The Third Annual Do Less Be More Post

Grandma, Uncle Tracy, Aunt Alyson and Dad

There are 32ish days until Christmas.  And two things are certain; the days will pass faster than you expect and no matter how much you plan, this season isn’t going to be perfect.

Every year instead of focusing on what I’m gonna do, I first focus on what I’m not going to do.  Somehow it helps me feel a little more focused.  This year, I won’t put up lights outside {but my boys might} I won’t make teacher gifts, I won’t send Christmas Cards, I won’t enter a mall in a frantic search for the perfect gift,  I won’t say yes to things because I feel guilty for saying no.  My “no” got a good tune up and is running just fine thank you.

I will do less and be more.

Every Christmas for the past few years DaySpring has sponsored a post here at Nesting Place about that very thing–doing less and being more.  Kind of odd for a company that sells cards--don’t they know that sending Christmas cards is the first thing to go?  I always try to make sure they know what they are getting themselves into–so you are ok with me encouraging people to do less–even if that means they might rethink their buying habits?–yes they say in their gentle, confident way.  They remind me of that Santa at Macy’s on Miracle on 34th Street.  I mean, they sponsor a post and then I ramble on and on about how I wanted to move an armoire 2 inches to the right and then before you know it, I’m rearranging the entire downstairs.

So, back to me, since clearly I’m making this post all about my big self,  there are also things I do DO every single Christmas season.  We get a live tree, we watch Elf and of course, we give gifts.  We give gifts to celebrate the gift we have been given.  That photo up there of my Grandmother?  She made our childhood magical with the living room full of gifts each year.  She loved giving.  I’m not even sure she understood the real meaning of Christmas until the end of her life but, she understood the love involved with gifting.  Her home looked like it could be featured on a Christmas episode of Hoarders if there were such a thing of a hoard of beautifully wrapped Christmas presents precariously stacked on top of each other  in layer after glorious layer of shiny wrapped thoughtfulness.  Christmas at Grandma’s was the highlight of my childhood.

Prints by Jones Designs my post all about my love for them is here for your reading pleasure

I love gift giving and I want to be intentional with the gifts we give.  I’d love it if every gift we gave was Meaningful, Beautiful, Handmade, Personal and Useful.  But realistically, if I can hit one or two of those with every gift I give, I feel pretty good.

One thing DaySpring is really good at is providing us with Meaningful Beauty to keep and to gift.  They told me I could just link to the sale page to keep this post simple and to honor my love of doing less but, I wanted to show you a few of the super sale items because there are some things that we’ve talked about here before, things I’ve used in my own home, things my mom and friends like, things I think could make good gifts for people you love. And, you can avoid a crowded mall.  It’s truly a win win.

Here are some of the mind boggling sales on a few things I’ve used in my house–I’ll link to the posts but, the giveaways are closed for these old posts, if you are new here:

Lightweight Indestructible Grace Wooden Bamboo Tray

Wood Blocks

Wooden Caddy {a post about setting up a buffet shows how I use my caddy

Silhouette Nativity that you can remove the silhouettes and use year around

And because DaySpring is fun and generous, they are giving a whole slew of meaningful beauty.

One winner per 100 comments will win a few of my current favorite gifts to give: Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling and the flip calendar and my sister’s book Grace for the Good Girl along with a By Grace Alone necklace created by Lisa Leonard.  Great gifts to keep for yourself or to give away.  DaySpring even let me pick what I wanted to give away {I mean, they are giving it away but I got to pick because they are nice like that}.  These are the two gifts my husband and I gave away the most this past year.

And one super lucky person will pretty much get their Christmas shopping done.  One Grand Prize winner will get one of every item featured in the Super Sale–that’s over $530 worth of prizes–all that stuff in that photo collage above and more–click here to see everything and find out more about the sale.  And did you notice, that caddy is only $9!?

PS: is there something from DaySpring you’ve had your eye on but it’s not included in the Super Sale?  No worries, use code SUPER30 for 30% off your entire order {not including the Super Sale items}

Leave a comment telling us what you ARE NOT doing this Christmas season to enter to win one of these meaningful, beautiful prizes.  This contest will stay open until midnight Monday, November 28th, winners will hopefully be announced on Wednesday, the 30th.

{Winners announced HERE!}


  1. I have decided not to send Christmas cards this year . . . but we still had a family picture done just for me!

  2. i am NOT getting a sick bug like i just did for thanksgiving!!!

