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how to be a minimalist amidst a commercial holiday

Christmas, the pinnacle of every year. The marking of the holiday season and the new year to come. But every time, our memory seems to fail us, blissfully forgetting the stress of this once a year show. The gift shopping, the travel, the food preparation and accommodating guests.

Christmas is after all a commercial holiday and we shouldn’t feel obliged to give into these preconceived ideas of what christmas should look like.

Amidst the hullabaloo we forget the rewarding reasons why we do this to ourselves year in, year out. Christmas is about making the effort to spend time with the ones you love. So why do we veer off the path of quality time, and fill it with stress, overspending and disappointment?

I guess we could blame it on big corporations or we can learn how to have a more down to earth holiday.

Here are a few ways to have a rewarding minimalist Christmas.

Natural Decorations
The perfect sustainable decoration could be found in your front yard, or on your street. Make a table runner of eucalyptus leaves or a wreath of pine twigs. Stop buying cheap, only used once a year decorations that are probably made in sweat shops and start being more conscious about where your purchases are coming from. Note: don’t destroy the natural flora, just take a little souvenir.

Know your limits
Learn from your mistakes. Understand what you have the energy and time for and what you don’t. It’s easy for our imaginations to run away with us with grand desires of what we want our Christmas to be. At the end of the day, others may not notice the details that you poured over, and you will feel disappointed. Learn to know what you are prepared to put in with little to no payoff.

Don’t think of this as putting your family and friends to work. Think of this as allowing your guests to contribute and show of their own skills, it will be rewarding for everyone involved. You don’t have to do everything yourself, and if you’re a control freak like me, let it go!

Kris Kringle / Secret Santa
There is absolutely no reason why we should buy several presents and receive several in return. Remember why we are doing this, spending time not money. Kris Kringle serves as a genius way to avoid the stress of buying multiple presents. It also enables you to spend time considering the one right gift for your giftee.

Here are some fail safe minimalist gift ideas you can tailor to any person.

1 – Food / Drink / Consumables
You will never receive food as a gift and think, “this is something I will never use.” Curate a little hamper of your giftee’s favourite treats, or buy a bottle of nice champagne to enjoy together or apart. Think about it’s packaging, try for glass, tin or paper as opposed to plastic so when you’re gift has been consumed, it can be easily recycled.

2 – Subscriptions / Skills
The gift that keeps on giving. Give your giftee a subscription to their favourite online magazine or newspaper. Think about their hobbies and interests and find an editorial that will extend their knowledge and inspire new ideas. A multi pass to a drawing class or a writing course… the options are endless.

3 – Experience
They say life is not about the things you own, but the experiences and memories you collect. Say Merry Christmas with an Art Gallery pass, an Airbnb weekend in the mountains or tickets to their favourite band.

4 – Flowers / Plants
The gift of nurturing nature can be very rewarding. Gifting some herb plants, flowers or seeds allows your present to extend far beyond Christmas and become a part of their everyday life. And best of all, it’s completely biodegradable.

5 – Donate
Use this opportunity to think of others in need. Is your giftee passionate about a particular cause? Making the world a better place on their behalf may be the most rewarding option of them all.

Happy holidays!

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: have yourself a sustainable christmas | become

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