Simplify Christmas – Simple Gift Giving, by Cara Putman – plus Giveaway!

Old wood texture with snow and firtreeDo you break out in hives just thinking about the craziness and chaos that comes with Christmas? It doesn’t have to be that way. Inspirational authors Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin, and Tricia Goyer share about Christmases past in their new novella collection Where Treetops Glisten. Their three stories “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” will take you back to war-time 1942, 1943, and 1944. The authors have also teamed up to give tips on simplifying Christmas this year! Join us  December 1-6 on Not Quite Amish for the Simplifying Christmas series.

Simple Gift Giving

by Cara Putman

You wake up one morning and it’s November 20th. Blink and it’s January 2. Weeks have passed and you’d had such high hopes for a wonderful season – hopes gone in a fog of busyness.

Let’s face it – most of us dread the thought that the holidays are here. Christmas has become a time of immense busyness. Instead of being a season of peace and enjoyment, many of us see December approach on the calendar with a sense of dread. Do you hate that as much as I do? Do you long for an approach to the season that doesn’t make you cringe?

Simplify means to make (something) simpler or easier to do or understand. If you enter simplify Christmas in Google, in less than a second, the search engine will give you more than 3,500,000 hits. Yes, that more than three million hits. We long to make the holidays simpler. How can we do that?

I’ve asked some people for advice on how they do it. Today, I wanted to share some of those ideas as they relate to gifts.

To read the rest of the article and find a helpful printable, please visit the Not Quite Amish blog.

Where Treetops Glisten Gift Basket Giveaway!

My publisher has created three wonderful gift baskets. To enter to win this basket, please use the Rafflecopter form below (US residents only please). Also find the additional giveaways (and read more great tips to simplify Christmas!) on Tricia Goyer’s blog and Cara Putman’s blog!

WTG apron bookEach basket contains:

    • Copy of Where Treetops Glisten
    • Christmas DVD – Holiday InnBing Crosby, Fred Astaire
    • Christmas CD (includes all the book title songs) – “A Jolly Christmas” Frank Sinatra
    • Apron made from vintage pattern
    • Recipe cards from each character

a Rafflecopter giveaway


37 Responses to “Simplify Christmas – Simple Gift Giving, by Cara Putman – plus Giveaway!”

  1. Kathleen Bruner

    My husband and I keep things very simple by celebrating the birth of Christ and our new life in Him without a lot of glitz. And we make sure that no one gets a gift that costs more than what we donate to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for missions.

  2. C Marie

    Every year my family aims to spend less money and have a simpler Christmas. It never really seems to happen, and I have to admit I secretly love the Christmas craziness!

  3. Leanna Morris

    I’d love to simplify more each year. I try to focus on Jesus’ birth and more family time.

  4. Danielle Hull

    We quit doing stockings. It seemed I’d pick up jewelery and little things cheaply all year long for the girls, then they’d have a stocking full, and we’d have to go spend too much on the boys, so we just quit doing it. Also, we limit each child to 3 gifts, and with 7 kids at home, that makes a big difference 🙂

  5. Joye

    We have all of the children make gifts for their siblings. A lot of it is cooking but some of it Grandpa helps them make.

  6. Rita Spratlen

    My kids are grown and it is so easy for we don’t buy as many presents. I try to keep things simple and relaxed now. We have a grandson who many presents are fun and easy for he is 3 now. I try to pick things up all year and I try to make things to give away to those who have nothing. I love the holidays!

  7. Mary M.

    We simplify by picking a charity to give to in someone’s name as their present.

    • Sarah Sundin

      My in-laws do that, and it’s such a treat to see which charity they chose. And WE don’t need more stuff 🙂

  8. Karen Johnson

    I am trying a new app that keeps track of my Christmas budget, who I am shopping for and the status of each present (idea, ordered, received, wrapped, etc). I put gift receipts in a separate envelope for each person.

  9. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

    This year our family will be together; previous years we spent Christmas in different states where our daughters live. In October, our oldest granddaughter’s 8-mo baby died in the night. All of us except one daughter were able to go to be together. We are going for Christmas and all three of our daughters will be together and the cousins. So excited. We do community activities at home. Being together is so important. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  10. Susan Wayne

    With grown children and 2 grandchildren, plus one on the way, we have learned to start early gathering gift ideas for everyone. We decorate inside the home simply with a few decorations outside. With planning, we can get off with little fuss and enjoy a mostly stress free holiday time with our precious family.

  11. Andrea Cox

    Hi Sarah!

    I’ve known Tricia via Facebook and her blog for quite a while now, and I recently met Cara via Facebook and blogs as well. Now it’s your turn, I suppose. 🙂 Pleasure to make your acquaintance.

    I’m currently reading Where Treetops Glisten, and it’s totally awesome. Can’t wait to get to your story!

    My family’s traditions are already pretty simplified. We view Christmas lights, read the Christmas story and swap gifts, all the while sharing great conversation and bonding deeper while celebrating Jesus’s birth and life.

    Blessings to you and your family this Christmas season,


    • Sarah Sundin

      It’s nice to meet you too, Andrea 🙂 And I’m so glad you’re enjoying Where Treetops Glisten!

      It sounds like you have Christmas set up just right! Those simple traditions are the most meaningful.

  12. vera wilson

    Older ones hard to please, send g/c’s instead. Make baskets up with home made goodies, movies, coffee, etc. for some families.

    • Sarah Sundin

      Our parents prefer gift cards, which is great. They don’t need any more stuff! What they really like is restaurant gift cards – an evening out is more fun for them than stuff.

  13. tammy cordery

    I am going to give gift certificates.

  14. Karin A

    I wish we could make things simpler by eliminating gift giving between the extended family, but the younger ones aren’t quite ready to do that! (which I understand!)

    • Sarah Sundin

      When our kids were born, my sisters/brothers/in-laws all decided not to give presents to each other anymore – just to the kids. Totally decreased our stress and cost!

  15. Sharon Miller

    Things are so simple at our house, I haven’t put any decorations out yet! Not sure what I’ll do. Thanks for your posts and the contest.

  16. Susan Best

    A simple Christmas is family, tradition and paying it forward to those who wouldn’t have warmth otherwise

  17. Doris Reedy

    My children are all grown. I only buy one gift for each of them and presents for the grandchildren and my parents.

  18. Betti

    We really have very little money to spend on gifts, so I try to make things. We also try to get things that the person really needs.