  3. I’m not going to worry about the gift recipient appreciating or using the gift, I’m just going to give from my heart.

  4. I am not baking so many sweets this year.

  5. I am not going to wait till the last minute to get my kids’ gifts like last year and sweat it out hoping they arrive in time for Christmas! :) This is a fun giveaway – thanks!!

  6. I’m not sure yet what we are not doing….but we have already discussed that we are NOT doing some of the things we usually do. (did that make sense?)

  7. I’m not going to put lights up or decorate the yard. I’m not going to make an amazing wreath for the front door, and I’m probably not going to do much to my mantle. I’m not going to find the perfect gift for my in-laws, nor am I going to let that fact bother me. I’m not going to make any special Christmas dresses or appliquéd shirts for my daughter, and I’m not going to finally get beautiful, professional family portraits made, but also I won’t be disappointed if we only get a decent looking amateur shot from a family function. I’m the mother of a toddler, and this is my life. Thanks for giving me the chance to unload some of the things I really DON’T have to do this season. :)

  8. I will not stress this Christmas like I normally do, but instead spend time celebrating the simple things with my family and the birth of my new son!!

  9. I will not go to the sales on Black Friday. I will go to the mall to walk and enjoy, not to buy. I will buy Christmas gifts when I have time when I do shopping for other things at a time when the stores are not as busy. I will stick to what I can afford. I will not worry if people will like them or not. I will mail my Grandson’s gifts early.

  10. I’m not going to stress about where the tree will be set up & if it will even be decorated- I’m not going to fret about the advent calendar that still isn’t finished or the stockings that might not be completed in time either. Instead I’m going to enjoy the time with my children & let them choose what to be a part of more this year.

  11. we are cutting back on buying presents. instead my daughter and I are going to make all the presents we are giving this year- more meaningful and heartfelt- what the person truly needs/enjoys, versus a gift bought on black friday in the rush of shopping!

  12. I am not going to concentrate on “things” and “to-dos” but instead on the three beautiful boys that God has given me, and my wonderful husband!

  13. I am not traveling this year. As much as I enjoy spending Christmas with my parents it is a year to enjoy my own family and the precious time we have to celebrate family and faith together without the stress and expense of long distance travel.

  14. I am not giving presents ” just because”. All gifts will have a meaningful purpose.

  15. I am not going to worry about what doesn’t get done. I will do what I can do and still enjoy it and then not worry about the rest. My mother-in-law always says, “All you can do is all you can do” and I’m going to rest in the wisdom of that this Christmas.

  16. I am NOT running around frantically getting last second gifts. My goal is to finish my shopping this week so I can enjoy the things I love most this time of year: hanging out with my family and baking, baking, BAKING!

  17. I am going to buy less preents and make hand made gifts for my inner circle of friends.

  18. I am not going to get caught up in the shopping and spending and laboring over the perfect gift, but rather give my life away in loving and serving others.

  19. Andrea Bailey says

    I am not going to overspend this year. We are only buying gifts with cash or debit card (for those great Internet sales). My children are getting 4 presents each and everyone else gets one. If I can’t show someone that I thought about them in one gift, then maybe I need to rethink what or why I am buying that gift. I am also trying to buy gifts that give back like Toms or Eternal Threads. These organizations make the money I am spending help others. Spreading love is at the heart of Christmas.

  20. I will not walk in guilt. I will not let the days go by frustrated with details and worried about the gifts I give. I will not forget to read, bake, and make snowflakes out of paper with my children. I will not forget to give towards missions! I will not go out and buy a single new decoration…instead we will make paper chains for the mantle.I will also not forget to watch elf! I love that movie.

  21. Pamela Gentry says

    I am not waiting until almost Christmas to put up & decorate our tree. (Thanks to help & encouragement from my daughter-in-law Liz). I am not waiting until Christmas Eve to wrap presents. I am going to constantly let my family know how much I love them. I am going to give to places I believe are helping others and give more items away that I think others could use. I’m going to pray for others more.

  22. I am not procrastinating and I am not stressing about things (with God’s help) My goal is to slow down and enjoy this beautiful Holiday as a family. We ARE doing the Jesse tree Christmas advent from Ann Voskamp. What a wonderful way to keep your focus where it needs to be. Thanks for the giveaways…

  23. I did not go to Black Friday sales. I didn’t put up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving day like I usually do. I am not going to buy wreaths or candles for our windows for our new house. I am trying to focus our money and attention on our needs and ways to bless others, not just on making our house pretty.

