7 Things to Release to Enjoy the Holidays Your Way

After 10 years of embracing minimalism, the holiday “Not-to-do” list is one of my favorite rituals.

Alice Crady


a young woman, the author, smiles at a laptop with a ukulele in the background
Photo Credit: My sweet partner, Anas Qtiesh, captured this playful photo.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve embraced minimalism to illuminate my priorities and simplify my life. This holiday season, I care about embracing the darkness with courage, creating space for creative magic, and showing up well in my relationships. Decluttering helps.

Simple life influencers like Courtney Carver, Joshua Becker, Marie Kondo, and The Minimalists inspired new rituals and approaches.

I’m not spending hours with relatives, having an okay time, while I eat too much from the decadent buffet and try to avoid drama. I’m not pouring my heart into gifts for people who don’t appreciate me. Instead, I’m prioritizing wellness, joy, and loving connections.

Instead of being overwhelmed or “getting through” the season, I regroup on holiday priorities for this year and make a “not-to-do” list. Over the last few years, this approach has given me the capacity to do more of what I love doing rather than trying to “keep up.”

1. Comparing yourself to others

This one’s so powerful, it’s worth repeating over and over again. Getting into minimalism empowered me to reframe what I owned and purchased and why. This year, as I’m navigating a career transition, I’m being gentle with myself by releasing comparisons.

Staying off social media helps so much, especially during the holidays. Instead, I have space to more fully enjoy the shared moments and memory-making.

2. Putting others’ priorities first

My parents wanted me to visit them for the holidays, and I said “No.” Reducing the guilt associated with that choice has taken me years. For me, prioritizing my wellness and mental health matters much more than going way out of my way to spend excess time and money to make others happy.

As Carver shared, “Let the people pleasing start with me.” Honoring my needs and values inspires others to do the same. Once I’ve clarified how to nurture my energy, saying “No” comes more naturally.

3. Accepting…



Alice Crady

🦋 I uplift, inspire, and empower authentic human flourishing. I create transformative, hopeful, relatable content ❤️🕯 #Mental Health #Women #Relationships