3 Tips to Simplify This Holiday Season + A GIVEAWAY!

As a mom, blogger & photographer, Christmas is the busiest time of year for me. It seems like every year I get caught up in the craziness & forget to just ENJOY the season. That’s why this year I’m determined to simplify! One of the things I’m doing is cutting back on physical gifts for my kids & gifting them experiences instead. In the spirit of this, I’ve teamed up with Goldfish Swim School for a special holiday giveaway. (Hint: gift of experience!) Read on to learn 3 tips to simplify this holiday season + details on my Goldfish Giveaway!

I’m purging all the things.

This year, I’m cleaning out before Christmas. I started in the basement & it’s taking me muuuuch longer than I expected– SO much stuff, you guys! I’ve been selling on Facebook Marketplace, donating & trashing. It feels so good to purge & get organized! I still have a long way to go, but little by little we’ll get it done. Hopefully in time for Christmas, ha! :)

I’m not sweating the small stuff.

I’m not sending out Christmas cards this year. There. I said it. Actually, I already made a family photo happen (I forced my family out in a blizzard, LOL) but I’m not stressing about getting the photos printed. I’ll spend hooours designing “the perfect” card you guys. I’m crazy! I also don’t feel like tracking down everyone’s new addresses, paying for postage, & making sure they get sent out in time, all for someone to throw the card out after Christmas. I’ll take that time saved & spend it baking or having the ultimate hide-and-seek match with my kiddos :) & absolutely no shame to those who send out cards. I’m just way too much of a perfectionist to keep it the simple task it should be, ha! 

I’m simplifying.

This year, we’re gifting meaningful experiences instead of “just because” presents. Research shows that kids who have less toys are actually more creative & can focus more– it totally makes sense!

A meaningful experience can be beneficial in many ways, as experiences are linked to:

  • family bonding
  • a sense of security for children
  • higher rates of academic success
  • lower rates of violence

While we’ll still have some fun things to open that will encourage creativity, imagination & curiosity (books– TONS of books, open-ended/imaginative play things, science experiment stuff, games etc.) but I’m not going crazy shopping for all the things this year. My kids’ love language is time, so the rest will be experiences like these–

  • Zoo/Park/Museum memberships
  • Lessons/Sports/Activities (Dance, Martial Arts, Piano)
  • Pottery Painting
  • Family game night package
  • Movie experiences
  • Bowling experiences

Aside from going to the zoo/park/museums, we tend to be homebodies. I set up activities for the kids on a regular basis (check out my IG stories for fun ideas!) & we’ll do a pizza & movie night at home once a week, but we don’t really go “out.” I’m excited to bring the kids to the movies or bowling alley for the first time! (Kids are 2 & 4. How have we NOT gone yet!?) 

In the spirit of gifting meaningful experiences, I’ve teamed up with Goldfish Swim School to give away FREE swim lessons! We’ve been with Goldfish for almost a year now & the kids love it! Be sure to check out my post How Goldfish Swim School Got Us Through Winter & watch this video to see everything Goldfish has to offer.

Enter to Win Free Swim Lessons!

Here’s where you can enter to win FREE SWIM LESSONS with Goldfish Swim School! Here’s what you’ll get:

  • 2 Months of Swim Lessons
  • Free Registration
  • Various Goldfish Retail Items: Bubbles story book, water bottle and more (retail items vary by location)

Giveaway ends December 31, 2018.

Yes, I want to win free swim lessons!

Goldfish Chicago Holiday Package

If you live in the Chicago area, you can also get the Goldfish Chicago Holiday Package for $199 (valued at $245!) Here’s what’s included:

  • 2 Months of Group Lessons 
  • Waived Annual Membership Fee
  • 2 Family Swim Passes 
  • Various retail items including: Bubbles story book, water bottle and more (retail items vary by location)

If you’ve been considering swim lessons, now is the time to take advantage of this deal before it’s over!

I’m wishing you all a stress/chaos/clutter free Christmas & holiday season! Stay tuned for some gift guides & ANOTHER GIVEAWAY coming soon. Thanks for stopping by!

XO, Kristen