Have yourself a merry minimalist Christmas…
Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends, and enjoy the company of those you love. But sometimes things – such as gifts, parties, stress – get in the way, and we find ourselves feeling like Christmas was just another day.
This year, why not try something new? Why not embrace minimalism this holiday season?
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Christmas can be difficult for minimalists. There’s a lot of pressure to buy extravagant Christmas gifts and go out every night partying. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, there are a lot of benefits to celebrating Christmas as a minimalist, which we’ll look into further below!
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- What does a more minimalist Christmas mean?
- How to embrace a minimalist Christmas
- Choose Intentional Gifts
- Give only zero-waste and eco-friendly gifts
- Discuss gift-giving with those you spend Christmas with
- Give donations instead of gifts
- Do a Secret Santa
- Don't go overboard with the kids
- Get outdoors
- Don't give in to consumerism
- Don't over-indulge
- Don't Over-Extend Yourself
- Start a new tradition
- Donate or re-gift unwanted gifts
- Don't feel obligated to visit family and friends
What does a more minimalist Christmas mean?
A minimalist Christmas means keeping the main focus of the holiday on loved ones and doing something that is meaningful. It can be a great way to free up your time, and not overspend financially.
Though it can appear difficult at first glance, minimalism actually makes life simpler and full of fewer decisions. It takes the focus off lavish, materialistic purchases and puts it on things that are truly important. It’s about living the way you want to live, not what society wants you to do.
Minimalism is taking Christmas back into your own hands, without overspending or getting stressed out in the process. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, but rather that you need to think about how your choices impact your life.
We all hear and say “Christmas isn’t about the presents”, so why do we keep making it about this?
A minimalist Christmas means finding the balance between what makes you happy and celebrating Christmas in a way that doesn’t take over your life.
For many people, this idea might sound like an idealistic dream because they are used to all the hustle and bustle of holidays past. But there are some easy ways you can embrace minimalism this holiday season, and make your Christmas truly unforgettable.
How to embrace a minimalist Christmas
Choose Intentional Gifts
A minimalist Christmas means thinking about the gifts you give and why you’re giving them before buying them. It’s more than just not spending money on an extravagant Christmas gift – it’s about finding that special something for those close to you that will have a deeper meaning for them.
Look for gifts that show the people you care about how much they mean to you. Make a list of those special people and try to think of a way to give them something that shows them what they mean to you this year.
It could be an object, an experience or just time spent with you. The person who loves a minimalist Christmas is one that shows love in a different way and finds the pleasure of spending time with those they care about.
Give only zero-waste and eco-friendly gifts
An important part of the minimalist Christmas means giving gifts that have a deep meaning and what is more meaningful than protecting our environment?
There are many eco-friendly gifts that you can give to those around you. One of the best ways of doing this is to find handmade items that were made locally.
For eco-friendly gift ideas, here’s a list of 50 eco friendly stocking fillers for the whole family
If handmade isn’t an option, try shopping at local stores for things that were made close to home. Buy food and other consumable products from local farmers and food vendors, or even make your own gifts.
An eco-friendly Christmas is a meaningful Christmas. It’s one you can feel good about giving and receiving. And it shows those around you that you care enough to give them the gift of protecting the environment (and they’ll love these gifts too!)
Discuss gift-giving with those you spend Christmas with
This is one of the best things to do when having a minimalist Christmas. There are lots of occasions throughout the year where you can get gifts – wedding anniversary, mother’s day, birthdays, etc. Is it really necessary to do the usual gifts for Christmas?
Speak with your family members about Christmas expectations early on. Explain to them why you want a minimalist Christmas and that presents aren’t important to you this year. If your family is open, you might find this turns into a new tradition!
Why not agree as a family that instead of giving gifts this year, you’ll all go on a family vacation together instead? Experiences are often so much more memorable than physical items.
Give donations instead of gifts
Instead of buying gifts that people don’t really want or need, why not try giving a donation in someone’s name to a charity organisation they care about?
Not only does this show you’re thinking about them and wanting to give them a meaningful gift, but it also shows you’re thinking of others as well.
Make a list of charities, local food banks, medical research centers, shelters. It’s a great way to give back and show how much you care about those around you who might be in need.
The spirit of your minimalist Christmas means thinking about others as well.
Do a Secret Santa
Rather than buying gifts for everyone in your family – aunts, uncles, cousins, sister-in-law, grandma – this year, put everyone’s name into a hat and pull out one person to buy a gift for.
That way, everyone gets a gift to open, but there isn’t an excess of gifts adding clutter to your home.
If everyone in the family decides to play along, this can be a nice tradition that everyone can get involved with and it will make the Christmas morning experience even more fun!
