It's that time of the year again!
We love Christmas with all it’s giving and receiving. While Christmas in our minimalist household has certainly decreased the quantity, it’s improved the quality and intentionality with which we give gifts.
My kids have embraced the minimalist lifestyle that we are adopting, and all the lasting joy it brings. So I’m not at all worried that they’ll be disappointed this year.
Last year though, was a different story. I was very nervous.
The First Christmas in our Minimalist Household
2018 was our first holiday season as self-declared minimalists. As Christmas approached, my worry increased. Would my newly minimalist kids feel that they had missed out?
My confidence in our decision didn’t waver as I knew it was the right thing to do, but I so did not want to be met with disappointed faces on Christmas morning. I was particularly concerned as we would be spending Christmas with family. My brothers families spent a lot on presents for their children. Luckily, we had been sharing with the family about what we had been doing over the past ten months. The family had been quite supportive but didn’t take it on themselves. We were very pleased to see how very thoughtful their gift giving was to our children.
After Christmas we reflected on how our Christmas as a minimalist household went. The kids were happy with it and so were we.
For as long as I can remember the day after Christmas was exhausting. I would spend the whole day in a house strewn with paper and tons of gifts, many that the kids had opened and flung. Trying to tidy up and find homes for all their newly received treasures was near on impossible. It certainly took the edge off the Christmas joy.
When I had exhausted all my storage options, I moved what was left into the spare room. There sat an unopened pile of toys for me to distribute to my kids throughout the year. You know, when they were bored with current toys and needed something “new” to play with.
That first year as minimalists was thankfully, completely different. Everything had a place. No piles, no storing, no shoving and most importantly, no stressing. And a clean and tidy home the day after Christmas!
Some things to consider for next Cristmas
1. Purchase with Purpose
Don’t just buy stuff for the sake of buying stuff. If you are at a loss for what to give this year, choose gift cards, consumables or give to a charity on their behalf (I’m particularly fond of this charity).
Below are a few articles filled with ideas to help you give more intentionally this year.
2. Choose Experiences Over Things
Gifting experiences allows us to curb the clutter, cut back on the excess and raise our kids to value adventure and time together over possessions.
3. Give Yourself Permission to Let Go of Traditions
I used to feel like it was my job to make sure traditions were executed perfectly, down to every last detail. It was exhausting and unsustainable. Loosening my grip on traditions has helped me pick up a giant cup of grace and enjoy each season for what it is, not what it’s supposed to be.
A New Tradition of Less
Make this year the start of a new Christmas tradition. A tradition of less. Not for the sake of owning less, but for the chance to let how you spend your days deeply align with what matters most to you. I am really thrilled with how Christmas in our minimalist household was received by our family, and how relaxed we all felt.
I don’t look back on my many not so minimalist Christmases with shame or regret. Not at all. It was a necessary part of my story, and led me to where I am now.