The Fifth Annual Do Less Be More Post

be more


For FIVE years Nesting Place has partnered with its friend DaySpring in bringing you the exact same post right before the Christmas rush. Five years is pretty much forever in internet years. But we all agree it needs to be said. Every year.

The other day at The Art of Simple Kat talked about her life motto: Do as little as possible as well as possible

do less

Sometimes I feel like my motto is the opposite: Do as much as possible as imperfectly as possible so I can just get by. That’s the worst. Don’t be me.

Instead I want to Do Less & Be More. It’s cliche but true.

Right now, right before the crazy of the holidays is the perfect time for me to regroup and to remind myself that I don’t want to just get through Christmas and Thanksgiving distracted. I want to slow them down. I want to enjoy them. I want to BE.

gratefultray & memo board

One of the ways I do that is to write a Not To Do List. If writing a To Do list makes you feel like you need to get to work getting things done, the Not To Do List is a freeing gift you give to yourself.

1. I am choosing not to send out Christmas Cards and I will not have guilt

2. I am choosing not to automatically say YES to anything on my schedule, I’ll take a few hours, talk it over with Chad and THEN decide if I can actually commit to whatever it is.

3. I refuse to go into a life-sucking crowded mall (said the introvert and also Ron Swanson) the little shopping I need to do will be online. Or early in the morning at Target. Amen.

4. I will not try to do everything myself. We are hopefully hosting Thanksgiving (pending our kitchen sink installation) and two Christmas gatherings. When people ask ‘what can I bring?’ I’ll tell them and thank them profusely.

chevron stockings

And in honor of doing less and being more DaySpring is giving away a $500 gift card to one reader. One of you will have a Christmas shopping spree (without the mall! YES!) and $500 is more than enough to cross a lot of names off your list and then, “if you got any money left over buy yourself something REAL nice, Clark”  (name that Christmas movie).


If I won the shopping spree here’s what I’d get–multiples of some (maybe something for me, but most as fantastic gifts for anyone from your mother-in-law to your niece!)

dayspring gifts

row 1:

Lisa Leonard Gold Chevron Necklace (I’ve given this to Caroline & other friends & my sister-in-law)

Black & White Stocking (I have these!!)

(in)mercy Kenya Poster (seen here, great for that pre-teen you know)

row 2:

Daily Grace Platter (deliver cookies on it and leave it as a gift)

As For Me & My House Canvas (I’ve given this as a wedding gift, great for first Christmas for new married couple)

Jesus Calling (in)courage edition  (I’ve given Jesus calling to almost everyone I know, we buy them by the stacks)

row 3:

Dough Bowl  (my mom and mother-in-law both received one of these)

The Greatest Gift (order one for yourself now, the perfect advent companion!)

Daily Grace Pitcher (you write on it!)



And since only one person can win. And since I have a feeling you are like me and want to give meaningful beauty this season without having to be a mall slave, and since wouldn’t it be wonderful to have some things marked off your list… here’s a super early, Super Sale code good thru Cyber Monday, on all you order from DaySpring, even Clearance items, with the exception of the Super Deals which are already crazy discounted.

Use code: 30SPECIAL

for 30% off your ENTIRE ORDER

This deal even works on BOOKS!  Remember how I told you that Chad and I often give away books at Christmas and graduation and birthdays? This is how, we buy them by the stack, now, during the big Super Sale with the discount. Now is the time to get any books that you want to give away any time this year.


Leave a comment telling us what’s on your NOT To Do List to be entered to win the $500 gift card from DaySpring. Then click over here armed with your 30% off code: 30special to show your Christmas list who’s boss.



  1. Great advice and a great motto. Thank you. Forgot to add my name to above comment. ^^^Obviously need to slow down :-)

  2. Not on my list: Pinterest. Enough said. Loving your encouragement for boundaries in this season of endless choices.

  3. I will be sending cards and baking and having my family over Christmas Eve. It’s one of the times we get to spend time as a family and enjoy each other’s company. I want to enjoy Christmas this year so I am taking my time to decorate and not pressure myself to have everything done by a certain date. I won’t go into debt to buy presents but instead plan on just sticking to my list and my spending plan. I want to go see the live nativity at a local church and spend some time enjoying looking at my Christmas tree. My plan this year is to simplify and just enjoy the true meaning of Christmas.

  4. I will not chase after Christmas. I will be still, know that He is, and enjoy the journey as he places people in my path along the way until that day. Christmas is daily. I will not race to it as a destination but commit to worship it right here, right now, with Him instead. This approach led me to erect my Christmas tree on Halloween-it’s such an adventure.

  5. Rebecca Ranes says

    Thank you for the chalenge of the “To Not Do” list… funny your message came at a time I was already thinking of this. So here is my list!

    (1) NOT send out empty-hearted Chirstmas cards and gifts out of a sense of seasonal social obligation
    ….. B U T … BE thankful by making time to spend a few moments this season with each of my special family, friends and special church members over a small plate of homemade goodies and a cup of coffee/tea letting them know how special they are and how they have affected my life this year (even it if means mailing a small goodie and an invite to Skype or a phonecall). but taking the time sitting, talking and praying with them… Honoring them by BE-ing there.

    (2) NOT extravagantly decorate the house this year with every seasonal decoration cheesey or shiny know to the free world – they are all staying boxed this year!
    … B U T… BE-ing “IN the spirit” and Honoring the season in itself not the material items associated with it by decorate with maybe only a half dozen items in the whole house that are truly meaningful to my husband, my young daughters and me.

    (3) NOT encourage my girls to buy empty gifts for special people
    … BUT… encourage them to find other ways to show people how special they are like make a small simple but useful gift from the heart.

    (4) NOT do things in my name this season,
    ….BUT… I will BE an ambassador of Christ’s love and find ways to annonymously help or meet needs of others this season.