**In my home, we celebrate Christmas so the holiday I will refer to in this post is Christmas. If you celebrate a different holiday, just replace Christmas with whatever you celebrate
People go HAM around the holidays! (Lol, get it?) I used to be that person. Until last year, I wanted to give and recieve ALL THE THINGS. I am a lover of black Friday shopping with my mom and sisters… You know all the impulse stuff they have by registers? Those were designed for people like me..I (used to) always add a little extra something when checking out and I also LOVED receiving those little extras.
Don’t even get me started on decor. I wanted as much Christmas decor in my house as I could afford. My mom goes insane in this area. Her house is completely switched over to Christmas everything. I love it. Going over there in the month of December is so comforting. But last year, I realized it just wasn’t for me. Being the one who has to put it all up, clean around it, and put it all away made it a lot less fun. So last year I took what few Christmas boxes I had accumulated and purged the heck out of them. I came to find that I didn’t really like a lot of what I had anyway. I LOVE the few, simple Christmas decorations I kept. But f you’re like my mom and an insane amount of decorations brings joy and happiness to your home, go crazy.
What’s hard to minimize is the STUFF- buying and receiving. So here are some tips if you are craving a simpler holiday this year.
When BUYING gifts.
Don’t get caught up in needing “one more little thing to put with Kristy’s gift” because this usually is kind of junky, costs an extra 20 bucks and won’t make or break the gift.. in other words, it’s probbbbbbs not necessary. Save yourself the money unless you know it’s something she’ll love.
If you’re in a tougher financial season of life, you don’t HAVE to get something for EVERYONE. I mean, really you don’t have to get anything for anyone regardless of your financial situation, but when “giving” is something you love doing, it’s hard to know where to stop. This can add more stress than joy. Here’s an example- I love my coworkers. I love adding them to my Christmas list and picking out things they’d like. Not out of obligation, but out of love. I enjoy giving. But I work with like 25 people and it was hard for me to draw a line. Last year was our first very tight year financially and I found myself trying to find the cheapest things possible just to have SOMETHING to give people. This year we’re saving for a maternity leave, work has been slow, and I’ve decided no one wants a piece a junk just to have something. And no one will love me less because I couldn’t afford to get them a present. This one thing alone has already made my Christmas feel so much more enjoyable, because I was so nervous about our budget. In the future, I hope to be in a place to pick back up giving to EVERYONE because I truly do enjoy it. But bottom line- if it’s stressing you out, don’t do it. That’s not what it’s about.
Just because you’re minimizing doesn’t mean they are. If your sister LOVES 6 million lip glosses piled in her drawers and little trinkets filling her dresser, you can buy her those things. Giving is about giving what they would like- not giving something you’d like. Does that make sense? If you’re trying to become more minimal , you don’t have to force everyone else too also.
When RECEIVING gifts
If people ask what you want-don’t be afraid to tell them. I find it weird to give someone a list of what you want if they didn’t ask. But if they ask- give them a few ideas! Maybe you really do need new shoes, or new makeup…or maybe you’d rather receive consumables like wine. If people ask, it’s nice to help them out a little.
Don’t freak out if you receive things that feel more like clutter. Don’t even think about minimalism or clutter on Christmas! If someone bought you a gift, it’s because they love you. They put YOUR name on their list. That’s pretty awesome. You are loved..be thankfuk for that and let THAT bring you Joy. When you’re home And finding a place for any gifts received, you’ll know if the item has a permanent place in your home or not. And if it doean’t, it’s ok. It did it’s job making you happy when you opened it. You don’t have to let something sit in your closet for 3 years just because it was a gift. If you’re able to exchange it, awesome! If not, you could donate to someone who would love it. I’ve never had someone ask if I still had the thing they bought me that one time- with the exception of last year when everyone knew I was starting minimalism and everyone asked if I returned their gifts lol. For the record- I kept every single Christmas gift I received last year. My loved ones know me well ❤️ basically it’s ok to not keep every gift, but you don’t need to assess them as you open them. Don’t rob yourself of the joy and happiness the holidays bring worrying about what you’ll keep- assess it later.
If you want to keep things simple with your kids too, I highly recommend reading my post about L’s birthday.
If you have 4 kids who have had huge Christmases until now, I may not be the best for advice. I have 1 kid and who isn’t even 2 yet, so simple is all he knows. From other minimalist mom stories I have read, though, kids don’t really notice when you cut back. So I’d say try! Maybe they could choose some toys to give to kids who don’t have any toys and then for Christmas just add less than you purged..
For L, santa brings him one gift and a stocking. It’s usually a practical gift that we would have had to buy him anyway. And when family asks for ideas for him, I’m not not afraid to tell them. I’m also not afraid to tell them what we don’t want. “Little plastic toys with a million parts don’t make it very long in our house” is an easy way to say it. But guess what? If someone gets him a plastic toy with 6million pieces .. we will appreciate it and he’ll play with it for a while until it no longer gets used or drives his mom insane 🤷
These things have worked for US. Take what makes sense for you and ignore the rest! The point is to have a stress free, joy filled holiday season. If you already have that, more power to you!
A little of my simple decor ❤️