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. Amy Dinning says

    I am going to focus less on myself and more on others and how I can help them. I am going to focus less on what I want and more on what I am thankful for – starting a gratitude journel.

  2. I will not decorate the tree but let my girls choose how it should look.

  3. I’ve been talking about doing less and being more for several years now. This year I am taking baby steps!!

  4. I’m not using my Christmas decorations…at all. Our whole life is in storage right now–a job lost and a home sold forced our hand. But guess what? We’ve lived “being more” and having/doing less for five months now, and we’ve learned that simple is good…so very, very good. This Christmas season we are forgetting about the stuff and concentrating on our hearts. Can’t wait!

  5. Gale Starnes says

    I am not going to buy any gifts in December…I vowed to finish by Thanksgiving and did it!!! Now, i can just concentrate on the birth of Jesus!!!

  6. Yes, I do believe this is the year that we all focus on not what we want but what we can do for others.

  7. Sandra McClung says

    Im not going to try to buy for everyone in my family because I do not have the money to do that instead , Im going to spend more time with my family and be there when they need me because I do not know how much longer I will have them in my life and they all mean so much to me, just as I did today when I visited my parents 3 days after Thanksgiving and no one was there but me it was a great visit. I totally enjoyed there company :) JESUS SAVES

  8. I will not fret, but instead will rest.

  9. I am not sending Christmas cards this year.

  10. I’m not going to buy a bunch of cheap toys that my children will forget about in two days. Meaningful and something they’ve wanted for more than the length of a commercial; that’s what we’re aiming for!

  11. It’ll be hard to do, but I’ll try not to put up every Christmas ornament we have. I will also try to spend less on gifts for the kids, other family, and friends. Good luck to me!

  12. I am not doing Christmas cards this year!

  13. I will not overdo ANYTHING I am doing this Christmas! I WILL work & serve in excellence, but I will NOT overbook and overdo as I usually do each year and am so tired by Christmas Day, I can’t even enjoy it. :(

  14. I will not be traveling this year. Last year was a frenzy of visiting friends and family with a new born baby in tow. While catching up was wonderful, enjoying my little family without the packing and shuffling all over the countryside will be bliss.

  15. Every year my husband designs our Christmas cards, prints them, I help fold them, and then we print envelopes. No designing this year. We also will be sending crafts home with the children we pick up for church so they can enjoying making them with their family. I will only bake cookies when I want to, not because I have to make so many and different types. Also, I will wrap the presents early and not wait til the last minute. I won’t stay up late trying to mark one more thing off the “to do list” and get the rest needed.

  16. I’m NOT going to spend days planning, shopping, baking, assembling and delivering goodies to everyone I know like I usually do every year. (Well, maybe one or two.)

  17. This Christmas season I am NOT going to gain 5 pounds. I’m still going to eat all the Christmas cookies I want but the 5 extra pounds are not happening. I’m not even going to work out, just cookies but no extra pounds. That sounds awesome… ;)

  18. If I win this giveaway- I am not going to fret or go into debt to give meaningful gifts to my sisters, mom, m.i.l, and friends!!

    Thanks for a fantastic giveaway!

  19. Melissa Collins says

    I will not stress over the small things and try and enjoy each day so that I can make memories with my beautiful girls and husband. Thanks! :)

  20. This year I am going to focus on spending as much time as I can with my three little girls. I am not going to spend a lot of time baking, writing Christmas cards or worrying about a clean house. I would love to win this so I don’t have to bring a 5 yr old, 3 yr old, and 6 month old to the city 40minutes away to Christmas shop.

  21. I am NOT
    … going to see the Nutcracker yet again
    … filling our calendar with commitments (there are, though, grayed-out “we feel like doing something” options)
    … pulling out every winter decoration we own
    … filling the house with sugary and fatty foods just because it’s the jollydays
    … slacking off on my running because I’m a weather wimp
    … living up to other’s expectations of what my holiday should look like.

  22. I am not going to send Christmas cards or participate in a cookie exchange…but I am going to spend more time in God’s Word reading the Gospels.

  23. I will not feel guilty for not baking all kinds of cookies & candies!

  24. I am not going to obsess over my Christmas decorating, but keep
    it simple and fresh…..and focus on where I can be the blessing in this
    world of need.

  25. What lovely thoughts all have shared! I am going to focus on comfort – not as a noun, but as a verb. How can I bring comfort to others? Through thoughtful gifts … being present in the moment … taking time to really listen. I will NOT get caught up in the gift-buying frenzy.

  26. I’m doing about a third of my normal decorations and weeding thru the remainder.

  27. I think it’s so important to do less and BE more. I got excited when I heard this from Mr. Lessin, because we so rarely hear it from anyone these days and we don’t experience it from other’s either. I grew up spending time with family and friends and it was wonderful. I thought it would always be this way but then when I got grown, I looked around and everyone was too busy to spend time together. It makes me sad. When I think of Christmas it’s a time to step away from the daily routine and focus on Jesus’ Birth and all that that means to us and the world. It’s a time to BE with family, listening and enjoying them and all the lovely things the season of Christmas has to offer. This is what I like to BE. Thank you. Sincerely, Brett Elise Davis

  28. Hannah Wilson says

    Thank you for such a good & thought-provoking post! This is a reminder I often need. This Christmas I will NOT feel bad for taking time to relax- spending time with my new husband, friends, and family. I will not get caught up in finding the perfect gift. Instead my siblings decided we will only give things that we made or found in thrift stores. I will not forget the greatest gift is JESUS- and the reason we celebrate!

