When You’re Not Quite Ready for Christmas


I want to encourage you today. Maybe your house isn’t clean, your gifts aren’t wrapped or you don’t have the finances to purchase gifts, and you won’t have time to bake the cookies you wanted to make. It’s okay. Christmas will come and go, and more than our family wants us to have everything perfectly done, they want us to be present and pleasant.

And you know, there’s so much beauty in the undone. There’s beauty in the imperfect. And we can find joy amidst the mess and the tight budgets.

If you need a few last-minute ideas or encouragement, here are some things you may like. Don’t read all of these articles. Just pick and choose a few that will help you the most:



Embracing an Imperfect Holiday – on Beauty through Imperfection.

The Christmas Cookie Disaster – Sometimes it’s easy to think that other people’s Christmases are perfect and beautiful all the time, but that’s simply not true. In this post about my nearly disastrous cookie baking experience, I share how I finally realized that my attitude matters more than the circumstance.

Why We Simplified Christmas This Year – by Money Saving Mom.

Dealing With Difficult Relatives During the Holidays – on Worshipful Living.



22 Themed Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List – If you’re trying to think of a last-minute gift for someone on your list, then read this article. Not only are there 22 great themed ideas, but each idea is also frugal and (mostly) clutter-free! Plus over 30 other gift lists are included in the link-up on this post so you’re sure to find some fantastic inspiration.

10 MORE Themed Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List – Whether you’re looking for stocking stuffers, need a last-minute co-worker or family gift, or just want a little fun inspiration, you’ll definitely want to check out these neat ideas.

Celebrating a Memorable Christmas on a Zero-Dollar Budget – by Brandy at the Prudent Homemaker.

How to Frugally Fill Awesome & Clutter-Free Stockings – Enough Said 🙂

Scheduling, Cleaning & Organizing


Last Minute Holiday Sanity-Saving Tips – If you need to simplify your holiday to-do’s but aren’t sure where to start, then check out this article for practical tips and encouragement.

How to Keep Your Kid’s Christmas Gifts From Taking Over Your House – This was one of the most brilliantly simple ideas I’ve ever had and I just had to share it.

How to Fake a Clean House in Less Than 20 Minutes – If you want a cozy feel amidst the chaos in your home this Christmas, or if company is coming on short notice, then you’ll definitely want to see the tips in this article.

Crafts, Recipes & Decor

Christmas Dinner

Simple & Elegant Christmas Dinner Menu – This is what I’ll be making for Christmas Dinner this year. Maybe you’ll see a few ideas that you like?

25 Frugal Days of Christmas – Check out this link-up for crafts, recipes, and other fun ideas.

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments – My friend Stephanie introduced me to these Christmas tree decorations, and they’re absolutely wonderful! These are so easy that my five-year-old can make them almost completely by herself and these beautiful ornaments make the house smell amazing.

A Cute and Easy Way to Display Greeting Cards – If you’re looking for a quick way to display your greeting cards, then simply put them on a bookshelf or try this idea. And I’d love to know: how do you display your greeting cards?

Christmas In The Midst Of Our Mess – by the Nester.

More Christmas-ing

You can read all of my Christmas articles here or see my Christmas inspiration board on Pinterest.

What’s one thing you do to simplify Christmas preparations?

A Cute and Easy Way to Display Greeting Cards


I love receiving cards in the mail! But it seems like such a waste when those beautiful cards are just piled up on a shelf somewhere.

So in a moment of creative-ness when I needed to find a place for our Christmas cards this year, I grabbed some twine and looped it over the hooks on our coat rack! Tying ribbon, embroidery floss, or yarn over coat rack hooks would also work.

So simple.

While it may not be perfect, it is finished! And in my opinion, imperfectly finished is better than unfinished perfection.

How do you display your holiday & other greeting cards?


Day 23 of Simple Organization

When Organization Isn’t About Perfection


During painting prep last week, my friend Katie helped move things from my entertainment center to Nathan’s and my bedroom floor.

When my family’s nice things were in our gorgeous entertainment center, it didn’t feel like too much stuff. But the second Katie and I started piling the items into my room, I realized exactly what I had been doing – I’d been storing organized clutter.

I’ve made a commitment to only keep things that my family loves and finds useful. Some of the things on my floor fit that description. Many items didn’t.

So Nathan and I spent an hour one evening making piles – trash, donate, and keep. That hour didn’t make the stuff in our room look perfect. But it’s more manageable. We can see our floor. I’ll be able organize the rest now that I don’t have to guess about what Nathan wants to keep and what we can donate.


He used to be a little bit of a pack rat. But he’s come a long way.

I have too.

Because I’m finally understanding that organization and good homemaking aren’t always about perfection. Sometimes organization is simply about doing our best to keep our homes nice for our families. For me, right now, my best means being okay with imperfect.

And while that’s not an excuse to live sloppily or to stop caring for our things, it is a freedom.

Our kids won’t remember the pictures in the corner, waiting to be hung. They won’t remember the pile of books on the floor. What they will remember is our attitude – how we made them feel.

Likewise, our husbands probably won’t notice the dishes in the sink or the laundry in the hamper. But they’ll remember how we greeted them when they arrived home from work, and they won’t soon forget what kind of attitude we had throughout the evening.

Memories are continually being made in our imperfect houses. We can embrace that as we cheerfully do our best – or we can constantly clean as we base our worth on the condition of our homes. It’s good to be a worker at home. It’s good to take care of our things.

But it’s also lovely to embrace imperfect.


Day 19 of Simple Organization. Read the rest here.

Less Stuff, More Space


“As you declutter, remember that the less there is, the less there is to clean. And, the less stuff there is, the more usable space you will have.” Davonne Parks, Chaos to Clutter-Free

I need this little reminder while I’m painting my living room, rearranging furniture, and moving our electronics and movies from a large entertainment center to a very small one to help create room for more seating.

Entertainment Center

I hope to have after photos to share soon, but this is where I am right now – trying to remember that things are just things and that the less stuff we have in our living room, the more space we’ll have for hospitality.

{See an update of my space here.}

31Days2014ButtonDay 18 of Simple Organization.