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6 Ways to Keep the Holidays Simple

We've all been there. It's finally Christmastime and we couldn't be more excited for this "most wonderful time of the year." We have all sorts of expectations for how magical and meaningful it will be.

But then, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle. We stress out over shopping for the perfect gifts and we get frustrated when our Christmas decorations don't resemble the Pottery Barn catalog. Family photo sessions go awry, kids freak out when they go meet Santa and toddlers throw tantrums during carefully planned Advent activities.

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Everything we thought Christmas would be goes flying out the window and before we know it, it's time to throw out the tree and pack up the ornaments for next year. If you're tired of trying to do ALL THE THINGS and have the picture-perfect, Pinterest-worthy Christmas, I've got some tips for you. Here are 6 ways to keep the holidays simple this year...

1. Set a limit on gifts. Believe it or not, no one will be with you on Christmas morning to make sure you bought your kid everything from Target. In fact, your kid will be better off with fewer things. At my house, we stick to 3 main gifts: something to wear, something to read, and something to play with. It makes gift-giving sweet and simple.

2. Learn to say no. If you say "yes" to every invitation, you will be Secret-Santa-ing and white-elephant-ing and Christmas-cookie-exchanging all month long. If you want a slower, more laid back holiday season, you've got to say no. Pick your favorite events to attend and skip the rest.

We stress out over shopping for the perfect gifts and we get frustrated when our Christmas decorations don't resemble the Pottery Barn catalog.

3. Practice quiet time every day. This season is busier than all of the rest, so make sure you set some time aside for peace and quiet. If you pray, pray. If you meditate, meditate. If you just want to lay your head on your pillow and listen to 10 minutes of soothing music, go for it. Quiet time is essential for our physical and spiritual selves.

4. Give thanks. This time of year, we are bombarded with sales and things we have to have. And while it might seem like the season to be greedy, it's actually just the opposite. Start a ritual of giving thanks for the things that you have been given.

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5. Spread love. If you really want to have a meaningful Christmas, do things that make a difference. Adopt a family, donate to the food bank, support a winter clothing drive, pay for the car behind you when you're in line for a coffee. This world needs more people to give love on a daily basis.

6. Spend time with ones you love the most. Slow down and really enjoy a night with your family. Don't feel pressure to Instagram it or share it on Facebook. Let go of your expectations so that you can enjoy the moment for what it really is.

Image via Getty Images

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