The Holiday Season for the Minimalist

37 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes, 3 bags

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, but many people find the season chaotic and stressful. I have had a busy year and have decided to minimise all activity during this holiday season, as I really need to prioritise rest. For me this is easy, as I don’t have a huge family with a series of rituals attached. For those of you with large families and commitments, here are a few quick tips to allow yourself the luxury of slowing down. I’m sure you’ve read dozens of posts about this topic by now, so I’ll keep this brief!

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Decrease the stressful things you don’t like about the holiday season.

  1. Minimise commitments. Where appropriate, combine family and friend get-togethers to avoid rushing from one place to another.
  2. Reduce preparation time. Some people spend hours preparing Christmas food. Purchase prepared food if you are a guest. If you are the host, ask your guests to forgo gifts and bring platters instead.
  3. Think outside the box when gift giving. We’ve been conditioned to think that giving someone a shiny new item shows we love them. This is not the case. Find simple alternatives.
  4. Reduce the gifts you receive to avoid guilt-ridden decluttering later. Warn your loved ones that you would prefer not to receive gifts this year. You can explain that you are trying out this minimalism thing, and you want the holidays to be about connecting with them rather than acquiring new things. Ask for experiences or consumables if you know they will insist on showering you with gifts.

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But don’t forget to…

Increase the amazing things that you love about the holiday season.

  1. Shiny lights. Everywhere. Starting in November and going through till Easter.
  2. If you love baking or cooking, go crazy. Even give people baked goods as gifts.
  3. Sleep like there is no tomorrow, and eat all the things.
  4. Spend time with the people that really nurture and inspire you. Tell them they nurture and inspire you. Nurture and inspire them.

Happy Holidays!


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