Doesn’t that sound depressing? A minimalist Christmas. I picture a Christmas tree under which there are no presents, a house sparsely decorated and no joy.
But minimalism is not about getting rid of things for the sake of getting rid of things. It’s about getting rid of the extra, the not really valuable, to make space and time for what is.
A minimalist Christmas will look different for different people. For one family it might mean minimizing decorations, keeping only those they truly love (creating space). For another family it might mean paring down the invitations they accept to parties (creating time). For another it might mean a complete re-prioritization of the season – this might take the form of a bigger tree and more intentional traditions (creating value). Of course it could be a combination of all these things.
For us, minimizing Christmas does not mean getting rid of things. Besides the broken ornaments and a few items that have no value for us, we are not getting rid of much this season. In fact, we bought some decorations.
Neither is over-commitment a problem for us during the holiday season. We are working on establishing valuable traditions for our family, which sometimes means putting items onto our calendar.
But what about presents?! Of course this will be different for each family, as well. Some families give no presents (which really does sound depressing). Some probably keep it to one gift each or three each or something along those lines.
We decide on an amount of money to spend on each child instead of a number of gifts. It is not a huge amount, but it allows us to get each of our children several nice gifts that (hopefully) they will truly value.
So there will be presents under our tree. We do have some decorations. But my greatest hope for us this season is moments of real, deep joy…especially that miraculous kind found in a drafty, dirty stable a really long time ago.