One way we were minimalists before we even knew to call it that was not giving Christmas presents.
I stopped buying Christmas presents about 9 years ago. Like most things in my life, I started/stopped doing it for a superficial reason but the deeper reasons that resulted from the change became very important to me. I stopped Christmas gifts because of my own debt and the example of a close family from church who didn’t do gifts. I thought, huh, that’s interesting. So, I stopped. I’ll admit, that first Christmas was a little awkward, but my friends and family know I don’t do gifts. I still get a few gifts here and there (which I totally appreciate!) but now it’s expected that I won’t give one back.
As time went on, I still didn’t give Christmas gifts. Bret felt the same about giving gifts, so we didn’t. Looking back, I can see how those deeper reasons were a lot of the points the author of the above article made. Since we’re minimalists, we’re all about less stuff. And in turn, we don’t want to add to someone else’s “stuff.” It also frees us to give generously at other times of the year. The unexpected gifts are the best, in my opinion. 🙂
But I have to say, the biggest benefit has been a nearly stress-free holiday season, every year. There’s no “what am I going to get XXX for Christmas?” or “I have SO much to do!” Honestly, the biggest stress of our holidays is getting to and from the airport and flight delays. Since we’re not stressed about all the “stuff you have to do” at the holidays, we can truly sit back and reflect about the real reason for Christmas (pssst, it’s Jesus).
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