Our minimalist Christmas - part 1

Tis the season to be merry and bright. And with that comes also the expectation to meet everyone's wishes for gifts, demands for time and scheduled events. There is no one right way to celebrate Christmas, only what you deem is right for your family. That's why I'm writing this two part series on how we celebrate this most beloved season in our own minimalist way. It's my hope that this post causes you to reflect on what is most valuable in your celebrations and to discard what is clutter.

Over the past years, our Christmas and general holiday activity has become more minimalist in nature - in our decorations, gift giving and our celebrations. This is not to say that we are scrooges, far from it. However, we are not intent on defining this special holiday season by what marketeers project on us: the need for the latest and greatest item of the season. So my husband and I have purposed to disengage from this aforementioned philosophy and to do our best to reign in the materialism so often associated with Christmas. We want to do things our way: meaningful, simple and in budget. (My husband especially likes the in budget part, but then again so do I. No one wants to spend the day after Christmas adding up bills from overspending. It's not too late to set a budget for Christmas. :)

When it comes to holiday decor, there seem to be extremes of it. Our neighbor down the street, who has a yard the size of a postage stamp, has managed to cover it with every inflatable Christmas themed blow up piece possible. Santas, trains, snowmans, and everything under the sun that inflates and has blinking lights. My son loves to walk down to this house and admire all the decor. We can appreciate all of this neighbor's effort and he has provided entertaiment for our whole family and neighborhood. However, our Christmas decor will look quite different at home.

In our home, we have three items we use for the season: wreath for the front door, a Christmas tree (borrowed artificial or a modest real one), and a small red sign painted by my friend's sister. That's it. I minimally decorated my home to begin with so my "holiday decorations" reflect that. The less I decorate with means the less to store, take care of, keep, put up, take down and dust off.

It's not about what you have always done or what others do, it's about defining the right celebration for you, so think outside of the box. Everyone has different circumstances this Christmas and different budget constraints so if you need to scale back or do something simple this year then do it. Don't let the comparison of what everyone else is doing keep you from being free in this area.

Is there an area where you are struggling to simplify this year or something you decided to do this year that has given you more freedom? Comment below, I would love to hear about it.