Have you ever had spent much more than you thought at Christmas? I know it could be the most stressful time of the year for some of us. Today, I’d like to share with you how to simplify Christmas with a minimal perspective. By following these 5 minimalist approaches to this holiday season, you’ll enjoy Christmas more. Remember, focus on what really matters, spend precious time with your loved ones, relax and enjoy the holidays!
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5 Ways to Simplify Christmas
1. Fewer Gifts
My husband and I don’t exchange gifts when it comes to this time of the holiday season. Honestly, it’s not necessary for him to buy me a gift to make me happy. We have the same financial goal and we budget our money. We would like to have a nice dinner at our favorite restaurant instead of exchanging gifts.
As a believer, Christmas is celebrating Jesus Christ and His birth. We both love to spend time together as a family and celebrate Christmas with a simple holiday joy without gifts or fancy stuff.
We let our extended family and friends know not exchanging gifts. This makes me less stress for family and friends gathering. We won’t break our bank and worry about buying something that they might not like. Of course, there are some people we still keep buying gifts, just like our parents, kids, and teachers, etc.
2. Experiences over Material Possessions
We all know that we have to spend money this holiday season. For us, we have chosen to value experiences over material possessions.
We would rather spend money on traveling than buying stuff. The joy of travel keeps the happiness in our memory and no one can steal it. Last time we took our daughter to see the Phantom of Opera when we were at the New York City, she enjoyed so much. A year after, she still remembers and talks about the story. Yes, the tickets of this Broadway show are expensive, but they worth every penny.
Don’t get me wrong, we still enjoy gifts giving. We have participated the “Adopt a Family” program in our community in the past few years. By donating new toys, new clothes, and Christmas baskets, it’s another way to help needy families.
Giving back to the community and helping others is not only good for them but also make you happier. Spend money on experiences, not fancy stuff will make you more fulfilling happiness.
3. Shop Online
I always shop online to avoid the lines and big crowds in stores. Many retailers now have online stores, provide coupon codes and big discounts for the holidays.
Plan ahead to do some researches and compare the prices. What I found out is I’ve always got the best deals during Black Friday than Christmas.
A gift card is a great option when you don’t have time to shop or not sure what is the best thing to buy. We all love gift cards, right? I like Starbucks gift cards for my daughter’s teachers with handwritten notes. My thought is even they don’t really love it, they can pass on someone else. It’s easier than a physical gift.
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4. Make Time Together
It could be stressful if you have too many events and parties to go and spend that much money to buy gifts. Get yourself involved in the parties you like the most and say no politely to the invites that you don’t want to go. We’re just too busy in our daily life. Don’t stress yourself out to attend all the parties. It’s time of the season to relax and spend time only with your loved ones.
For us, spending time as a family and making memories matter much more than anything. There are a lot of fun things to do during the holidays. We like to bake Christmas cookies, DIY crafts, make a gingerbread house, watch Christmas movies, play board games, see Christmas lights in the neighborhood, go ice skating and so on.
Our family also have a Christmas tradition. We have been going to Niagara Falls during the festive season for many years now. Stay a night there, have some good food, see the falls and the Winter Festival of Lights. The family is a blessing and all these things will give lasting memories for all of us.
5. Minimal Decorations
We love to decorate our house at this festive season and we always use items from the past Christmases. Instead of putting up a bunch of Christmas decorations, we have a pre-lit Christmas tree without ornaments. Or I can say only a few hand-made craft ornaments from my daughter.
We also like to hang in windows with some very pretty dollar store plastic snowflakes. We enjoy minimal decorations, listening to the holiday music and seeing the Christmas tree lights twinkling throughout the holidays. Once you try, you’ll feel better with less decorating, I promise!
How do you simplify your Christmas? Please leave your comment and I’d like to know.