May Your Holidays be Simply Beautiful

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When I think of the holidays, I get excited for all the events and activities—but then reality hits me, and the stress starts to mount. I need to help clean, decorate, cook, and buy and wrap presents, all in the span of a few weeks. Thinking about this makes me wish I could be like Mary Poppins: With a snap my fingers, everything would be done.
However, this year, I’m trying to implement a new motto to carry with me through the busy holiday season: Simple is beautiful.
Instead of decking the halls with an overload of decorations, simply hang a wreath with a bow on the door, decorate the Christmas tree, and do something for the fireplace mantel. Those three decorations should be enough to give your house the simple, holiday-decorated look it deserves, without feeling too overwhelming.
Cooking and Baking
We all know that the holidays bring massive amounts of food to the table. This year, instead of making a main dish and having ten side dishes, opt for making a main dish, two side dishes, and a dessert. This limits how much food you have to make and keeps your meal portions down to a minimum, with hardly any leftovers. 
When it comes to baking all those cookies, its time to cut down on that as well. Making a small plate or two of cookies for your family is plenty, and it will keep your cravings for sweets at a low.
I hate malls around the holidays. The lines, the unhappy sales people, and the unhappy customers make it hard  to enjoy the holidays at all. Instead of going to malls to get presents, go to small mom and pop shops in the towns around West Michigan. There are so many cute little stores with loads of unique items that would make for special gifts.
If for some reason you can’t get out to visit those small town stores, shop online. This saves a lot of time and also helps you avoid the crowds. Some online stores, and mom and pop shops, offer gift-wrapping—which will help you save time.
Remember: Simple is beautiful.

ChelseaIntern-bwWritten by: Chelsea Stoskopf, an intern at Serendipity Media. She's finishing up her journalism degree at Grand Valley State University and counting down the days to her wedding next July.

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