What does a semi-minimalist holiday season look like?

November 17, 2011 § 2 Comments

Minimalist Christmas ideas from Google Images

The living room I'd like to have!

The Christmas decorations are out in the mall (our weekly tutoring for DDs is in a local Panera at the mall) and I’ve already received “What do you want for Christmas?” questions from my family.  My first answer is a resounding, “NOTHING!” but I realize that my own desire to get rid of excess does not diminish my family’s desire to be on the giving end (and frankly, I really enjoy being on the giving end myself!).  My family has established certain traditions as well:

  • an annual tree trimming party (excess in it’s glory with all of the craft supplies and paint that get bought and put out so that people can make big messes making ornaments of their own pictures to put on our tree — not to mention the 17-years-worth of past ornaments that are stored as a result);
  • a skiing trip (more excess with the ski paraphernalia bought and stored); and
  • stocking stuffers for all of the extended family members (this one is my favorite to give because you can really get funny and creative, but the net result is more tchotchkes, usually from China).

Oh and did I mention decorations?!  I have a “control journal” (ala Flylady) specifically for the holidays with pictures of all of the decorations I have and where I like them (smart, huh?  allows DH and DDs to decorate, but to my taste! LOL).

I’ve tried to subtly suggest to my teenage daughters that we scale back — have a holiday open house instead of a tree-trimming party?   So far the answer has been a definite, “No!” but they are very supportive of making sure that the traditions we keep are meaningful and over recent years we’ve tried to give gifts that reflect our own values — we make gifts (felt flower barrettes, crocheted scarves) and limit our purchases to the little mom-and-pop shops on Main Street whenever possible.  We’ve also adopted “experience” gifts within our family (hence the ski trip) and focus on celebrating the holidays with candlelight tours, festivals, parades, plays or concerts.

SO, in my quest for semi-minimalism, each tradition, gift and activity this year will continue to get questioned, but will not automatically be “de-cluttered” unless it’s agreed by the family.  After all, I will have many years as an empty nester to scale back, right?


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