Don’t go overboard with the kids
We’re all guilty of it, even those of us who don’t have kids. There have been years where I’ve gone overboard with my nieces and nephews without really even thinking about it.
This is an easy mistake to make, since the child in us goes a bit wild when we start to look at all the great stuff you can buy for kids.
A better approach is to talk with those around you about what they expect from Christmas this year and see if you can find a way to buy something great and simple for them.
You can’t go wrong sticking to the following guidelines when buying for kids:
- something they want
- something they need
- something to wear
- something to read
This way, they get a little of what they want and a little of what they need, without an excessive amount of toys.
Christmas is all about spending time with your loved ones, so why not spend more of that time outdoors? Take advantage of this time and plan some outdoor activities to do with those you care about.
The best part about these outdoor activities is that most of them are free! There are lots of options for keeping your Christmas minimalist while still having fun.
Get out for a walk, go ice-skating, build a snowman together, go look around the local Christmas markets, grab a hot chocolate in a nearby cafe. Outdoor winter activities are magical.
Try not to spend all Christmas stuck to the TV, social media or working. Make an effort to disconnect from technology this year and be present in the moment.
Don’t give in to consumerism
When it comes to decorating for Christmas, many people fall into the trap of buying things they don’t need. Ornaments, lights, garlands are all Christmas decorations we might need – but remember not to go overboard!
If you have a nice tree or even if you just have some candles in your window, this is enough to get you feeling festive.
Instead of buying new stuff for your home, why not just use what you have? If you’re missing something, ask if any friends or family have it they’re willing to lend you.
Christmas is a time when we tend to indulge – whether it’s food, drink, shopping – but try not to overindulge this year.
It’s easy to eat and drink too much when you’re surrounded by family and friends who also think the same way about the holidays. Be careful, though: it’s very easy to get into that ‘festive spirit’ and go overboard with food and alcohol.
It’s only after the holidays that we tend to realise how much we over-indulged, we feel sluggish, tired, stressed and not really ready to get back into real life.
Christmas time is a wonderful time of year and you don’t need to go overboard in order to enjoy it.
Don’t Over-Extend Yourself
This is a tricky one, because it’s easy to over-extend yourself over the Christmas period. Everyone wants to make their Christmas special and memorable for their loved ones, which can cause you to take on more than you’re able to do.
Make sure that you don’t sign up for too many events or volunteer too much work this year. Make a list of what you’re going to do and keep it in check!
A minimalist Christmas is a special one, so make sure to take care of yourself during this time.
Draw up a calendar ahead of time. This way you can plan out the week before Christmas and get everything done without too much stress.
And remember, everything doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect for this one day of the year. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to get everything done so perfectly that you end up over-extended and burnt out.
Start a new tradition
With a little bit of creativity, you can make this year’s Christmas one-of-a-kind. If you’re craving a break from the usual traditions, why not try something new?
One way to do this is by starting a new tradition. It can be simple things like having an outdoor dinner with friends and family, or hosting the whole family for breakfast on Christmas day.
You can also try something more extravagant that involves your loved ones. For example, you could buy some tickets to a local show or concert together. A recent tradition in my family has been to go see the Pantomime a few days after Christmas, all wearing funny Christmas jumpers!
Donate or re-gift unwanted gifts
Christmas is the time of year when most people are generous. And there are those needing more than anything we could ever want.
Any gifts you’ve been given, or any leftover gifts – you know the ones you buy just in case someone gives you a gift and you don’t have one in return – donate them back to the people in your community.
Another tip is to re-gift items that you don’t want to someone else in your life who will appreciate them. You can do this quietly, without anyone knowing, but at the end of the day, your gift ends up with someone who will love it.
Read also: 9 Simple Rules For Regifting Christmas Gifts
It can be difficult to give away gifts without feeling guilty, even if it’s a gift you don’t want. But remember that when someone gives you a gift, it’s yours to do whatever you wish with. And that includes giving it away.
Don’t feel obligated to visit family and friends
Let’s be honest, sometimes there are some members of your extended family you’d rather not spend the holidays with. And that’s okay!
If certain members of your family are particularly difficult to deal with, do yourself a favor and don’t visit them this year. You can always arrange another time for everyone to get together without being so stressed.
Don’t feel obligated to travel far away to visit friends and family that you haven’t seen in a while, either. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed this Christmas, it might be best for all involved if you skip out on seeing some people.
It’s important to take care of yourself this holiday season, so prioritise your mental health and happiness over spending time with people who may add to the stress.
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A minimalist Christmas may be different, but it can be very rewarding. With the right attitude, it doesn’t have to be too difficult either.
All you need is a little creativity and a desire to celebrate Christmas your own way – a way that works for you.
Take a moment to reflect on what you really want from Christmas this year. Consider these tips and enjoy your minimalist Christmas!
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