I get the general vibe that some people think minimalists dislike Christmas so this post is really to give people some clarity about my views of the festive season.
Before I discovered minimalism I was the sort of person who would always start off with great intentions to buy things early. I wasn’t able to do this and so I- just like so many had to rush to the shops in the month of December. I liked buying people numerous small presents so they had lots of little things to open rather than one main present. Then there would be the mad rush of wrapping loads of presents. What even does ‘main present’ mean? Anyway, I would often spend too much at Christmas and would still be worrying about what that person thought about the presents because of my poor planning and thoughtlessness.
This year is different. I’m not physically buying gifts unless it is something I genuinely feel will add value to that person’s life. Instead I am buying experience based gifts. Now before I decided this, I did ask my family if there was anything they needed. No one actually responded to that question which tells me that they didn’t ‘need’ anything. (Either that or I’ve pissed them all off! Lol, see my Minimalist makes amends with family post in the New Year). So instead I thought about each person I wanted to get something for and thought about their hobbies and interests. Then I spent some time brainstorming ideas that I felt would add value to them. I didn’t focus on budget or a spend limit per person and instead have done this early enough to not go over budget.
I heard the expression “presence not presents” and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’ve chosen an activity to do with my favourite people so we can bond together. I live an hour from my family I wanted to treat them to something we can do and remember. I genuinely can’t remember who bought me various different presents when I was a kid but I do remember the day trips I was taken on.
Black Friday has just been and gone, Cyber Monday is tomorrow and I am glad I’m not having to go into the bustling shops spending money aimlessly on impulse. Instead, each gift has real value and meaning and will allow me to spend some lovely quality time with all my favourites. More often than not I used to go Christmas shopping and end up buying stuff for myself which I didn’t really need. Yup – I was the sucker for a bargain. A bargain is only a bargain however if it’s something you genuinely need.
Anyway my lovely boyfriend and I have decided we are not buying a presents for each other this year. Instead we are going to have a night away together in the new year. This is the first year in four years I won’t be working and I’m genuinely grateful to just spend the time with him. I’m lucky that he understands and supports these values. Funnily enough I have had some very strange reactions from friends I’ve told that I’m not buying him anything. Everyone is different but I’m just excited to be able to have a night away, making memories with my favourite person in the world. I know I sound like Mariah Carey in all this. Ha!
Christmas to me is all about spending time with my family, watching a classic film on the TV, playing board games, listening to Christmas music, eating far too much food and enjoying a few mulled wines. I should also clarify that I’m not against receiving presents and will not be ungrateful for anyone who has spent the time and money buying something for me. I have told my family about a course I would like to do and instead they are supporting me by contributing towards this. At least I’m one less headache for them!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (I bet you sang that in your mind, or if you did then you are now)
The wonderful feature photo of the post is credit to http://www.themerrythought.com