People celebrate Christmas in many ways and one of the more recent trends is through minimalism. Minimalists try to keep around only the bare minimum and reduce excessive or unnecessary clutter â and that’s easier said than done, especially when it comes to elaborate holidays that are traditionally full of presents and dÃ©cor.
But you can still have a beautiful holiday, even (or maybe even especially) with minimalism in mind. After all, the holidays aren’t truly about the physical items you own, but rather the people you have surrounding you. Here’s how you can enjoy a minimalist Christmas in your apartment.
1. Focus on the people
One of the best parts about the holidays is getting to spend time with the family and friends you’re lucky to have in your life. It’s always nice to gather and catch up with people. Making the focus more on the people you’re with and not on the gifts you’ll give and receive is the first step to really embracing a minimalist Christmas holiday.
That’s not to say presents are a bad thing! Giving and receiving gifts is a wonderful tradition that has been going on for generations. It’s always nice to give something you know someone else will enjoy and vice versa â just don’t let that be your only focus.
2. Fewer, smarter decorations
When it comes to dÃ©cor, sometimes, more is just more and it doesn’t really add to the ambiance. Selecting only a few simple, yet impactful pieces of dÃ©cor keep things looking fresh and clean, while still being festive and welcoming.
Hang a plain garland over the fireplace mantle, rather than an elaborate one that’s packed with ornaments. Choose a single statement centerpiece for your table, rather than various elements put together. And don’t feel like every shelf or table needs to be covered in dÃ©cor.
Especially if you’re in a smaller apartment, lÃ©ss decor can actually make it look cleaner, larger and more open â always a nice thing to have when you do, in fact, have less space to work with.
3. Keep it natural
Focusing on using natural materials is both minimalistic and cozy. Rather than purchasing plastic manufactured decorations, head out into your yard and see what you’ve got to work with. Create a centerpiece for your table using some small tree branches and sticks. Make a wreath using a round wire frame and some greenery from your yard. You can also buy fresh garlands and flowers from most supermarkets or even local vendors to add to your home.
Natural materials can also apply to the other things you use in your home, like pillows and throw blankets. Opting for a naturally-dyed cotton throw, rather than something like a faux fur blanket will keep your home feeling soft and comforting. Hang natural wood ornaments from your tree instead of plastic ones. Look out for other items made from natural materials that you can use to decorate.
4. Give gifts that aren’t just “things”
No matter what it ends up being, receiving a thoughtful gift from someone is always nice because it means they were thinking of you. However, sometimes these gifts end up being “things” we keep around and they have no real use or purpose, other than to remind us of the person that gave them to us.
Try to focus on not just giving “stuff” to people for the sake of just giving a gift. Think of something they’ll really enjoy or at least use frequently. Instead of a snow globe that sits on a shelf and serves no practical purpose, gift a pair of nice gloves that someone can wear when they go out in the cold. In place of a random bracelet your mom may or may not wear, give them one of their favorite treats that they can eat and it won’t take up space for them once it’s gone. Or, give your roommate a cool tote bag they can use when they go shopping rather than a cheap throw-away item.
Gift an experience
If you’d rather avoid giving any type of physical object, you can try gifting an experience! While some experiences are more expensive, like sending someone in a hot air balloon over a valley or taking them bobsledding, not all experiences need to be that elaborate. Many people are just happy you want to spend intentional time with them. Take a friend to a movie or go out to a nice meal with your parents.
Offer your time
Another non-object gift is offering to do something that someone needs, such as change the oil in their car or help them in the yard (especially if it’s cold and icy). Your time is an incredibly welcome gift that your loved ones will appreciate. And you’ll also get the bonus of feeling all warm and fuzzy inside from serving those you care about.
5. No-gift Christmas
If you really want to go minimalist, you can opt for a no-gift holiday. Be open and honest with friends and family about both giving and receiving gifts. You can take it a step further in the spirit of the season and let everyone know that instead of giving gifts, you want to donate the money you would have spent to a special charity or cause. And you can let others know that instead of giving you a gift, they can do the same and donate to a cause they feel strongly about.
6. Recycled wrapping
If we’re giving gifts, we want to wrap them nicely. There are lots of different wrapping papers out there, but for a minimalist holiday, it’s best to not purchase anything new to wrap your gifts. Use what you already have!
Instead of traditional wrapping paper, use old newspaper, scraps of fabric you have lying around, etc. But you can still make these look great by adding other embellishments to the package, including twigs, fir cuttings, holly, dried fruit and other natural items.
A very merry minimalist Christmas
Having a minimalist Christmas doesn’t mean you’re stingy or a Scrooge â it just means you hold value in more of the non-materialistic things. You can still enjoy the holiday just like anyone else and help others to do the same.
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