Every Christmas has its ups and downs. For a traditional Christmas, that usually means lots of running around, shopping for decorations, and extravagant gifts.
The constant feeling of no time! When really we all want is to rest and truly enjoy the holiday season.
When you are in the middle of transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle, Christmas time can be one of those holidays that can throw you off track.
Christmas is a time when some people go all out on decorations. You and your family might end up getting a lot of gifts. After lots of work decluttering to become more minimal more stuff is the last thing you want. But how do you enjoy the holiday without upsetting family that wants to buy you gifts?
When you’ve just started to downsize your home, are you really prepared to take on everything Christmas will send your way?
Don’t worry! I have all the information you need to transition to a minimalist Christmas. It is easier than it seems.
Read on to learn more about the benefits and how to make the change to a minimalist Christmas.
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Why Choose a Minimalist Christmas?
Over the years, Christmas has lost its meaning. In recent years we have made the holiday season all about presents, decorations, and stretching ourselves too thin.
When changing to a minimalist Christmas, the focus is put on spending time with family and friends.
It’s important to mention that a minimalist Christmas does not mean NO gifts and NO decorations. It’s more about making meaningful and intentional choices that positively impact your budget and your living space, freeing up time and reducing stress.
Start by reusing decorations every year, minimize the waste you put out, and choose gifts you know will be used and cherished.
It’s a challenge to make the switch after many years of managing Christmas the same year after year. But changing will be beneficial, freeing up your time and lightening the burden on your budget.
Imagine a Christmas where you get to truly cherish those moments with your family stress-free.
How to Change to a Minimalist Christmas
Take your time when switching to a more minimal Christmas. Maybe your first year won’t look that different from years past, but you will know the things you changed.
Maybe you drop a few parties that you normally go to, but don’t have time for. A slight change could be getting everyone one less gift than in previous years. Making a few changes each year can lead to a smooth transition that no one seems to notice.
Talk with Your Family About Christmas
The most challenging part about switching to a minimalist Christmas is letting your family know. Some people can get offended that you don’t want any gifts. Talk with the important people in your life, letting them know that you would like to simplify Christmas this year.
Make it a positive conversation and try to motivate them and help them to understand you want to focus more on the quality time rather than the materialist parts of Christmas.
If you have kids, it may be a good idea to start slow for the first Christmas and introduce new minimalist traditions over time. You don’t have to tell them they are not getting gifts, instead try an experience gift or something that they get to go do.
Create a Minimal Christmas Plan
Christmas should be planned out with intention. Picking out the events you want to be a part of. If you say yes to every gathering this is a recipe for burnout and stress.
A good plan of attack can keep you organized and stress-free. This could be a list of gifts you would like to purchase or the decorations you need to create a beautifully decorated tree.
A plan is there to help you make mindful decisions about your purchases and help eliminate any wasteful spending.
Choose Intentional Gifts
When you plan out your gift-giving for your family, evaluate the gifts you choose and their meaning before you make your purchases.
Think about if the gifts will add to their life or cause more clutter. I like to choose gifts that can be used up. Think lotion, food, and movie tickets anything that doesn’t create clutter.
Check out these minimalist gift ideas if you’re stuck.
Show the people you care about how much they mean to you by being intentional in your gift-giving.
When choosing toys for children, you want to avoid overwhelming them with too many. Kids can be happy with fewer toys that match their interests. It is better to get one or two things you know they would play with.
A good guideline to follow is something they need, something they want, something to wear, and something to read. This way, they get a little of everything without excessive amounts that they may never play with.
Aim for Eco-Friendly Wrapping
So much of the wrapping paper used during Christmas ends up in the landfills every year. Being a minimalist is also minimizing the impact on the earth. Some ideas you can try are wrapping your gifts in cloth or using reusable tote bags.
Whenever I am given a gift I save the bag which I reuse when I give a gift. This saves the environment and money.
Another method is to wrap using old newspapers or paper that you already have in your home. Check out this Guide to Zero Waste Wrapping by Greenpeace for ideas!
Donate or Regift Unwanted Gifts
You or someone in your family will inevitably receive a gift that won’t have a purpose in your home.
Don’t feel bad! You can donate it or gift it to someone who can use it. At the end of the day, this gift will end up with someone who can truly appreciate it.
In our extended family, we decided to stop giving gifts to all the adults. This was something we tried out WAY before minimalism was even a thing.
It turned out everyone was relieved! We could all get together and have fun without the stress of finding everyone a gift.
It’s Okay to Say No
There are so many gatherings and parties during the holiday season. Those parties usually require gifts for white elephants, or they may ask you to bring a dish.
There is only so much time in the month of December! Choose the gathering that you really want to go to and say no to everything else.
Christmas can be overwhelming, and if that’s how every year has been for you, don’t be afraid to do less.
Overextending yourself can cause burnout.
Christmas does not have to be stressful! Transitioning to a minimalist Christmas will set your mind free and allow you to have a more meaningful holiday.
This holiday season, embrace a more minimal lifestyle and make your Christmas one you will never forget.
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