The Christmas “Un-Bucket” List: What I Won’t be Doing This Year.

What NOT to do at Christmastime

I left Bath and Body Works the other day a little miffed. I realize that statement should be an oxymoron. Usually, my nostrils are so filled with all the Cinnamon-Pecan-Vanilla wonderment that nothing can dampen my mood, but alas, their marketing got to me. Exhibit A.


Christmas Advertising

The Perfect Christmas. Now understand, I am NOT ragging on B&BW. I happen to be a massive fan of their candles. They’re just doing their marketing thing and they’re doing it like a boss. (I myself have used the “P” word before in posts such as thisbut c’mon that yellow coat is pretty darn near perfect 😉 )


HOWEVER, I think we’re buying into an underlying message here and that’s what I want to get after today.

We can put a lot of undo pressure on Christmas and really, on ourselves at this time of year. We so desperately want to get everything “just right,” that we can actually miss the point entirely. It’s easy to get snagged in the comparison trap and not celebrate and enjoy our own memories and traditions because we’re so concerned that we’re not living up to what everybody else is doing…10x better than us of course. 😉


It’s called FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and it’s a real thing. Wikipedia says so.


I mean, have you gone on Pinterest lately? You can feel like a second-class Christmas citizen if you’re not making Santa hat appetizers out of strawberries, while decorating your 4 distinctly themed Christmas trees and already drafting your New Years resolutions.


So this year, I have a proposition…What if we make a “Christmas UN-Bucket List?”

A list of things that we’re taking OFF of our Holiday to-do list.


What are the things you need to give yourself permission NOT to do this year so you can fully celebrate, enjoy the season and not drive you and yours crazy in the process?


What if you could really get after what brings you and your family joy and whatever is in your realm of control to eliminate…eliminating the options that just drain your Holly Jolly right out.


That’s not selfish, it’s just wise.


As a natural perfectionist, this is a really hard concept for me. Definitely preaching to the choir on this one. BUT, I also know, that I want to be free and fully present this year more than I want everything to be perfect.


SO wanna know what’s on my Christmas UN-Bucket List this year? Well here you go…



Crafty Things:

Christmas Crafts gone wrong

I have such a deep appreciate for people that can craft. Their patience is astounding to me. I do not have that gift. I hot glue my fingers together. A friend once talked me into “Quilling” (which involves spinning minuet pieces of paper around toothpics) coasters for a wedding shower…I lasted 5 minutes. I did learn to crochet once…and I made all of my family scarfs for Christmas…and they actually wore them. . Bless their hearts. They clearly love and humor me very much.


Christmas Cards:



Christmas Cards

Man, I love getting Christmas cards. I love seeing all my beautiful friends and family’s sweet pictures or just the pretty designs they’ve chosen. I display them until like mid-January because I just treasure things from my people. Plus, I’m such a words person, so I just eat them up.


HOWEVER, I am terrible at sending out Christmas Cards. I think I’ve done it …twice…in my life. And the one time, they we’re more like “New Years Eve Cards” by the time that people actually received them. I’m really not good at that kind of thing so it’s one Christmas tradition I give myself permission not to do. I AM entertaining the idea of an E-Christmas card though…hmmm…




Christmas Baking

I really don’t do a lot of baking this time of year. I have 2 things in my baking arsenal,  Banana bread (which is ridiculously good & allergy friendly-recipe coming at cha’ next week 😉 ) AND slice and bake cookies. That’s all I got.   The extent of my “holiday baking,” if I’m feeling particularly festive and asked to bring a dessert to a Christmas party…Rudolph Slice and bakes. They’re my go to. Reindeer Cookies with a mini redhot nose. Done and done.


Slice & Bake Reindeer Cookies

I never claimed to be Betty Crocker. I LOVE to cook, but baking is so precise and I am so not.


Those are the things that are on my UN-Bucket List things that there is zero pressure to do. However, I do LOVE me some Christmastime and there are a few things firmly planted and etched in stone that help our family fully engage in the season and they are:





Green and Silver Chrismas Mantal


Christmas decorating is something I really enjoy and look forward to. You can see all the pics from our Christmas Home Tour here. Now I don’t go crazy, our house doesn’t look like page 7 of the Pier One Catalog, although LED Textured Light-up trees #GetInMyHome. But, in the few areas where I’ve chosen to decorate, it’s really life-giving to me. It’s a creative outlet that brings me joy and I really love the transformation. As long as there is GingerSnappish Tea and Christmas music I will lug boxes, check lights and tweak bulb placement with the best of them.

If decorating isn’t your thing, or if it’s one of those years where a Tree is priority zero, NO pressure. I have a post on the world’s simplest Christmas decorations written with you in mind 😉 You do you this Christmas Season.



Family Traditions:

Chris and I have some special things that we do around the holidays to celebrate. They include but are not limited to:

-watching Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, & Scrooged at least once

-Red and Green Pancakes w/ Maple Chicken Sausage on Christmas Eve morning.


Fun christmas Breakfast Ideas

-And One of our FAVORITE date nights of the year that also happens to be totally free…Hunting for the best Christmas Lights. This is a date night tradition going at least 12 years strong.


Holiday Lights in Michigan

We either make or get massive mugs of hot yumminess, bundle up and listen to Christmas music while exploring neighborhoods for the best displays. And this year…hang onto your Santa hats because we’re going to do a little Periscoping and answer your date night questions during our little excursion. So have Siri remind you to follow us on Periscope and stay tuned on Social Media for the deets.


Side Note: Last year, I fell into the comparison trap and sabotaged our special things because I compared them to other peoples special things and I got what I’d like to call “Date Shame.” Everyone else’s traditions seemed so much cooler than ours and I totally failed at enjoying “us.” Have you been there? Guess what? It’s the “perfect” 😀 time to stop that. Let’s be so committed to enjoying our people, enjoying our traditions and sowing deeply into the in the life we’ve been given that we don’t have the mental space to compare.



