Show Notes

Episode 28: Letting the Holidays Be Easy

The holiday season can be really hard on perfectionists, who often want to do it all and do it right. This week Shannon and Janine talk about making it easier for perfectionists to let the holidays be easy.

Discussion topics include:

  • How “shoulds” can get in the way of enjoying the holidays
  • Janine’s truly simple holiday traditions
  • Choosing the elements of the holidays that are doable
  • The time-saving benefits of holiday cookie exchanges
  • How the December holidays can be challenging for perfectionists
  • How Shannon creates the holidays she wants (including this year’s Thanksgiving of giving)
  • Embracing good enough to make holidays easier
  • How giving clutter-free gifts helps the recipient and makes gift-giving easier
  • A special clutter-free gift idea from special guest Miranda Adams, Janine’s niece
  • Giving the gift of experiences or services, rather than stuff
  • Choosing a theme word to capture the essence of what you want for the season to use as a guidepost to help you make choices
  • Starting earlier on holiday tasks to avoid the stress of last-minute activities


  • Minted, the awesome service Janine uses to personalize, print and address her holiday cards (that’s an affiliate link)
  • Care, the charity gift-giving service Miranda mentioned

2 thoughts on “Episode 28: Letting the Holidays Be Easy”

  1. So I have gotten to good enough for my holidays. I got rid of all my Christmas decorations (enough for several trees’ worth) when I moved to my one-bedroom loft in downtown Kansas City. I had always admired my friend’s 3-foot tree made entirely out of brightly-colored glass balls. She was very sweet and gave it to me when I moved. So, Christmas decorating? Put it on the coffee table, boom, done! No longer will I spend hours and hours making everything “festive” and tiring myself out in the process.

    I had to laugh when I heard Shannon talking about her Thanksgiving at Popeye’s. I remember one year my mother went to visit my newly-divorced brother at the holidays. He didn’t have anything in the house to eat and had to work that day at the newspaper, so he just dropped her off at a movie theater to watch movies all day until he picked her up. Her “Christmas dinner” was a movie-theater hot dog! For years she and I laughed about her Christmas hot dog.

    My family had one really nice Christmas tradition which my sister picked up when she had her own family and now her children are continuing the tradition with theirs. You see, both of my grandfathers had already passed away. One out-of-town grandma sent lavish presents each year, and the local grandma had very little money. So that her presents wouldn’t get lost in the hoopla of Christmas, my parents started a wonderful tradition. Every Christmas Eve my dad would sneak out of the house while we were celebrating, he would wait until he saw a plane with a red light on it up in the sky, and then he would deposit a big box with our family’s presents in it from Grandma on the front porch, pound on the front door, and then run away, usually carrying a bunch of sleigh bells so that it sounded like reindeer. When we opened the door, Mom and Dad (he had run around the side of the house and come in the back door by then) would point up in the sky and say, “Look! There’s Rudolph!” We would jump up and down with glee — and Grandma’s presents would be just as exciting even though they weren’t expensive. As the years went by, my older brother would take over for Dad when his legs gave out. I was about eight when I started to think maybe there wasn’t a Santa Claus, and I started to hang around my brother to make sure he didn’t slip away. The next two years, they enlisted a neighbor boy to drop off the presents and shake the bells as he ran away. I ended up believing in Rudolph for two years after I stopped believing in Santa Claus because I had SEEN him with my own eyes! My parents told me later that sometimes when it was really cold, they didn’t wait for a plane with a red light. We were so impressionable that we thought we saw Rudolph’s nose even when there was nothing in the night sky!

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