adults should not make wish lists.

5. Take My Kids to See Santa. I don’t like lines and crowds. I especially don’t like lines and crowds while trying to keep two kids entertained. A team of reindeer couldn’t drag me to Macy’s in December.

I accept that you now think I am a giant Scrooge. But I’m not! I love Christmas! I do! In fact, when I first started dating my to-be-husband, who is Jewish, I made sure to disclose that under no circumstances would I be giving up Christmas. Every other holiday was up for negotiation, but for one month of the year I would be reveling in everything red, white, green and twinkly.

Everyone else’s red, white, green and twinkly, that is. So, if you decorate, bake, craft, give and ho-ho-ho be sure to invite me to your holiday party. I’m really fun at parties and I’ll even bring two bottles of bubbly.

That’s my holiday confession. Now it’s your turn. What are your holiday don’ts?

Things NOT to do during the holidays.

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    • Mom and Kiddo says

      I’m glad my husband puts up with my love of Christmas and it’s nice that I don’t have to worry about stepping on his Christmas traditions. Ha, ha!

  1. says

    I love this! I definitely don’t take my kids to see Santa (he was at our church’s Christmas party, so I said that was good enough!). The only baking we do is to make a huge batch of caramels which we give out to friends, but that is super easy and very inexpensive. I have to admit I think all of the Christmas crafts out there look super fun, but I don’t have the time or patience for it. We make one kind of ornament and that’s about it (besides what we do for preschool). I think it’s easier to truly celebrate the holidays when you strip it down to what it’s really about.

  2. says

    No crafts, no Santa sittings here. I enjoy our holiday decor but it’s not magazine-worthy. We love baking Christmas cookies, but more for ourselves and guests than for exchanging. We’ve scaled back on extended-family gifts this year, which is a relief but a little sad too. I like giving gifts, but hate being given a “wish-list” to shop from! Decorating our tree last night with a super-excited 8-year-old was the definition of Christmas magic for me.

  3. tricia says

    great post! I would say…. don’t buy expensive gifts to show love by the size of the debt you can accrue. it is coming back around next year! We arent big on the gifting thing….unless it is kid time…then batcastles are totally awesome. :)

  4. tricia says

    great post! I would say…. don’t buy expensive gifts to show love by the size of the debt you can accrue. it is coming back around next year! We arent big on the gifting thing….unless it is kid time…then batcastles are totally awesome. :)tricia

  5. says

    I pretty much don’t do any of those things either. My 2 1/2 year old saw Santa at a party at our church, and I am quite satisfied with that. I’m never crafty, and I leave the heavy lifting to my husband, decoration-wise. I think the thing is to focus on the things that are special to you (or your immediate family), and not be guilted into other things. Thanks for a validating post!

  6. says

    Haha! I am pretty much the same way, with the exception of taking my little one to see Santa. I won’t go to the mall though. Cannot stand the mall at Christmas. We go to one in a little shopping center near us. So much nicer and we haven’t had to wait in line yet.

  7. Kaely says

    I’m not sure my kids even know about the mall Santa. I avoid the mall in general, but we never go there from about mid-November through mid-January. We do go and see Santa, but we go to one of the local photography studios and we have an appointment. The kids get their one on one time with Santa and I get nice Christmas pictures both with and without Santa. No stress and they look forward to it every year. Santa reads them a story and plays with them a bit while I order prints. Everyone is happy.

  8. Jocelyne says

    I found your blog looking for a book list recently. I am enjoying all the suggestions!

    No Santa visits here. We avoid the mall this time of year so they don’t even know they are missing out.

    We only bake one batch of cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.

    We do decorate, but so simply. I actually just put the kids in charge!

    We make one ornament.

    I don’t send Christmas cards. Best decision I ever made!

    Our advent countdown is a Lego one because it is simple and gets the job done! And I do put a Christmas book on the mantle each night after the kids are in bed for us to read over breakfast. I like the idea of wrapping up 24 books, but not the time it would take. This is my solution.

    I only buy for my kids, husband, inlaws (and only because it’d break my mil heart if we didn’t), and my mom. This year my older son did tie dye pillowcases for a few friends though.

    The biggest thing we do is a themed gingerbread house as a family. It is a huge deal and big tradition that lasts all month. Some years our extended family parties will have a gingerbread house competition. This is what I know my kids will remember. Not a frazzled mom with a mile long to-do list.

    I like simple. My friends are all frazzled and wonder why I’m not!?!?

    • Mom and Kiddo says

      Great list, Jocelyne! I agree, it’s good to do the things kids will remember, not what we think we “should do.”

  9. says

    My “not do” list is pretty long and similar to yours, but my German husband decorates lavishly, and it’s about the only time of the year when he can’t stop buying presents :) I am trying not to overcommit in December and leave plenty of time for reading in front of the fireplace.

  10. says

    Love this list! My holiday don’ts are pretty similar to yours.
    1. I love to decorate, but I never spend more than one day decorating. We pick a day to devote entirely to decorating, and if it doesn’t get done then it’s not happening.
    2. I only bake cookies if I’ve been invited to someone’s home. They make a fun holiday hostess gift, and then I don’t have a house full of cookies.
    3. At this time of year, it seems like Pinterest exists solely to make you feel like you need to make popsicle stick Christmas trees to be considered a good mom. Pass.
    4. I’ll admit, I do love to give lots of gifts. What I don’t do is BUY lots of gifts. Homemade all the way. I start making gifts as early as October.
    5. I can’t really comment on this one. I loved going to see Santa as a kid, and I hope my kids do, too. But one thing I’ll NEVER do is take a baby to see Santa. $20 for pictures of a frightened infant crying on a stranger’s lap? Again, pass.

  11. Mary Jones says

    Years ago I tried to make a full-on Christmas and drove myself crazy. One year I asked my two children (boy and girl @ 7 and 9 respectively) what the most important parts of Christmas were for them; the things that, if they weren’t done, would ruin the season. The List included: church on Christmas Eve, Christmas Tree, presents (we have always been fairly restrained in this area), and going to see a performance of the Nutcracker. No cookies, no crafts, no whole-house decorations.

  12. Lisa Rags says

    Wow, your post was great! I totally get it!
    I’m pretty flexible & spontaneous with Christmas, so if the stars are all aligned for something I’m always game! But, a few things I like to do for Christmas, and usually get it done are stockings hung somewhere, bake cookies usually once, put together a gingerbread house (that’s like the craft, and my husband usually does that), go around the neighborhoods to see the Christmas lights. I always have a tree or something that serves the purpose of a tree, and I always listen to and sing the Christmas music! We open our smallest present under the tree on Christmas Eve if there are any to open. It’s pretty simple, but like I said, I’m flexible for activities with my loved ones.
    My “dream” Christmas look would probably come out of Victoria magazine…lol. But, I’m real and live a real life with 3 kids under 7 years old, so that’s not where my true dreams are. I am living my dream with my family, and that (and the birth of Jesus) are the biggest parts of celebrating Christmas to me.
    Merry Christmas to you!

    • Erica MomandKiddo says

      Thanks, Lisa! It’s funny, but the more flexible I feel, the more I get done. It’s so relaxing to lower my expectations…

  13. says

    I don’t do cookies or crafting. As far as presents go, my husband and I treat each other during the year and buy a few things for Christmas. Most of my shopping is online and that is for the grandchildren. We enjoy going to local holiday events and buy one new ornament for our tree every year.

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