Morning Devos by the Christmas Tree:


Advent Devos by the Christmas Tree


There’s something special about time with the Lord in the stillness of the morning. And for me that “specialness” is amplified by the atmosphere of Christmas. When you’re surrounded in a beautiful celebration that points you to Him, when the lights are gleaming and the coffee is hot, my soul just seems more tender. It’s a precious sacred time to just open the word, open my journal, attempt to truly grasp the plan of love God set in motion so many Christmas’ ago. This one thing, has the power to change everything. And setting your heart, mind, and affections on Jesus for the day will always bring you back to home base when the crazy kicks in.


What about you? How can you prioritize Celebration in a non-selfish way?

What’s going to bring you and your family Joy this season? What can you put “On” the list and take “Off” the list that will help you strip away all that our culture has esteemed to be the perfect Christmas?


Can we be free to do “US” this year? Can we set our families free to not be like any other family? Can we enjoy “us” instead of wishing that we were Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray or the neighbor down the street with the rockin’ Griswald Christmas Lights?


Let’s do “us.” Let’s let your family be enough and learn to find all their weird quirkiness endearing. Let’s love people well, let’s love Jesus well, and let’s make walking in peace and spreading Joy a massive priority this year.


Let’s get back to celebrating the essence of Christmas; Celebrating the day that Freedom was born and Changed EVERYTHING. Let’s give our souls a little space and do things for our families and our loved ones will really help “us” Celebrate.

That’s what I want to get after this year, even if I do it imperfectly 😉



Until next time,



If this post spoke to your heart, go ahead and share using the social media buttons below.  I bet your people could use a little freedom this Christmas too! 🙂


  1. haha I love your idea of an un-bucket list. I totally agree we all try to make things perfect and sometimes forget what xmas is really about. love your sense of humor 🙂 wikipedia says so! lol.

    stop by and chat ♥


  2. I totally agree with this.. make Christmas simple and about things that matter. I would have a very similar list as you. The only change is I LOVE to bake and I give Christmas cookies away as gifts. Sharing my baking at Christmas is one of the favourite things I do so would be at the top of my must-do list. Merry Christmas!


  3. I loved reading this! I joined a Holiday home tour this year and probably shouldn’t have, lol. We have been out of town and I didn’t decorate very much, but I somehow I was compelled to join. Love the nose on the cookies!! How easy is that! Also loving the top of your tree!! Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on Fb! Have a great week!


  4. I have to say… I love Christmas and Yule cards, and I did many more this year than usual — a factor of being stuck home alone with a broken leg…. indeed, cards (including the get well cards) are going to have to be my only decor this season! Love your tree. At any rate. I hope somehow to do the annual Feast of the Seven Fishes,but we will see…


  5. I don’t like adverts that promise “the best Christmas ever” I’m pretty sure buying what ever they are selling doesn’t have that sort of magical power!
    I do like the idea of Pressure off decorating. I love the beautiful trees and decorations I see on instagram but my (teenage) children like to bung on every ornament we have ever owned or they have ever made, it seems mean to say no because they don’t match so now I have a couple of tiny areas with what I think is lovely and just let them enjoy the rest. Great post – thanks!


    • I know Instagram can give us “Tree Envy” can’t it? 😉 I love that your kids ornaments are up around the house! That means more than all the perfect trees in the world. Always love when you stop by Julie.


  6. We have the exact same “un-bucket” list. I nodded in agreement at every point. And, even more so on the traditions you will be keeping this year. Especially the morning devotionals with hot coffee under the soft light of the Christmas tree. One of my favorite things about the season!


  7. Crafting and handmade Christmas cards are SO my thing. Decor, on the other hand, is not. I have a gorgeous nativity scene that fits into the palm of my hand…and that’s about it. And that’s my idea of a “perfect” Christmas. 🙂


  8. I love your un-bucket list and your great insights! Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home!



  9. I love this! I ran out of time and didn’t do Christmas cards this year. I’ve felt so guilty about it but then I’ve noticed that only a few of our friends are still actually doing this. The pressure I felt though…
    Thanks so much for sharing with us at Share The Wealth Sunday! I hope you’ll join us again tonight at 7.


  10. Love that you know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Love the concept of the unbucket list. Thanks for linking up at Let’s Get Real Party.


  11. This year I swore to myself that we would send out Christmas cards…but for some reason time got away from me and we didn’t AGAIN. Maybe next year! 😉 Thanks for sharing at the Welcome Home Wednesday party–I hope we can see you again this week!


  12. What a great post!! I loved it! It’s great to hear others say what I’m feeling! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday! I’m excited to start the party back up on Thursday, Hope you stop by and join me!! Happy New Year! Pinned!


  13. Great post, Megan. Thanks for sharing on #trafficjamweekend. Featuring you again for this week’s linky party!


  14. Thank you for linking this up at Friday Frivolity last month! You are fabulously awesome and authentic, and I loved this post SO SO MUCH. I really wanted to feature it for tonight’s party, but since I kinda missed the holiday season boat by going out of town for two weeks and not having my link-up again until now, I’m featuring your other post instead.

    But I really did love your thoughts in this post — I just finished reading a book called “I’m Happy For You (Sort of… Not Really)” and it talks a lot about what a horrible trap comparison is, and how it can destroy our contentment. Such a great thing to face up to and be proactive in addressing!



  1. […] week when we talked about all the things we’re NOT doing for Christmas, I told you that there were exactly 2 things in my baking arsenal and this Banana Bread is one of […]


  2. […] am featuring another Christmas post from Megan at No Small Life. This one talks about all the things she would not be doing for the […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: