Minimalist Christmas Traditions & Reducing Your Holiday Stress
As Maya Angelou once said,
“We need much less than we think we need.”
I wanted to share with you how I started our minimalist Christmas tradition in our family household. Every year I go through a decluttering phase, and I start to get rid of toys, clothes, and things our family no longer use. Every year I make it a habit to donate those items to a charity in need. When I know our things are going to another family who needs them, it makes it much easier to detach and let go.
This Christmas is a little bit different from that, though in the same minimalist vein. I started a new tradition to buy less, own less, and only do things that bring me happiness. For this year, I decided that decorating the tree consumed too much of my time and energy, and it no longer brought me happiness. So I put up our Christmas tree with just the lights, a string of golden beads, and one handmade ornament that our child made from school. It was a much lighter feeling but happiness was what I truly felt.
My kids don’t care about how the tree looks. They care about me being there with them. The look on their faces when they see me watch them discover solving a puzzle rather than the time I spent making the Christmas tree look perfect. It’s that moment right there that makes the holiday season burst with magic.
It doesn’t take much to tackle a minimalist approach for revamping your Christmas traditions. You’re still doing special things together and making beautiful memories. It’s not like the Grinch has come and taken everything away. Because it’s about who is there, not what, that makes the Christmas spirit the very thing we all know and love.
Christmas should never be about stressing out over how you’ll ever afford gifts. Or adding to the clutter and chaos. All we need for the holidays are the ones we cherish.
You should start your own holiday planning by thinking about what matters most to you and your family. Give yourself permission to set boundaries and create new traditions this year if your existing ones no longer bring you happiness. Take a second look at all the things you own in your house and get rid of the things you haven’t really used in a while. Live only with the things you love and use every day – it will make your home feel lighter and less cluttered. I promise that this will make you feel so much better!
When you think about it, it’s all about expectation management. Decide what Christmas truly means for you. Jotting it down can help, then you can focus on a few things from that list before moving forward with building minimalist Christmas traditions of your own.
Here are some ideas to reduce the stress of the holidays:
- Don’t put up a Christmas tree or choose to put up minimal decorations instead
- Declutter and clear things out
- Donate your belongings to charity
- Spend time outdoors with your family
- Set a spending limit in your budget comfort zone
- Ask friends and family what they want and need for Christmas to avoid being wasteful
- Do a Secret Santa gift exchange so that everyone buys and receives only one gift
- Give experiences like movie theater or theme park tickets
- Make handmade gifts
- Buy secondhand gifts
- Gift sustainable and eco-friendly gifts
- Use sustainable wrapping such as reused cardboard boxes, fabric scraps, etc.
- Choose not to exchange gifts
Minimalist Christmas is about your intentions and values. Decide what your priorities mean to you, and then align your holiday celebrations with them. Because ultimately, we need much less than we think we need to be truly happy.