I do not live in a tiny house. I still have more stuff than I need, as do my kids and my husband. I splurge at Christmastime during all the sales and purchase items that I have been eyeing over time. Then I get mad at myself.
This minimalist Christmas I have decided to let go of that anger. I have decided that minimalism is more than small houses and capsule wardrobes. Minimalism is also the act of letting go. Minimalism is releasing the power of “stuff” you once considered a priority. So while my house is not tiny, my corners are cleaner. While, my wardrobe is not limited to 33 items, I eliminated so much of the excess.
My giveaway pile is larger…but minimalism is more than letting go of the “stuff” that is tangible.
I am also letting go of busy. I am letting go of the judgment I cast on myself and on others when actions do not fit the picture I conjure in my mind. I am letting go of all the pressure to create perfect traditions, moments and memories. I am savoring my version of this minimalist Christmas.
For anyone who ever wanted to let go of busy…
For anyone who ever needed a good holiday declutter…
Here is the plan. I expect you to hold me to it.
Make a list
Include every single thing you would like to get done. Include the people you said you would pray for, the situations that hold your thoughts hostage, the plans, and the to-dos. Empty your brain. Get it all out.
You will be surprised that the list is not nearly as massive as your mind has made it out to be. You will find that you do much obsessing over the same thoughts over and over. You will find that writing it down, or typing it out, brings you a sense of peace. At the end of the of that list is rest.
Check it twice
There are some items that do not deserve space on your list. When talking with my sister today, she mentioned that she needed to pay someone to come clean her house for her. She followed up by mentioning that she would need to clean her house up some before allowing the woman to come in and clean her house. HER CLEANING THE HOUSE BEFORE THE LADY COMES TO CLEAN THE HOUSE SHOULD BE BOOTED FROM THE LIST!!! We all have things like this on the list. We all have items directly related to our pride and our egos. Unless the item is a prayer request, it has got to go. You have neither the time nor the patience to address nonsense. Sometimes your greatest gift is someone else. Their gift is in your area of lack. Let them use their gift so that you have more time to use yours. Part of decluttering your priorities is letting go of who you feel like you should be.
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice … Just kidding!! … Leave wiggle room.
Now that you have an updated list, determine what needs to be addressed right now. Be realistic about it. In other words, what happens if it waits until tomorrow? Right now, when I get home, I have very few non-negotiables. We need to do dinner, and we need to do homework. Everything else is negotiable. Would I like to spend 30 minutes to an hour uninterrupted with my kids? Yes. Would I like to exercise? Yes. Would I like to spend uninterrupted time with my husband? Yes. Would I like to do a load of laundry? Yes. Would I like to clean one room? Yes. I would go on, but I assume you get the picture. After my non-negotiables, everything else is extra. I add ONE item from my brain dump to my mandatory to-do list. The rest is wiggle room. Now I am not so aggravated when my son spills his juice for the 5th time. I am not frustrated when my daughter sticks her book in front of my phone to read to her while I am scrolling through Instagram. Blogging is extra. Commenting on blogs? Extra. Another item off the list? Extra. Scrolling through social media? Extra. Watching my favorite show? Extra. Bible songs? Extra. Bible stories? Extra. With a minimalist Christmas, you have wiggle room. You have time and space for plenty of extra.
My boys are ages 6 and 7. They are as tall as my Christmas tree. When we decorated the tree, they were tall enough to put on ALL the ornaments. They did not need my assistance. They giggled and squealed in delight. I snapped a few photos, but took most of my time soaking it all in.
We do not have to spend every second behind a camera to document the moment. Sometimes a minimalist Christmas means that the phone stays in the purse or the pocket. Sometimes the High Quality DSLR actually detracts from the quality of the time you are so desperately trying to capture. Make memories so magical that you will not need a camera to remember them.
Remember the reason for the season.
When you remember the why behind the Christmas season, priorities tend to come into focus better. We are celebrating the birth of the greatest gift of love anyone could ever give. So while we search for Christmas cheer 20 different ways, one pervasive way trumps all of them. Jesus was born. My Best Friend made His grand appearance.
“It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
~ Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas ~
What are some ways that you declutter your priorities for a minimalist Christmas?
Need some more Christmas reminders? Here are some more of my favorites
- 20 Ways to Create Christmas Cheer
- Grown-Up Christmas List
- Happy No-Hassle Holidays
- Harnessing Holiday Cheer when You’re at Capacity
- Decluttering Your Holiday Season
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