It’s coming! Can you feel it? The hustle and bustle of the holidays is almost here. But do you really want a Christmas full of chaos, stress, clutter and debt? Keep reading to discover practical tips for a more minimalist Christmas that is still full of magic and joy.
Why Less is More When it Comes to Christmas
I will never forget how I felt after my first Christmas as a new mom. It wasn’t what I had expected.
I had spent months carefully choosing Christmas decorations for our new home, planning our holiday menu and buying extravagant gifts with the goal to amaze my children on Christmas morning.
But as I sat in our home my heart was not filled with wonder and joy.
Instead, I felt the weight and impact of what an over-the-top Christmas had created:
- Debt from all the gifts and non-essential items we really couldn’t afford
- Clutter from all of the toys – all but a few were quickly forgotten
- The need to store all the Christmas decorations we didn’t have room for
- A sinking feeling that all of this wasn’t what the holidays were all about
I decided that next year would be different. I began exploring minimalism and the impact of too many toys on children. We started paying down our debt and sticking to a budget. I asked my children what their favorite part of Christmas was and decided to create simple traditions based on their answers.
The next Christmas was a truly magical Christmas. We celebrated with family, made lasting memories and avoided the stress and debt that we thought just a part of the holidays.
Below I share my tips for creating a more minimalist Christmas for your family.
Practical Ideas for a More Minimalist Christmas
Minimalist Christmas Decorations
Holiday decorations pop up in stores before your Jack-o-Lanterns have time to mold.
The lights, inflatable and knick-knacks are adorable and admittedly tempting.
But it doesn’t take much to evoke the spirit of Christmas with a few carefully selected items.
We have found that the follow items are enough to create a cozy and festive feeling in our home:
White Christmas Lights
Touches of green from a wreath or garland
A simply decorated tree
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Kid-created holiday crafts put on display
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Minimalist Gift Giving
Giving is at the heart of what Christmas is all about. The key to keeping the spirit of Christmas alive while simplifying the holidays is to keep the intention of your gifts at the center of your Christmas list.
The intention of gift-giving is to show someone that they are special to you.
There are numerous ways to do this that don’t require
- Mountains of debt
- Stressful last-minute shopping
- Tons of crappy plastic toys that will break and be forgotten
That average American family spends 58 months paying off holiday debt. I am a firm believer that you should never go into debt to show someone how much they mean to you. That message is better sent through our words and actions.
At the same time, gift giving fun and is even a love language for some.
I have found that very few minimalist families are comfortable forgoing gifts altogether. Instead, the focus is placed on careful selecting clutter-free, thoughtful and useful gifts.
Some popular minimalist gift giving suggestions include:
This one is a no-brainer. By limiting the number of gifts you give to your children and to others you also minimize the following:
- the stress of shopping
- the stress of spending too much money
- the stress of dealing with too much clutter afterward
Giving fewer gifts allows you to be able to carefully select gifts that are going to be valued and appreciated by the recipient.
This is one of our family’s favorite alternative gift ideas. It’s a gift that can get broken or grown out of.
Many popular ideas include trips, lessons, tickets and outdoor activities.
The best part is the memories will last forever and there’s no storage required. You can even still provide an actual gift to open by placing a brochure, tickets or passes in a box or envelope.
To put it simply, consumables are gifts that go away 😉
As a new mom I was elated when I discovered consumable gift ideas and they have been at the top of my Christmas shopping list ever since. I love that I can give a gift to my child that they will enjoy, but I will not be picking up for years to come.
Common consumable gift ideas include food, art and craft supplies, toiletries and personal care products.
As I shop for my family I create gift guides in an effort to simplify your Christmas shopping experience.
Here are my most popular clutter-free gift guides this year:
- 40 Clutter Free Stocking Stuffers your Kids will actually Want
- The Best Minimalist Gifts for Mom This Year
- 15 Clutter Free Christmas Gift Ideas For Kids
- Amazing Gifts for the Manly Minimalist
Minimalist Tips to Simplify the Holidays
Okay, so we have covered decorations and gift giving, but there is still so much more that adds to the stress and overwhelm that comes along with the season.
We still haven’t covered:
- Christmas Traditions and Family Activities
- Holiday Travel
- Holiday Meals
- Christmas Spending
Lucky for you I have more great tips to simplify the holidays in the following posts:
There you have it mama! Simple and practical tips to create a minimalist Christmas with your family this year.
We would love to hear from you! What part of Christmas do you wish was easier? Comment below and I will reply!