Tuesday, October 28, 2014

.thirty-one days of minimalism: holidays.

It's now less than two months til Christmas! Are you excited? I am...even if I think it is a bit early for the Christmas decor to be out in stores.


As we prepare our hearts for the holiday season, I also like to prepare my home. The early part of November is the perfect time to clean out closets, go through drawers, and just minimalism in general. Usually this is when the weather starts to have us spend more time indoors, so turn on some music (Christmas music, if you dare!) and start cleaning out! I also love to clean out my home in preparation for what the holidays may bring: visiting family and friends, trips away from home, and gifts.

Gifts can be tricky...one family Christmas party can totally scrap your plans for minimalism in the New Year. I'd like to share what my family is initiating.

Have you heard of this gift-giving poem:


Something you want,

Something you need,

Something to wear,

And something to read.

I love that! 4 gifts per family member, that's it. (And kids' clothes and books get a free pass with minimalism in our home, since they are so hard on both and get replaced often!)


My two-year-old, W, might receive this for Christmas:

Want - A helicopter from Disney's Planes: Fire and Rescue

Need - A new pair of shoes

Wear - Christmas jammies

Read - A Larry Gets Lost book


For my husband, it might be:

Want - A spherical ice mold for whiskey

Need - A new cell phone

Wear - A new belt

Read - A subscription to Auto Week

If you exchange gifts with extended family members, consider asking for experiences instead of things (and consider giving experiences, too!). Depending on the recipient, that might be a zoo subscription, passes to a local museum, movie tickets, a trip to the spa, or maybe a special trip to Starbucks!


Our family is trying to put the focus of the holidays back on memories and family instead of accumulating possessions. Will your family consider joining us?


Also, today is the last day to enter my giveaway!



  1. I love this. This is usually what I ask for anyways. especially books and experiences. I just wish I could get the in-laws to do that. His Mom loves to give A LOT of gifts and a lot of nothing people want or need.

  2. As much as I love the holidays... I am not quite ready to jump in to it all! I used to be one of those people who was done Christmas Shopping by August - but not so much anymore! My Little grew up and so far I have only purchased a couple of gifts! We are trying to give more quality time and experiences and less presents that get tossed aside in two days! ;) Loved this post... and that poem is great!

  3. I am far from wanting to prepare for the holidays. Christmas can be bitter sweet for me - I really have to have a talk with myself and get into the proper attitude. I do love Thanksgiving weekend, it is my favorite because it's all about gratitude and thankfulness. I dislike the commercialism of Christmas, it makes me sad. Good ideas in your post.

  4. Love the gift-giving poem! What a great rule of thumb. When this challenge is over, I definitely want to go back and read all your posts, because minimizing is something I truly need to do.

  5. Yes, thank you for sharing your thoughts on minimalism and gift giving. I love the gift giving poem, and that you gave real-life examples too. I hope you have a lovely day.

  6. This is such an awesome idea. We've always had a weird tradition of not really getting anything for each other. In our 14 years of marriage, some years we do, but a lot of times we just don't (I guess gift giving isn't our love language). It depends on the budget and travel plans. We don't get any presents for our three children either because they get plenty from grandparents, aunts, and uncles. So it's all about the extended family for us and that helps us keep things simple. It will probably change as our children get older.

  7. This is a great idea! My husband and I have been trying to come up with a way to regulate Christmas so it doesnt just get out of control - we are far from family so we are trying to figure out how to not do gifts per-say but do something...
    Thanks - i like the poem a lot