Tuesday, 21 November 2017

How To Be A Minimalist At Christmas



I have to hold my hands up and admit that ever since Autumn came around I have been struggling with my minimalist journey. Autumn and Winter are a time of year when suddenly the shops are full of festive homeware and it's a time when I really love to embrace the seasons and everything that comes with it. It's also a time when I start to think about gift giving to others and how I want to show those around me that I love and appreciate them. 

To be honest I thought I was over getting sucked into buying 'stuff' but as soon as the cute festive homewares and clothing hit the shops I have found myself losing some control again. 

I am definitely not 100% there yet with minimalism, and even though I have made some amazing changes this year, there is still a lot of work to be done. I have however made a real effort to avoid over spending recently and buying unnecessary things, especially when it comes to buying gifts for others. There's only so much I can say in this post without giving too much away to friends and family, but I did just want to share some tips which I have found to be helpful with being more of a minimalist at Christmas. 

Experiences Over Things

I have been all about experiences in 2017 and I have really valued spending more of my money on making memories than material possessions. I think this is a great idea when it comes to Christmas gift giving too. Maybe think about an experience a loved one would really enjoy or something you can do together which means you can spend time together making new memories. I am sure this is way more valued than any material gift will ever be. 

Make A List

Most years I write a Christmas shopping list and most years it completely goes out of the window. Before I know it I have bought everything on the list and the same amount again because it didn't look like enough. It's difficult I know, but make a list and stick to it. Edit it, and edit it again. Tick things off as you go along and force yourself to stop when your list is completed. It's not worth making yourself broke over and remember - you can't put a price on your company and presence in someones life. 

Don't Make Your Home Suffocating

It's so easy to get carried away with decorating your home at Christmas and I am sure we are all familiar with that overwhelming sense of relief once it's all taken down again and packed away. That sense of relief is exactly like how I felt when I decided to minimise my home and life. There's ways to add some subtle but effective decor to your home without making it resemble Santa's Grotto! A simple wreath on your front door and a Christmas tree is more than enough. And don't forget - trees are beautiful without being decorated. I know I want to see and smell more of the green from my tree this year so I'm really holding back on decorations. I also like a few candles dotted around my living area and some fairy lights but that's where I am drawing the line this year. 

Get Making

I always feel creative at this time of year and I especially love baking my own treats and making my own decorative features. Making gifts is also a great way of spending less and adding a real personal touch to your Christmas giving. 

Consumables

If you do feel compelled to buy someone something try to make it a consumable - something they can eat or drink, experience vouchers, fragrance, toiletries etc. I think there's more chance of your gift getting used and appreciated and of course you're not cluttering up someone else's home with junk they don't need! 

Be More Vocal

It often feels rude to say what you want for Christmas, unless of course it's your close family, but you should be vocal about what you need or want. At the end of the day the likelihood is someone would rather get you something you really want or need than buying you something for the sake of it. This is also especially important if you are trying to live a clutter free existence. Tell your family and friends you would rather an experience than a thing. Maybe you're saving up for something you really need so ask them to contribute towards that. If there really isn't anything you need or want then why not ask them to make a donation to a charitable cause on your behalf? Either way, be more vocal and voice what it is you want.

Give To Charity

Ok, so if you have followed all of the above steps and still find yourself with a heap of stuff you don't want or need after Christmas then the best thing you can do is immediately pack it into a bag and take it to a charity who will appreciate it. You may feel bad for doing so but trust me - by holding onto that stuff you're just delaying something that you'll end up doing years down the line anyway and clutter your home up in the process. Don't hang onto it for the sake of not upsetting others or because you feel guilty because ultimately you're just making yourself unhappy.

So there you have it. I hope you all feel suitably geared up for a more minimalist Christmas and I really hope this post has inspired you to make more intentional and conscious choices about your festive gift giving this year. I'd also love to hear if any of you have any further tips to add to this list so share your thoughts below! 

I'm going to end this post with a great quote by my favourite guys The Minimalists - "Love people, use things. The opposite never works".
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