The Christmas season is upon us. That means we’ll be spending a lot of time with family, eating delicious food and exchanging presents. But if you’re like me, you might feel overwhelmed by all the extra stuff that comes with celebrating Christmas. Before you know it, your house is filled with boxes under the tree that haven’t been opened yet because they’re hiding the ones from earlier in the week! So this guide is all about keeping things simple and enjoying the holiday for what it really is: time spent with loved ones and not worrying about what’s happening on social media or how many cookies are left in the cookie jar (just kidding—I always eat those).
Just a head’s up, I share some links to Amazon in this post. As an Amazon Associate I earn from Qualifying purchases.
Declutter your home
- It’s essential to declutter your home before you start enjoying the holiday season. We all know that once christmas is over, the amount of added clutter is intense. So it’s important to give yourself a head start in making sure your home is clutter free to begin with.
- Here are a few tips on how to declutter your home:
- Start with one room at a time—kitchen or living room first? Whatever room is easiest for you! Once it’s done, move on to another one until eventually all of them are clean.
- Take everything out of each drawer loudly so that everyone knows what’s going on in there (this also helps my husband pay attention). Then put things into piles: keep, donate or recycle/trash as necessary. If there are things left in a pile after picking through them all once more (and there are always some), put those items back into their original places (for example, items like scissors and books go back into their drawers). Then repeat this process for every drawer/cabinet/cubby hole until everything has been sorted through once again!
Decorate with care
First, when you’re purchasing decorations, don’t buy new ones. Instead, look for the items that you already have and can reuse. For example, if you’ve got a small collection of vintage books, why not use them as decoration? The same goes for old vases and containers—you don’t need to run out and buy new ones from the store.
Also consider using natural materials that are found in your own backyard or neighborhood—like pine cones, twigs or leaves—as decorations instead of artificial plastic ones. These will look more authentic while also helping reduce waste in our environment! Check out this list for some ideas!
Finally make sure everything is hand-crafted; by doing this not only will it limit your carbon footprint but it will also show appreciation to the hard work that went into making these items!
Buy only what you need
- Avoid buying stuff you don’t need.
- Avoid the temptation to buy more than one gift for each person on your list, especially if it’s something that isn’t necessarily a necessity. Remember that Christmas is about spending time with loved ones and not just about getting presents in return. For example, if someone asks for a new pair of headphones or a book, go ahead and get them those things—but don’t go overboard by buying two or three different items as well just because they’re on sale or at a low price point.
- Give the gift of an experience, rather than material items. Such as tickets to an event, a gym membership, or a class on that hobby your friend has always wanted to try.
- Create gifts. Hand made gifts are much more personal and meaningful than store bought gifts. You probably already have creative hobbies, but if not now is a great time to start a new one. Weather it be painting, pottery, sewing, cross stitching, knitting, the list goes on.
Plan ahead for the new year
Every New Year brings a fresh start and the chance to set new goals. Planning ahead is one of the most important steps you can take to make sure you have a good New Year. Be mindful of what you do and don’t want to bring into the new year with you.
Whether it’s making a budget or deciding what you want to do with your life, setting clear goals is important. As you plan ahead for the New Year, write down what you want to accomplish, and give yourself a time frame. But don’t set unrealistic goals that you’ll end up abandoning, and then feel guilty for. Here’s a great article about setting realistic goals for yourself.
- Use fabric and other materials, such as cotton or linen.
- Use eco-friendly wrapping paper. Like this super cute recyclable wrapping paper
- Make your own wrapping paper! You can draw on plain white paper with markers, ink stamps, or paint; you can also use stickers and other embellishments to decorate the surface.
- Give gifts that don’t requite any wrapping at all. Such as a subscription to a service.
You can make your own cards using recycled paper. First, print on your computer with holiday-themed templates. These ones from amazon are super cute and versatile! To make it more personal, enclose family photos or write a short poem. And if you experience a bit of writers block, find some well wishes or poetry on the internet (just make sure you give credit where credit is due!)
A minimalist Christmas is all about reducing your environmental impact and waste. One way you can do this is by reducing the amount of packaging that comes with your presents.
If you’re buying gifts for other people, try to find products that don’t come in any type of packaging at all. This includes things like books and music albums. You could also buy food items such as bulk nuts or chocolate bars from a health food store instead of grocery stores where these types of items are often packaged with unnecessary plastic wrappers (and usually cost more than regular brands).
If the product you want to give someone does come wrapped up in some sort of box or bag, then take the time to reuse it yourself once they’ve opened their present! For example: if you give someone flowers, you can reuse the decorative paper the bouquet is wrapped in for wrapping a gift or decorating a gift bag.
A Minimalist Christmas Dinner
- Don’t have a smorgasbord. Instead, opt for the potluck approach. This will save you the trouble of having to do all the food yourself and will also give everyone an opportunity to contribute something else if they’re not into cooking or baking—like a bottle of wine or a dessert they made at home.
- Stick to the main dishes and keep things simple: turkey, ham, chicken casserole (or whatever protein-based dish you prefer). If one person brings an entire meal (like lasagna), then everyone else can serve themselves from there instead of having to make three different meals on their own.
- Use ingredients that are already on hand rather than splurging on expensive items during this time of year so that no one feels pressured by what’s available in stores or online—this also avoids wastefulness!
Your Christmas will be happier and more meaningful if you focus on simple things.
- Avoid the temptation to buy everyone on your list a gift.
- Focus on the meaning of Christmas, not just the commercialism.
- Spend time with people you love and care about, not just family members who you may feel obliged to see.
- Try to stay off your phone as much as possible, or at least set it on airplane mode during meal times so you can focus on those around you.
- Engage is activities with your loved ones, like card games or board games. My favorite are the classics, such as monopoly, sorry, or monopoly junior: bluey edition (my kids are obsessed).
If you’re like me, then chances are that you’ve been stressing yourself out for weeks about what to buy for your loved ones. Instead of worrying about how much money you’ve spent and what to buy them this year, try focusing on the real meaning of Christmas. That is spending time together, being happy and enjoying life!
Christmas is a great opportunity for us to show our loved ones how much we care about them. It’s also an occasion when we can appreciate everything that we have and be grateful for what we have achieved so far in life (or just take time off from work).