  29. I am not going to stop dancing because I am not going to get out of shape, gain weight, get stressed, or go overboard with shopping.

  30. I am not going to worry about everything being perfect and just enjoy it!

  31. I’m only putting up the Christmas decorations I really love! I’m not going to put up those that I have just because I’ve always had them but I don’t really like!

  32. Ah, learning to say no is a big part of slowing down and being intentional. Great post.


  33. Due to the fact my husband has been out of work for afew years, money is tight- SO– I am forced- and maybe it is a true BLESSING from God- to relook at the reason we celebrate Christmas. I have a huge limit this year fior my kids and grandkids. Giving them things I hope they will like and also has meaning. May not send cards, may not buy for everyone I would like too. But maybe I can GIVE from the HEART, my time, a compliment, some thing home-made.
    I LOVE the idea of giving up “things” I have and don’t use- MAYBE we can do that with extended family- exchange “used” but thoughtful and creative things we want to share. What a wonderful way of recycling!!! BLESSING are not in THINGS!!!
    Thank you for the inspirational ideas…

  34. This website and comments are a breath of fresh air and a blessing to many. In recent years, my Sister and Brother decided we would only give gifts to my Mom and StepDad, not to each other. I haven’t sent Christmas cards for a while, or if I do, I only send to those who are out of state. Sometimes, instead of a card, I make phone calls to family and friends I haven’t seen or spoken to in a while; it’s much more fun, more can be shared, and I love hearing their voices. I have cut down on baking. This year I plan to continue these changes, as well as continue with my daily devotions, intercessory prayer, and focus on Jesus. I will relax more with my Husband. I will continue with my exercise routine, which reduces stress. I will be thankful for each blessing and the full life my Father God has given me. Thank you for this opportunity to share with others.

  35. Belinda Clark says

    I am not going to wait until the night before Christmas to put up my Christmas tree – because I’m trying to get the living room cleaned up and “good enough”. The way it looks now is “good enough”. Less perfectionism this year!

  36. Susan @ Busy Home Adventures says

    I am NOT going to bake. There. I said it.

  37. tia bennett says

    I am not writing a Christmas letter this year. I am also done shopping, so no frantic runs to the store!

  38. Jeanna Odum says

    I am not going to go in debt this Christmas. Instead I am going to think of those in need and what I can do to help. I am going to focus on what Christmas is really about and that is to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and give for his glory and stop trying to please everyone else. Things are so tight this year and Christmas has gotten to:”What did you get for me.” instead of what can I do for you. I’m not going to stress anymore over the holiday.

  39. I am not doing any last minute shopping or frivolous buying this year. I’m also praying to avoid the pre-event freak out this year!;) That requires the aid of the Holy Spirit for sure…

  40. We are NOT decorating!! No tree, no nothing!! The Army is moving us to a new duty station on December 15 so until then I will be packing and as soon as we move it will be time to go celebrate with family. So no decorating for us!

  41. This year I am(reluctantly) not going to send christmas cards and I am not going all out on the decorating. Simple touches in a couple rooms with have to do this year. Trying to focus more on enjoying the moment with family.

  42. I am not sending the traditional family photo holiday card this year. I don’t have any good pics of the 4 of us, and I just don’t feel like spending the money. I may not even send cards at all this year!

  43. I did NOT shop on Black Friday and am NOT going to stress over Christmas decorating. If the tree goes up, it does and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

  44. I am not going to wait until the last minute to get everything done and just enjoy the moments this year. Most years I am so stressed out and running – I forget to step back and just watch.

  45. Lana Belcher says

    I did not shop on black Friday. I will not stress over Christmas gifts. I am not going to try to get everyone I know a gift. My gift will be a sincere Merry Christmas! and a long hug and wishes for many blessings and for that person to come to know the love of God in a fresh new way this Christmas. I will not wait til the last minute to wrap my family’s gifts, but will be able to enjoy Christmas Eve and Morning. I will not be exhausted on Christmas morning. Instead I will awaken to enjoy my family and enjoy being a child of the Most High God!

  46. I am not putting up the Christmas tree this year. Some years in the past, it just sits there with no decorations on it right up until the night before Christmas! So I’m passing this year and already basking in the freedom from not having that on “the list”.

  47. I will not let this season past quickly.

  48. I am not sending out Christmas cards this year. We are usually late..sometimes even sending out New Years cards :) But this year, not even that. Minimal decorating and focusing on spending time playing games with my boys, loving on my hubbie and enjoying this season of life.

  49. I’m reading the Advent devotional “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” to help my heart be centered on Christ. Thanks for the Dayspring post-I think I will shop their sale for my mom and mom in law!

  50. Faith Mendoza says

    For me a big NOT to do would be, feeling guilty for saying “Merry Christmas” so I will NOT say “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” this year. And I will NOT, spend what I don’t have, instead I will pray about it, ask him, and do an action item. As another person here blogged, perhaps get some meaningful/thoughtful hand made or recycled gifts. I will NOT spend all my time and energy on the outward things, but will bring it home. Jesus has to be exalted first in our lives, before we can tell anyone else about celebrating him. I will NOT:focus on what I don’t have, but I will count my blessing and will be content with where I am now. God longs to bless us in our daily lives.

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