My basket£0.00

Jane’s Journal

All postsMaking & CraftGardening & NatureArt & CultureSlow LivingPeople & PlacesFood & DrinkStudio Club

What is your idea of a simple Christmas?


The year when we were snowed in for most of December changed the way we celebrate Christmas. I had never thought of myself as extravagant or wasteful, but - as I decided not to venture out into the roads to shop - it became clear that many, maybe most, of the things I would have normally bought in December were exactly that.

Year after year I would fall for all those extras - single use, novelty, mass produced - from Christmas cat toys to colour themed fairy lights. Looking back I wonder if it was because I've never been a natural fan of Christmas but felt that I maybe just wasn't trying hard enough.

Now Christmas for us is simply a meal, pared back gifts, family, walks. My favourite bit is my daughters playing music and singing - something I miss terribly now that they are grown and flown the nest. Their favourite bit is lying in a heap of animals in front of a fire.

I would love to know what simple ways you celebrate Christmas. Please let me know in the comments.

You may also enjoy …

Comments: 6 (Add)

You must be signed in to post a comment. If you're already a member, please sign in now. If not, you can create an account here.
Ros Gray

I feel something shifted for me after last Xmas when we spent a very quiet Xmas at home. I usually beat myself up to make cards, have a lovely table decorated etc. We just ate what we fancied with some treats and had a lovely long walk on Xmas morning. This year it will be much the same with a few small things, oranges studded with cloves, making mince pies to 9 lessons and carols. Going to a Carol service. Small things for us not for what others think or are doing. We are enough.


In reply to Ros Gray
That sounds very similar to the snowed in Christmas shift Ros - that when there is an excuse for paring everything back/no way you can do the usual homeports of it turn out not to have been needed at all.
I now absolutely know that 90% of the things I would do in the last week running up to Christmas Day were just a reaction to the hype and also what I felt was expected.
And that often exhausted me, not to mention the money and waste involved!
It sounds as though you now know exactly what means the most to you. J x
Corrie Fairlie

It was a delight to read your message dear Jane on how to approach the Christmas season without all the noise. For me too it is essential to be with family and friends and enjoy our time together. I have two grown -up sons, a daughter in law and a young granddaughter. Since 2018 I have not wanted gifts just a donation to a wildlife charity. I give them smaller presents each year since 2018. They know I love them, they know I don't need to express my care for them in material things.
A tradition which my mother gave to me and I continue, is the reading of a short passage from the bible's Christmas story just before we have our Christmas meal. To be thankful for that story of hope, goodwill to all creatures great and small and peace on Earth. I vary it sometimes with a Christmas poem or an extract of a traditional Christmas Carol. Thank you Jane for your reflections on how to be calm and quiet at this time of year.


In reply to Corrie Fairlie
Thanks Corrie - your Christmas sounds very beautiful and meaningful, restorative even. I love that you are passing down family traditions. J x
Andrea Thomas

My Christmas's in Canada were all about last minute frantic running around and i was an only child.
When i moved to the UK, my cousin continued the frantic tradition as she had a son, who eventually got married and had 2 children. But slowly, slowly i decided it was to be a quiet, restful time for me, one where i can do what i want, eat what i want, read or watch a movie at any time of the day for at least a long weekend. I have little family now, and none in Italy so i do spend time explaining that i am ok by myself.....I do give mostly handmade gifts to special people, lots of pannetone's are also gifted to neighbours and friends and I will spend some time with a dear friend who is 101 but the impulsive buying, filling the house with un-needed stuff and food has long gone. Can't wait to start playing my extensive list of Cmas carols which i have collected over the years.

Kelly Ireland

Our Christmas season has always been quite basic compared to others. My nephew once asked my son how naughty he had been, as Santa didn't seem to bring him many big presents. I've always preferred to look at Christmas as a season rather than a day. Living on a North facing hill with a large woodland behind us means we are probably more excited about solstice and the return of the light!