Last year was the first holiday season I faced while trying to pursue minimalism. I expected it to be challenging, since I was trying to go against the marketing and cultural push toward increased consumerism during that time of year. At the time, I had started decluttering my possessions, but I hadn’t started reforming my habits yet. I took some deliberate steps to keep myself from overspending money, but I noticed after ringing in the new year that I had still overspent my time and energy.
This year, I want to take more and different steps to simplify my holiday season so it can be a time of joy and peace. To help me do this, I’m making a “Holiday Priorities” list that I can use as a reference when I am faced with pressures to buy, attend, or otherwise change my plans.
- Gift giving. I will give or make one thoughtful present for the members of my immediate family, as well as making a toy drive donation. I will abstain from white elephant, secret Santa, or other exchanges where I would not be buying a thoughtful gift for someone I care deeply about. Bonus: no unwanted gifts or wasted money that these exchanges often result in.
- Holiday activities. In order to avoid over-extending myself, I have decided in advance which holiday activities I want to do this year. I will politely decline any last minute invites. If you’re curious, my list includes: a Christmas themed symphony orchestra concert, seeing the Christmas light displays at the zoo, and a Gospel choir Christmas concert.
- Christmas parties. Similar to the holiday outings, I’ve decided which Christmas gatherings I will be attending in advance. I’ve prioritized my family’s get-togethers because they are traditions for me, and I see my family less often than friends and co-workers.
- Down time. There are a lot of fun things to do during the holiday season, but I can’t do them all. I know from experience that I will be much happier come January if I give myself enough down time. There’s nothing worse than being more exhausted after the holiday season is over than you were before it started.
Are you planning to simplify your holiday season? Tell me how in the comments!
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