I’m on my second cup of hazelnut hot chocolate of the day. That tells you that I’m having a day where chocolate is the only thing keeping me going.
I thought I’d take these chocolate-induced moments of peace to share why having a minimal Christmas has been the best decision for us.
At first, it wasn’t by choice. Our tight budget has always forced us to keep our gift giving down to a minimum. But even as we’ve had a little extra to spend, we’ve found that we just enjoy the holidays a lot more when we keep things simple.
It’s made this time of year a lot less stressful. We are able to focus on just being together and enjoying the time my husband has off. We don’t over schedule with Christmas parties and social events. We spend time with family and close friends. We turn our hearts to giving and serving and to our faith.
It has made me appreciate Christmas even more to focus less on the commercial, consumer-driven side of the holidays and allow myself permission to ignore the pressures to keep up traditions neither of us are fond of.
If you’ve been wanting to make Christmas more intentional and less of a chore to plan, here are a few ideas to simplify your Christmas without losing the spirit of the holiday.
Ideas for a Minimal Christmas
1. Focus on Quality, not Quantity
Limit gifts to 1 or 2 per person. Or you know, whatever number you choose. Trust me. It will really force you to think long and hard about what to gift your loved ones, and the extra thought you put into it is sure to make it that much more special. If you’re really brave, you don’t have to do gifts at all. GASP! I know! I said it. It’s not as ludicrous as it sounds, I promise.😉
2. Recycle or Reuse!
No, not gifts, because that’s tacky and makes people really annoyed.
If you wrap gifts, consider reusing old gift bags instead of using wrapping paper to cut down on waste. Some years, we’ve even wrapped gifts in blankets or found other creative or silly ways to wrap gifts. I can recall opening a package of tampons to find a much better gift inside.
3. Simple Is Beautiful
If you’re going for minimal decor this Christmas, incorporate nature’s beauty. Branches, garlands, pinecones, greenery, it’s plentiful and a lot of can be found in your own backyard.
Lighting makes a bit difference and is what makes Christmas such a magical time. Cafe and string lights and plenty of candles will create that warm and cozy mood.
Opt for a bare Christmas tree with lights if you’re not opposed to keeping your ornaments in storage this year. It’s actually quite beautiful and inviting without being distracting.
4. Focus on Giving
Make it a point to do service for others. The best way to get the spirit of the holidays without needing to fill it with stuff and sweets and toys is to give to others.
Go Christmas Caroling in a retirement community or hospital (get permission first). Make care packages for the homeless or volunteer at a soup kitchen.
If you have little kids and can’t find the energy or time to do much, incorporate them in little acts of service . Bake some holiday sweets together and bring them to a neighbor or friend. Write letters or draw pictures for those serving in the military who might not be home for the holidays. Have your kids pick out toys they don’t play with (make sure they are still in good condition) and donate them to kids who may not have Christmas gifts.
Get creative! There are so many things you can do to serve others and they don’t have to be big!
Those are just a few little ideas to make Christmas a little less chaotic and a bit more meaningful.
If you like to do Christmas big, that’s totally OK! I do think many of us end up feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated this time of the year. If you’ve been feeling the need to slow down, try doing some of these things and take some of the pressure off of yourself! It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get Frosty up in the front yard. (Christmas with the Kranks, anyone?)
Well, I gotta get back to my
whining spawns of my children.
Happy Holidays, friends! I sincerely hope that you enjoy this time to reflect on the year and feel the peace of another year of opportunities and second chances. God bless!