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Monday, October 12, 2015

The Less is More Project: Week 41 - Simplifying holidays and get-togethers

JSM, 2014

This weekend was Thanksgiving weekend for us Canadians, eager-people-who-cannot-wait-any-longer-to-stuff-themselves-with-turkey-and-pie.

And with special holidays come special challenges to simplicity. 

What are the traps? They are laid out before your company even shows up:

  • You clean too much
  • You decorate too much
  • You buy too much
  • You cook too much
  • You stress too much

Once family and friends arrive, you already feel exhausted. You nonetheless keep doing too much:

  • You haste too much
  • You serve too  much
  • You (still) clean too much
  • You talk too much
  • You eat (and drink) too much
  • You worry too much

If you are the guest instead of the host, don't rest on your laurels! You face the same traps:

  • You groom too much
  • You buy too much
  • You talk too much
  • You eat (and drink) too much

No matter what side you're on, host or guest, chances are you will overdo something. It's all too much! What are you going to do in order to simplify this year?

This Canadian Thanksgiving has given me a foretaste of the holiday season to come. This will be the first time ever that I go through the holidays during a Less is More Challenge, which is sure to prove interesting. It will also mark my first contribution to the Simplify the Season calendar, an initiative by Bethany Rosselit, who kindly asked me to write a piece. I was delighted to accept, and will be writing alongside some "bigger names" than me, such as Seth Godin, Tara Brach, Joshua Becker and Leo Babauta, among others. For an early peek, click below:

Simplify the Season


I made an early Christmas present purchase (buying early lowers stress!) Because yes, I will still give presents to my loved ones - presents were the one exception I had allowed for (although I will be more mindful in my choices, keeping everything reasonable). 

I also bought a throw blanket, for myself. It is now freezing at night here, and I get cold reading a book on the living room sofa. Instead of turning up the heat, I will use that wonderful blanket. Better for the environment.

Baking soda is my hair's new best friend. After using it for weeks (months?), I can testify that it works wonderfully instead of shampoo. However, my new experimentation with apple cider vinegar as conditioner proved far less conclusive. For one thing, it stinks! And I'm not sure it really conditions that well. I will have to give it a few more tries before I renounce though.

Your turn to share about your struggles and victories of the week! What did you resist? Did you donate or get rid of anything? Did you face any challenge? Please comment below! And...

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  1. What, no Slanket for you?

    My biggest hassle for the holidays is travel as my family is all over the country. On the rare occasion that they come here, the added work really is easier.

    1. Travelling to visit relatives can be a hassle for sure! It often comes up when I ask people what stresses them most about the holidays.

  2. Ive tried this year for the FIRST TIME to nip the crazy in the bud with my family and thanksgiving.
    I hope it works.

  3. Vinegar: It only works for long hair. When I had long hair it was a wonderful conditioner. I could only use it once a week because it would make my hair greasy otherwise. And honestly, it never made my hair smell bad!

    I am glad baking soda is still working so well for you :)

    I am trying to find my post and I can't :S