Holiday Minimalism: Why I got rid of My Christmas Tree

30 items of clothing, 7 pairs of shoes, 2 bags

It is December and Christmas is fast approaching! This season I will be uploading a series of posts and videos about minimalism during the holiday season. Today, I will discuss why I got rid of my Christmas tree.

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As a young child, the holiday season held so much promise and anticipation. As someone who did not grow up in a particularly well-off family, Christmas was a time of magic and shiny new things. It was so exciting opening those gifts on Christmas morning. I loved the ritual, and continued it long into my twenties.

I purchased my tree a decade ago. I bought it while I worked in a large department store, getting a discount on the expensive item. The amount I spent on it demonstrates how much value I placed in the holiday season at that time. I was thrilled about its purchase. I covered it in pine essential oil, so it would smell like the trees my granddad used to cut down in Poland. I guess I was always an aesthetic minimalist, because the only decorations it ever wore were fairy lights, and I loved the way this looked. I would go out of my way to buy nice gifts for my loved ones, wrap them up and leave them under the tree to be opened on Christmas morning.

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So what happened?

My decision to sell my Christmas tree didn’t come down to one thing, but many.

Two important reasons it was time to let the tree go were the clutter it created and my changing attitude to the holidays.

The tree was big and it took up a lot of space, even while packed up. The amount of time I spent using it was quite small compared with the time I did not. It was a large burden to store during ten months of the year. Before my last move I decided it was time to say goodbye.

My minimalist journey has caused me to question a lot, because I’ve had no choice but to reassess where I am and who I am. Sometimes shedding objects leads to shedding mindsets and rituals. My old Christmas rituals do not suit the current circumstances of my life. This took a few years to realise, and even longer to accept. The way forward is new adventures, new rituals and new mindsets. There is no space in our lives for things that don’t serve us. Holding onto those can be a weight that drags us down and keeps us living in place that isn’t really there.

This holiday season I feel light.

 

Below is a video discussing these ideas in more detail. Check out my YouTube channel for new videos about minimalism every week. Follow me on Instagram, where I record my minimalist outfits. Check me out on Facebook for resources and updates. I have also have a Patreon account, where today I have discussed some questions to ask yourself if you unsure about whether an item (or habit) does not suit your life anymore. 

Enjoy!


16 thoughts on “Holiday Minimalism: Why I got rid of My Christmas Tree

  1. Great post! Minimalism means so many different things. To us, exchanging a full size tree for a table top version that requires nothing but the lights already strung is what has worked for us for the past 5 years. We’ve gone from a “Christmas Storage Room” to this skinny tree box and one tub of other decor. AND this year we chose not to do anything but the tree. Instead we are spending our time cooking with friends and enjoying the comments of a single holiday decoration. We may have some converts!-Laurel
    https://littleblackdomicile.com

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  2. I love what you say at around 3:30 on the video about how Christmas in general has changed. That’s so true. We definitely are doing more of the “moments” gifts rather than physical gifts this year (memberships to the kids museum etc.) We just don’t need anymore stuff. And, if we are truly just keeping what brings us joy, we don’t need that much. I’m slowly adapting to my own version of minimalism. And, as my goal isn’t to become fully minimal but rather to adapt some of the thought processes of it and live them out, this video really helped motivate me. My mom is a house stager for realty agents trying to sell homes. Because of this, she loves to decorate and thus I have acquired that love myself. I’m slowly learning to do less and less of it and become content with simple decor. Each holiday I used to have tubs and tubs of decorative items. As each holiday approaches, I tell myself, “lets get rid of half of it.” It’s really helped me downsize. After a few seasons of this, I should be doing pretty good 😉 ha. Thanks for the motivation.

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  3. This was such a good read! Minimalism really is a journey, where each of us travels at our own pace. I’m on my own minimalism journey and each Christmas the stack of presents and amount of decorations gets smaller and smaller. I have this constraint struggle, though, with providing a memorable Christmas for my three kids. I remind myself that each year is an improvement and what I’m teaching my kids is more valuable than things. This year we have a paper tree taped to the wall that the kids cut out and painted 😊

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  4. For me personally, I have a real tree (love the smell and feel of them) but have seriously cut back how many presents I receive each year (including my birthday). I love Christmas trees and they represent something deeper than the unfortunate commercialization of Christmas that I can’t stand. I always think of the over-decorated, sterile, gaudy Christmas trees in department stores when I think of our modern ideas of Christmas. So, I protest the commercialization by having a simple tree 😛

    Really fair points on your part, though! Living in Australia would make it easier to challenge the conventional images and ideas around Christmas. Heck, even here in America we joke about decorating cacti in the southwest and palm trees in Florida. As I have lived in California my entire life, I have rarely seen snow and dream of a white Christmas, but that’s me ^_^

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  5. My fiance and I moved into our own house about 5 years ago and have never owned a Christmas tree. It seemed a waste of money for us as we both celebrate with our families at our parents homes. The tree would have simply been there for the sake of it. Neither of us are really into Christmas so it made a lot of sense for us. I have to admit that whilst we don’t have a tree, we do have a small ornamental tree that is about 30 cm that we pop on the table during December but that’s about it.

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  6. Great post. Now that you have sold your tree will you have any alternative more minimal Christmas decorations?

    I think we will be getting a real tree again this year as it lasts for the festive period and we don’t have to store it afterwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We like the idea of minimalism and abhor consumerism, however, the idea of getting rid of our Christmas tree would be a struggle for us. We’ve had the same tree for over 20 years (we’re frugal) and most of our ornaments are older and have been passed down through the years. Plus, we’ve been able to store it in a very small corner space in the basement. That being said, we wouldn’t think twice about getting rid of the rest of the Christmas decorations. We’ve already stopped putting outside lights up and have pared down to a small wreath (also very old) that we place on the door. Those two things are more than enough for us!

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  8. I got rid of my artificial tree this year too (by donating it to a single older woman who needed one ) and I was surprised that I felt sorrow and loss because of all of the memories attached to it. 🤔 when I stopped to think about it, I realized the tree itself was a bunch of plastic and wire, and memories last whether there’s a specific trigger or not. Thoughtful post 💚. Happy holidays !

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