Are presents the best part of Christmas? When I was little, I remember waking up on Christmas Day and being excited to open my stocking and pile of presents. It was a magical time of year!
But surely there are other ways of showing you care about family and friends than through buying things? Minimalism has opened up my eyes to the unnecessary consumption at Christmas and a society that keeps wanting more. I became detached from Christmas and even questioned whether I should celebrate it any more!
We teach kids to want things from a young age when they write their wish lists to Santa. We are bombarded with shops encouraging us to spend our money on their products. We are expected to exchange gifts at Christmas.
So what have I learned after two Christmases as a minimalist?
I’ve realised it’s ok not to want gifts! Even after explaining this to my family and friends, some people insist on giving me something. When this happens, I prefer food (I love avocados - hint hint!) or a charity donation. Instead of receiving a physical gift I don’t need, I like knowing the money can be spent on someone else in need. Helping others is a far more powerful gift than stuff!
I’ve also learned to focus on the parts of Christmas I do enjoy. Spending time and sharing food with family and friends are better ways of showing you care about them than presents. Christmas is a time to feel hygge by wrapping up in a jumper, lighting some candles and having a hot drink when it’s cold outside. It’s a time for everyone to slow down...
Admittedly, enjoying Christmas is something I’m still working on. I’ll never stop cringing at Christmas music blasting everywhere I go (no judgement if you enjoy it though). I find the pressure to socialise overwhelming and I’m starting to realise I also need to book ‘me time’.
Overall, I believe minimalists can enjoy Christmas. I’m looking forward to baking gingerbread men people and sharing them with family and friends. I’ve even volunteered to make roast potatoes this year!
Has minimalism changed the way you think about Christmas?