Minimalism at Christmas time sounds weird to someone who is new to this way of life.
I am viewing Christmas and gifts completely differently than I used to. The holiday season is so much more than stress and gift-giving. Here are a few things that have changed during the holiday season since becoming minimalist.
How to Have a Minimalist Christmas
Simplify everything that you can. A lot of us find the holiday season stressful when it is supposed to be fun. This is because we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect.
Find the perfect gifts, spend the right amount of money, decorate a certain way, host the perfect party, and the list goes on.
Let go of perfection and focus on family, friends, and fun. Make your Christmas party a potluck, or tell everyone you will all cook together. In other words, make your own rules for Christmas time.
When we first became minimal I decided to take a moment and question everything we tend to do during the holidays. Why were we buying gifts for everyone? Did I really need to go to all of the parties I was invited to?
That is when I realized half of the things I did during the holidays was because that was how we always did it. I wasn’t really thinking, I was on holiday autopilot.
Taking a few moments before Christmas hits to pause and think about how you want to feel during the holidays will help to make them stress-free.
Don’t let the Christmas season fly by in a rush. Think about how you want to spend your time and how you want to feel. I like to feel cozy and relaxed this time of the year, so I make that a priority. Setting aside time to read, drink tea, and look at Christmas lights.
It is ok to say no to holiday parties for a relaxing night at home. Do what makes you happy and don’t feel bad about it.
Enjoy some alone time if that is what you like. In the past, the month of December would be jam-packed with todo lists, gifts to buy, and parties to rush off to.
Now I am very intentional when it comes to my time and how I choose to spend it. Everything that you say yes to means you are saying no to something else.
Enjoy the quiet moments when you can.
Simplify Christmas Traditions
There are so many Christmas traditions out there. For instance the elf on the shelf game. Yes, I have 2 children and no we don’t do the elf on the shelf game.
You might love this tradition, and that is great, but I decided to pass. If something doesn’t work for your life or causes unnecessary work then ask why.
Keep the traditions you love and dump the rest.
Like making fun Christmas ornaments and crafts with my kids!
Holiday Shopping as a Minimalist
Minimal Gifts For Kids
In the past I always thought we needed to open a ton of gifts, the more the better. With this mentality, you end up getting things just for the sake of having something to open.
Gifts For Adults?
This is going to sound crazy! We don’t give gifts to the adults in our family. Most of us buy whatever we need when we need it.
Giving gifts for the sake of gift-giving seemed crazy after becoming minimalist. This saved us a lot of time, money, and the stress of unwanted items coming into our home.
Try having a conversation with your family members before Christmas time to let them know that you don’t need any gifts this year. A simple explanation about how you want to simplify usually works great.
When we said no gifts, our whole extended family was relieved and said great! Let’s just get together and have a fun time and make this a no-gift party.
I was surprised Christmas was just as fun without all the gifts. It is actually less stressful because leading up to Christmas I don’t have to worry about what I am going to get everyone.
By giving up this silly notion that we need to buy every one we know a gift whether they need one or not saved so much hassle.
Minimalist Christmas Decorations
We still decorate our home for Christmas even though we are minimalist. The main difference is how I decorate!
I try to use all the decorations I already have and I don’t buy anything new. Most of our decor has sentimental meaning and has been passed down to us from family.
This is what holiday decor is all about. Memory jogging decorations that remind us of all the family gatherings and fun we have at this time of the year.
I like to use natural decor whenever it is possible. Homemade garlands or pine wreaths are beautiful, smell great, and they don’t need to be decluttered.
If you do want some new decor try to stick with pieces that won’t go out of style.
When decorating I try to keep in mind, less is more. Try decorating one area of your home rather than every room.
By keeping all of the Christmas decorations in one room it leads to less visual clutter.
Experience More as a Minimalist
So your family still wants to do gifts. Just tell them that you would love the gift of an experience. There are so many ways to give a gift that is not a physical thing.
Tickets to a movie, a pass to an amusement park, or a gift certificate to somewhere fun.
Minimalism at Christmas time doesn’t have to be boring. This month our plan is to get out and enjoy all of the Christmas activities. There are so many things to do that are free around Christmas time.
Community tree lighting ceremonies, going and looking at Christmas lights, and baking at home.
Instead of spending our money on things, we will be spending our money on experiences with family and friends.
Simple Christmas Conclusion
Simplifying the holidays and taking the pressure off is the best decision I ever made. Now I can truly enjoy this time of the year without stress.
This is what has worked for us in the last few years. Let me know in the comments how you like to spend the holidays and any minimalist tips you have.
Here is a great article on the 4 gift rule for a minimal Christmas.