How to Survive Your First Christmas as a Minimalist

I can’t believe it; it’s December and Christmas is just around the corner. The city has changed its “clothes” to more festive ones, colorful lights everywhere, Christmas trees, soft and happy music and, of course, a lot of shiny items waiting to be taken home by Santa to bring a little smile on our faces. What have we missed? Oh, yes, we are minimalists, and we can’t cancel Christmas (that would be a total crime). So, how do we make this work for our loved ones and us? If this is your first year as a minimalist and are passionate about living a zero-waste lifestyle even during the Holidays, then keep on reading.  We do have some exciting tips for you.

I think there isn’t a single person on this Earth that hates gifts, and if we decided a few months back to change our lifestyle, this also means that receiving gifts that do not serve our new purpose will be a total waste of money. As a result, we will be hurting the feelings of our loved ones, and that is never a good thing. Let’s see what we can do:

Receiving gifts

“I don’t need anything.”

Ok, so all the people in your life are already aware that you have decided to become a minimalist and that you have decluttered your entire life by now. At this point, they will be perplexed about what to get you for Christmas, and if you are telling them that you don’t need anything, that will be a nightmare. Make them understand that you cherish other things now like moments, experiences, things you can all remember later and not items. Maybe some tickets to a concert will do the trick. However, if you need something practical for your home, you should be open about it. It will save unnecessary stress.

Don’t hold onto stuff out of guilt

On the other hand, there are other friends and family members that are convinced that all this minimalism is a phase or that it doesn’t apply to Christmas. No need to fight or anything. Things will become easier with time, and when they see your determination, eventually they will start to take you serious. So, let’s say the inevitable happened and you received material things that you don’t want/need – don’t feel ashamed to pass them along to other people. Maybe you know some people that are struggling with their finances or homeless people, it’s Christmas time – giving is receiving. Oh, and you don’t have to say anything to the gift-giver if you are afraid of  hurting his/her feelings.

Giving Gifts

Don’t force people to follow your values

Of course, we get excited when making important changes in our lives and are 100% sure everyone around us needs to follow our example, but things do not always work like that. If your family and friends learned about your lifestyle and decided that their lifestyle is fulfilling, don’t push them to accept your changes. So, don’t get them books about decluttering and minimalism, as they’ll probably end up on a bookshelf and that’s about it (and that would be a waste, precisely what you have been trying to avoid). The best way to make them happy is to pay attention to their needs and get them the items they need, or you can always DIY some funny gifts for them. Pinterest is full of crazy ideas that will bring the desired smile on their faces, plus the gifts will be even more cherished as they were made from your hands.

So when people say that minimalism and Christmas or  birthdays don’t work together, think again. It is crucial that you learn to communicate as openly as you can to your loved ones and show them how happy your new lifestyle makes you. And who knows, maybe, someday, they will fancy this lifestyle as well and all your Christmases and other important events in a year will be only a continuous journey full of unforgettable memories.

So, what are your plans for this Christmas as a minimalist? Are you expecting certain gifts from Santa or are you determined to cancel Christmas? Don’t be shy; the comment section is eager to be filled with your opinions.

May this December be as magical as you all want it to be!

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