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Simply Perfect: Celebrating the Holidays with Minimalism

While the holidays are typically a time of indulgence and overspending, you don’t have to go overboard just to have fun this season. It is possible to create a warm and beautiful atmosphere of holiday spirit as a minimalist.

We hear you wondering about all the items you already have relating to the holidays, but if you happen to have a few boxes full of decorations in your garage, by all means, bust those bad boys out and get to decorating. Transitioning into a life of minimalism doesn’t mean immediately getting rid of everything you love. The holidays are a very special time of year to many people, and this may be one area where you just can’t seem to dial it back.

If you want to learn to incorporate minimalism into your holiday routine, keep reading to find out how.

Gifting Wisely

One of the most well-known and celebrated aspects of the holidays is gift-giving, an activity that seems ubiquitous with the holiday season. The holidays are about being with family, friends, and loved ones, not breaking the bank to buy one another’s love or affection.

There are many reasons why someone might choose to forego this part of holiday festivities, whether to save money or to simply cut back on unnecessary clutter, in keeping with the spirit of minimalism. This year, maybe you can get the family together to celebrate one another with a good meal and the gift of each other’s company.

A gift exchange/secret santa gift being handed over by a young woman.

Try a Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Try playing Secret Santa this year: get a group together to participate, write down each member’s name on a piece of paper, and have everyone involved draw a name from the hat. You become the Secret Santa to whoever’s name is on the paper you draw, and you buy only a gift for that person.

Your group can choose a spending limit, for instance, $25, on each gift. This way, everyone still gets to open a present, but no one’s budget is destroyed, and you’re able to cut down on waste. It’s a win-win!

Skip Gifts, Donate Instead

If you really want to cut down on the amount of items that come into your home, you can also choose to do a group donation to a charity or cause of your choice as a gift to each other. This helps support your community and it ensures your money goes to good use instead of being spent on a knickknack that will end up at the next garage sale.

Create New Holiday Traditions

If you’ve spent nearly every holiday season with a round of opening presents under the tree, you may feel like rejecting this tradition will leave you empty or longing for comfort. This is an excellent time to create new, exciting, and conscientious traditions that fall in line with the tenets of minimalism.

Try replacing the morning present routine with a fabulous brunch, followed by an evening of board games with the fam.

If it’s nice outside, it may be a good day for family football—or conversely, matching snow angels, if the morning brings icy flakes. Or, you may choose to spend the evening watching those cheesy holiday movies that are simultaneously oh-so-bad, and surprisingly good.

Read This Next: Vegan-Friendly Festivities: Your Holiday Vegan Guide

Tying up skates with family.

Volunteer Your Time

One of your new traditions may include volunteering, whether at your local food bank, homeless shelter, or animal shelter. If you’re living a minimalist lifestyle, chances are giving your time and energy to others is something you’d also be interested in. This is also a great alternative to donating if you are unable to at the time.

Not only will you be helping those in need, improving their holidays and giving them a reason to smile, you’ll feel good about yourself without the need to consume or spend. See if you can get your loved ones involved as well—the more the merrier!

Friends bringing their hands together to celebrate something good they've done.

D.I.Y. Time - Get Crafty

Arts and crafts are not only a wonderful way to practice self-expression, but they also go hand-in-hand with the holidays, especially if you have little ones in your family. Breaking out the construction paper and markers is also a fun way to teach kids that you can enjoy the holidays without a plethora of plastic toys and the waste of wrapping paper.

You can even teach them how to use things you have around the house, like newspapers, to get crafty and wrap homemade gifts with. As an adult, you can use this time to craft hand-made holiday cards that will say so much more than Hallmark could on its own, or string together a bag of popped popcorn for the ultimate retro tree decoration.

Self-expression and creativity can become synonymous with the holidays, rather than consumerism and shopping.

Assert Your Boundaries

You may find yourself saying “no” repeatedly this season, but you have to stick to your guns. There may be many friends or family members who don’t understand the need for minimalism, especially during the holidays, and this may not be the best time to try to explain.

Don’t allow yourself to be guilted into activities or traditions that you don’t feel comfortable with. You can certainly offer alternatives, like your new, creative traditions, but try not to be too disappointed if others don’t quite understand your point of view.

Celebrate Each Other

The true meaning of the holidays is celebrating our loved ones and the connections we’ve built with each other, which requires spending no money and contributing no waste to the world. It’s surprisingly easy to maintain a minimalist lifestyle during the season, as long as you remember that the heart of the matter is the love that we share.

Related Article: This Christmas, Be Present

Rhiannon Liselle

Rhiannon Liselle

Rhiannon Liselle is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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