  24. I am going to give gifts out of love this year, not obligation.

  25. I am not waiting until the last minute to get all my Xmas shopping done.

  26. I love this! I’m not going to worry about what I’m doing and what I’m not doing. I’m going to cherish this CHRISTmas season!

  27. I am not going to miss the magical moments of the present by anticipating the next event, activity etc. I plan to live in the moment this Christmas season!

  28. I not sending out cards or going to the mall. I’m
    going to slow down and live in the moment.

  29. I am not going to procrastinate or overthink my gift giving. Less stress = a merrier Christmas:)

  30. Jenn Ferris says

    Usually every year I travel an hour away from home to go shopping in a major city departments stores and malls. This year I am going to stay home and do all of my shopping locally and not fight the crowds.

  31. NOT going to local amusement park’s “Christmastown!” too cold! too expensive! rather stay home and watch Charlie Brown’s Xmas with the kiddoes!

  32. Natalie Lenard says

    This year, I did not go black Friday shopping! I also am not going to impulse shop for my little one. Every year he ends up with tons of toys that he never plays with. This year I’m focusing on one or two things that he’s loved over the years (Thomas & Friends and Hotwheels) and then getting him one thing related to a new passion developed over this past year. I feel like these would be more meaningful to him than a bunch of easily forgettable toys.

  33. This year I am not going to worry about going to every event-I will enjoy my kids and husband and what gets done gets done and the rest will just have to wait.

  34. I am not going to do things the hard way this year. I’m choosing one gift for every family and I’m skipping the Christmas picture card. I think those two things will save a lot of time.

  35. I’m not sending out Christmas cards or making lots of sweets.

  36. How Generous! Lots of GREAT Stuff AND including 30% off?!!! :-)

  37. I am not expecting perfection on Christmas day, the house will not be spotless just the love of my family being together will be good enough. And i am not waiting until christmas eve to wrap presents though I will still wait to put the presents under the tree until christmas eve. we have a manger scene under the tree to remind us why we give gifts and leave it there until christmas eve! It was my solution many years ago to kids shaking and ratteling presents and wondering who’s present was the biggest. thanks for a chance to win some wonderful gifts.

  38. I am NOT putting out all of my Christmas decorations. I put up my tree and some of the decorations that are meaningful to me. Definitely a “less is more” that lets me do “less” and enjoy “more”! I am also NOT doing(and will not feel guilty about not doing) all the cute crafts that would make good gifts for people but would require me to start working round the clock and maybe hire an elf or two to finish on time. I am NOT spending too much money and our family is NOT going overboard on gifts. I want to be able to enjoy the season and focus on the real reason we have this special holiday.

  39. I am not going to worry about my house being clean. I’m going to spend more time enjoying the holiday season with my family instead.

  40. This year my extended family is not drawing names for a gift exchange. Instead we are using the money that we would have spent on each other to shop from the Compassion International & Samaritan’s Purse catalogs. So, no more stuff for us but rather something for others who truly need it.

  41. Jen McDonald says

    I’m not making so many treats for neighbors and I’m not sending out cards.

  42. Gina in Louisville says

    I am not going to spend money I don’t have on gifts people don’t want. Oh how I hope I can “not do” that one thing.

  43. I am not going to worry about buying everyone I know a gift or a card this Christmas.

  44. I am not going to worry about making the cute advent calendar that I have been collecting supplies for. I might buy the chocolate sort and call it good!

  45. I am not going to try so hard to have the “perfect” Christmas. I am going to do what I feel like doing, and let the rest be. No perfect decor, perfect meals, perfect gifts, perfect wrapping, perfect baking. Forget it! I am going to truly enjoy the holiday season this year.

  46. Less pressure on myself to make everything perfect and meaningful, less frantic running around….more intentional time with our sons, more freedom to spend time informally with friends and family, more early online shopping.

  47. I will not spend more on gifts than I can afford. I will give my kids less this year because that is what we can afford. I will not make myself crazy to try and get my house decorated by Dec. 1!

  48. such lovely things

  49. I’m not going to worry about gifts for the adults. I mean really, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t buy whatever they want when they want it. I may be dating myself, but it’s not like it was when I was a kid where everyone made a Christmas list. And it was such a nice surprise to get something you wanted from your list.

  50. I’m giving myself permission to stay home a lot this month, to listen to music and to breathe. I hope this will overflow into a my family as I enjoy them more! Reflective time is an essential part of having a peaceful holiday!

    Jill Farris

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