Minimalist Christmas And Gratitude
Christmas is a hectic time of year, but it is still possible to have a minimalist Christmas.
We don’t like setting our kids up with expectations. It’s important to me for my kids to be grateful and not expectant. It is why we chose as a family to not teach the kids to believe in Santa. Read more about our choice to not “do Santa”.
Christmas for us is all about gratitude and Jesus. We celebrate with a very minimal Christmas. Here is what it looks like in our family.
Our Minimal Home
We enjoy living minimally. I see photos of minimalist homes that are very monochromatic, streamlined and beautiful. That is not our minimalist home.
It is simple, yes. We don’t have decor, we don’t have photos on the wall, our family of 5 lives in a 2 bedroom and one of the rooms is empty. It’s become a playroom for the boys to cause a ruckus in.
But it is not streamlined or fancy. We used our storage tubs to prop up the TV. They are not even the same color. Some minimalists choose not to have a television, but we enjoy ours for games, music, and occasional shows. We sleep on camping mats and our sheets and pillows are mismatched but cozy.
My kids have plenty of toys, but they can make a complete mess with them and the clean up is manageable. Any any given time, regardless of how messy it looks, it would take me less than an hour to completely clean and pick up my home. And my kids own little enough that they are capable of picking up their own things.
I say all that just to say that we are minimalists, but not the picture perfect ones you see on Pinterest and Instagram. We are messy, simple and cozy.
We are not big on holidays and gift giving. When my husband or I want something or need something, we just get it. We do not see a need to buy something just because it’s a “special day.” We don’t like buying just to buy. The kids will get gifts from grandparents and friends and they still have more than enough without us adding to it.
We don’t throw parties. We get together with friends but we never spend money on decorations or gifts. Our children are content without it. They love being surrounded by friends and that is special enough for them.
Tips To Have a Minimalist Christmas
I have seen some awesome suggestions on how to keep this season a Minimalist Christmas. I’m going to go over some of my family’s habits along with some great suggestions I’ve gathered over time.
The Four Gifts Rule
This is one of my favorite things I have read this year. It has really been trending this season. The four gifts rule is great for people who love purchasing gifts for their kids but want to keep it small. Gifts are kept to four items: something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.
There’s not a lot of excess, there’s something educational and it includes a need and not just wants. It’s such a practical suggestion for families looking to have a minimalist Christmas.
Opt Out Of Gifts
If you are interested in being more extreme than that, you can do what my family does and opt out of gift giving all together. My husband and I have never purchased Christmas gifts for the kids. It is an easy way to keep things minimal during the holidays.
They do not go without presents. They still get gifts from grandparents. Some of the grandparents in our family live far away, and this is a great way for them to interact with our kids and be a part of our holiday celebrations. We talk about our relatives, look at pictures of them when they open the gifts and send photos and thank yous.
Experiences don’t need to be stored. They create memories and engagement. Your child is more likely to remember a gifted experience than a cheap plastic toy among toys years later.
Think family movie tickets, a mini vacation or a membership to the local museum. Maybe there is a nature center nearby or you have the date for a camping adventure together.
Hold Onto The Excess To Regift
If your kids or yourself are given too much, or more than you want to find space for consider holding onto it to regift. Make sure you remember who gave it to you. Regift new items at birthday parties in the coming year.
If you do not want to collect more items for yourself or your kids, be direct. Let family know that you are not interested in gifts. Some might give anyway, but at least you tried.
You can also be direct by simply telling people what you want. If they are going to get your kids a gift anyway, it might as well be something that you are comfortable bringing into your home and keeping around.
Minimize Get Togethers
Having a minimalist Christmas isn’t just about gift giving. It can include mental health and social minimalism as well.
The holidays are full of events, parties and opportunities to gather. This is a beautiful, joyous time. But it can be exhausting.
Don’t be overwhelmed by all the invitations. If you feel exhausted at the end of the day and drained instead of full and content you might want to consider filtering your social gatherings. Practice saying no. Do what’s most important to you and then enjoy the rest of the day with your little family at home.
Be Guilt Free This Minimalist Christmas
You do not have to buy gifts for all 30 people in your family because you think they expect it, or because you feel pressure. Maybe this year you can do homemade gifts. Or chose not to give gifts at all and feel good about it. You’re just helping your loved ones to declutter, haha! Gift giving should be something you enjoy. If shopping steals your joy, don’t do it.
Do what brings you joy. Minimize your activity and find rest with your loved ones this Christmas season.