Living a minimalist lifestyle is becoming increasingly more popular. It is a great way to ensure you only spend money on what matters while truly appreciating what you have in life and allowing a sort of decluttering cleanse to increase your mental health. Surrounding yourself with only the bare minimum allows us to stay a little less stressed in this ever-changing, busy world we live in. And then there’s Christmas. The time of year where we pull out all the stops to impress complete strangers (okay, friends and family too!). Here are a few ways to keep that minimalist mindset while not going off the deep end to indulge in all things Christmas!
Reusable Wrapping Paper
Save your pennies on the printed (and wasteful) wrapping paper and go more basic. Think newspaper with burlap or adorable twine. You could even use a scarf, sweater or blanket as wrapping paper (and as part of the present!). This dual-purpose way of wrapping is always a nice way to present and give a gift! Paper bags with handwritten notes, or a painted stencil as the design show a little more effort and time went into each present. Go the extra mile and add a sprig of pine to your wrapping for that outdoor touch (and smell).
The reusable/repurposing doesn’t have to end there. If you’re not much for killing a tree for the sole purpose of decoration, why not get a live, Charlie brown version that you can reuse next year. Keep it in a plant pot indoors (for two weeks or less) and return it outside so it can continue to grow until next Christmas rolls around.
Everyone is guilty of it – you buy more and more decorations each year, only to store them in large totes and bring them out for a month each Christmas. Instead of buying more this year, why don’t you go back to the basics and make a tasteful, yet decorative display using everyday items? Think half wreaths, simple and plain stockings (grey or plain red knit instead of over the top Christmas red ones). Try bringing the outdoors inside to use as decorations, such as spray painting a tree branch and hanging them on the wall, pinecone garland, wooden beads or twine. Fairy lights make for a nice statement without all the large glare and bulk of Christmas lights. Using basic shades like white, gold and black are a great way to offset all the Christmas red and green. Use these in everyday decorations, including place settings and tree ornaments. Hang pine sprigs in your house for the authentic outdoor smell, and a rustic approach to decorating.
Small, but Impactful Gifts
This time, try a different approach to gift-giving. Rather than aimlessly buying gifts, why not purchase items that have a positive effect on the environment; reusable straws, bags, art.. think of something near and dear to your friend’s heart. Maybe they would appreciate a donation to their favourite charity or a cause that means a lot to them. When was the last time you’ve tried making something as part of your gift? Taking time out of your busy schedule to craft something can have a large impact on showing that special someone just how much they mean to you. Something as easy as a subscription to something they enjoy would be the gift that keeps on giving year-round. Or better yet, support someone in need this Christmas and give back – there are plenty of programs out there that will allow you to purchase gifts for the elderly or children (even sponsoring a family) that is in need.
Simple, but Delicious Eats
Hosting parties, baking, and large dinners are all a part of the Christmas season. The stress of timing, shopping and getting it all right can be a real trick to master – so why not change it up this year. Instead of doing all the dishes yourself, host more of a pot-luck theme and ask others to bring something to share with the group. Going back to basics is another way you can minimize your stress and keep on track with your healthy eating. Rustic, baked veggies, simple dips with wholesome ingredients, cheese, and meat boards. Get creative and see what speaks to you at the store – even something as simple as purchasing items on sale or from a local market only are a great way to try new things, while also adding a conversation starter to your event!
Still not sure the minimalist life is for you? You never know until you try. Start small, and read articles on the subject – you may not even realize just how impactful it can be (or that you’re already partaking in the efforts) until you read up on the subject.