- Posted by jversichele
- On November 24, 2017
- 0 Comments
- christmas, christmas decorations, holiday, minimalism, minimalist christmas
By the time I made it to my early 20’s, I had developed a pretty “bah humbug” attitude about Christmas. Working a few Black Fridays and holiday seasons in a big box retail store will do that to you. I still enjoyed the family togetherness of Christmas Eve and Day. But I dreaded the two-month slog of excessive assembly line cashiering, maddening 60-year-old music and being bombarded with red glittery everything. I wanted to like Christmas. But there was just TOO MUCH of it. I was officially done.
Doing a minimalist Christmas appealed to me long before I started to practice minimalism in other aspects of my life. When my partner and I finally moved in together, we were finally free to celebrate a minimalist Christmas. In the Netherlands, where we live, Christmas is still commercial but it isn’t as “in your face” as it is in the states. But we decided to do even less than the average Dutch person and only celebrate a little Christmas. It was only after doing this that I started to truly enjoy the holiday season again.
The following is a list of ideas for practicing holiday minimalism. They have been tested and proven (at least by me and some of my family members) to make the Christmas season as stress-free as possible.
Minimalist Christmas Food, Party and Entertaining Ideas
Getting the whole family fed and entertained is one of the biggest challenges of the holiday season. It’s also an area where many fear that their family or peers will judge them based on their cooking or hosting skills. By practicing some minimalist holiday hosting techniques, you can enjoy your holiday get-togethers in a relaxed and stress-free way.
- Host a potluck family dinner– This is by far the easiest way to host a dinner. When everyone contributes one dish then everyone saves time, money and energy.
- Or you can make an all-in-one dish holiday meal– your family may expect a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. And when you do a turkey + veggie tray bake they’re going to get it. Serve with a simple salad and dessert from a good bakery and you’re done!
- Ask for help– Sharing tasks with friends and family not only makes life easier but it’s a great way to spend the holiday with the people who really matter to you.
- Host a Christmas movie night instead of a big party– Invite some of your closest friends over for a relaxing or funny Christmas movie with some drinks and snacks. The holiday season should be about nurturing relationships with the people that matter. It’s not about trying to impress acquaintances with a huge party.
Minimalist Gift Giving and Decorating Ideas
It’s no secret that the Christmas season is incredibly material. With the lights, the boughs of holly and the mountains of gifts, we should probably all go watch that Charlie Brown Christmas movie to remember what Christmas is really about. Charlie’s little tree with the one ornament should serve as your minimalist Christmas decorating and gift-giving inspiration this year. Here are some ideas to get started.
- Don’t decorate every surface– Undoubtedly, you will be bombarded with images on social media of perfectly curated Christmas interior wonderlands. Instead, try to channel some understated elegance into your interior with minimalist decorations. A tree with a few bulbs in one color, an unadorned wreath, and a few white candles spread around the house is all you need to make your living space festive and bright.
- Keep gift wrapping simple– All you need is some brown wrapping paper, some twine to make bows and a sprig of holly or evergreen to wrap simple and beautiful gifts.
- Gift experiences instead of things– It’s hard to come up with unique gift ideas that you’re sure the recipient will love. Try gifting something like theater tickets, gift certificates to a favorite restaurant or a trip to the spa. Gifts like these are thoughtful, clutter-free and are sure to be appreciated.
- Make small gifts instead of buying big ones– Minimalism isn’t the negation of all material objects. It’s about emphasizing quality over quantity. When you make your own gifts, you are giving objects filled with love. The recipient is sure to cherish your gift no matter how small.
- If you do buy gifts buy handmade ones– Buying handmade gifts made by others ensures that your gifts will be unique. You will also be supporting your local artists and artisans. Check out your local art gallery or art center. They usually have Christmas markets in December.
Holiday Media Minimalism
OMG SALE! Did you know we have a HOLIDAY SALE that you NEED RIGHT NOW!!!!!! Come to our holiday sale NOW or that THING YOU NEED to get for that person will be gone and THEY WILL HATE YOU and you will FAIL as a human and you suck. COME TO OUR SAAALLLLLEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes. We know. We know there is a holiday sale. Shut up already.
- Schedule some media-free time every day if you can– I say if you can because if you’re out in a café or restaurant with a tv or you work in a retail store (I’m sorry. We’ve all been there) then you can’t avoid it. When you’re in a place where you can control your media consumption, do it to avoid the incessant holiday advertising. Listen to Spotify in the car. Read a favorite book or watch a favorite film at home. Please, for the love of your sanity.
My partner and I do all these things and we are in no hurry to add more Christmas to our lives. Oddly enough, by having a minimalist Christmas, it makes it much more enjoyable than the too much Christmas the media and society encourage us to have.