Simplicity and Holidays

"Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful" - John Maeda



Like everyone else, I struggle to keep life simple. It takes intentionality to say no to busyness and yes to simplicity. Otherwise, the chaos tends to rule the day and keep us running from one thing to another and another and life is anything but simple.

This Easter season, like every one before it, came with lots of expectations. I tend to expect a lot out of myself, my children and lif
e in general around holidays. Somehow I slip into thinking that there are 48 hours in each day and I will have plenty of time to... make that Easter wreath I found in a magazine, do those special Easter crafts I wanted to do with my kids each day of holy week, enjoy special prayer time and read a special devotional book to supplement my Bible reading during the weeks leading up to Easter.

Then reality hits. We're sick. Our van breaks down. We're behind in homeschooling. I've over-committed to things at church.

But as I've gone through this cycle over the years, I n
ow can see the lesson behind it. And instead of going on a guilt trip, feeling like a lousy mom or wife because I can't fit all of the extras in, I have found a way to escape it.


Instead of adding something else to an already crowded day, I ask myself if I can find a way to do something we're already doing just a little bit differently, thus making it "special."

This year, we did very little to prepare for Easter. However, starting on Palm Sunday, we picked up the Bible and read about Jesus' last week on earth and discussed the events together. We did this around the table while we ate or on Sunday morning, I read it in the van while my husband drove us to church. It didn't take major amounts of time or advance planning. It only required me to find a Bible, turn to the end of the gospels and start reading aloud.

It was simple.

But it was also profound. We all enjoyed it. My daughter had some questions. At the end of it all, I too felt like I hadn't let the season pass without some extra reflection on the life and sacrifice of Christ.

One other thing we did was also very simple. My daughter and I made unleavened bread to enjoy on Thursday, as we discussed Jesus' last supper with his disciples.

This lesson of simplicity comes back to me many times a year, but especially at Christmas and Easter. My hopes soar. I would love to spend hours on grand projects centered around the holiday themes. Yet, my days are consistently too short to accomplish much more than the day-to-day. But to find one or maybe two small ways (yes, small - keep it small) to change our day-to-day routines into something special that my kids will remember and something that makes the time meaningful for me as well - this is the key for me. Always coming back to simplicity.


Anonymous said...

How humbling! Thank you! I felt like I was reading something I was thinking but maybe to proud to admit! I love the unleavened bread idea and hope to do that with my own kids next Advent or even now. Do you have a recipe you used?

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