Should You Embrace “Celebration Minimalism”? One Mama Shares How to Reduce Stress During the Holiday Season & Beyond

In any given calendar year, we’ve got a whole slew of events that encourage us to pause, acknowledge, and celebrate a tradition, a human, a special moment. 


Annual family gatherings. 

Big and little milestones. 


These might be experiences that you look forward to all year. Or — if we’re being really honest — they might also be experiences we dread. And when you add babies, toddlers, or children of any age to the mix, it can create a crushing amount of pressure to make things absolutely perfect.

As a result, we might bite the bullet and do things that stress us out, that don’t bring us any joy, or that we straight up loathe just to keep up with traditions or expectations. But what if it didn’t have to be like that? What if instead of doing what you’ve always done, you sat back and contemplated what really matters?

How do you want to feel on those special days and, more importantly, how do you want to feel after? Getting clarity on all of the above empowers you to honor what feels aligned and right for you and your family vs. powering through an abandoning yourself in the process.

Factoring your vision and your joy into the planning phase is the secret sauce to not feeling exhausted, depleted, or resentful. I love the sound of that, how about you?

Now, you might be wondering, How do I get clarity here? How do I approach doing things differently? I’ve got you. The questions below are meant to spark ideas to find happiness, rest, and ease amid celebrations. 

You may find that you keep all your traditions. That you’ve been nailing it all long and wouldn’t change a thing. You may also find yourself wanting to change some things. More importantly, you get to define what these celebrations look like for you!

Pre-Celebration Questions: Get out a journal and write for five minutes or sit and think about your answers. You can do this right now or bookmark a time in your calendar. Note: These answers can (and often do) evolve and change over time. 

  1. How do you want to feel before, during, and after the celebration? What’s your highest priority? 
  1. What would your Pinterst board look like if you created these days to be filled with happiness, rest, and ease or your highest priorities in mind? 
  1. What do you see as essential (activities, food, presents, travel, etc.) to create those feelings of happiness, rest, and ease? 
  1. What would you want to get rid of, stop doing, or add to your celebration days? Bonus: Ditch the guilt and see this as an opportunity to bring the fullest version of yourself into celebrations. 
  1. How do you plan to communicate your new or updated holiday or celebration plans to those you love? 

Here’s a real life example: 

Something that’s changed my life, regarding how I approach holidays and birthdays, is what I call “celebration minimalism.” 

To me, it’s all about giving myself full permission to only focus on what gives me and my family joy, creates ease, and allows me to rest. 

This year, instead of driving six hours to see my family, baking cookies for weeks in advance, making an Insta-worthy dinner, and wrapping presents until midnight, we booked a local holiday train ride for Christmas Eve for our family. 

The train provides entertainment, cookies, and hot cocoa. Bonus: All we have to do is show up!

We do minimal physical gifts as part of our “celebration minimalism.” This experience is a gift to my children and allows me to really enjoy the holiday, show up fully, and be present with my family, which is my highest priority.

Your time, budget, and highest priorities may look different than mine. This is why I encourage you to answer the questions above and define what’s most important to you. This way you can honor your highest priorities, show up fully, and wake up the next day feeling joyful!

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