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Minimalist approach to the holidays

A long-winded post talking about minimalist approach to the holidays seems a bit contradicting doesn’t it? To keep it simple, which is the name of the game when it comes to a minimalist view on anything, here is our take on implementing this within four areas at the holidays:

1| Decorating

· Work with your existing color palette

· Use natural items from your home: cut up miss matched socks into strips and make tassel garland. Roast orange slices and string them. Get creative with what you already love year around.

· Have one focal point such as a single tree vs decking the halls

· Put somethings away and leave some new areas of your home blank, just for this season.

2| Hosting + Giving

· Consider gathering a group of friends together and donate sometime at a shelter, a nursing home, a veteran’s event, toys for tots, bringing disabled or elderly to their appointments, offer to wrap gifts for a neighbor, go do acts of kindness.

3| Fight the urge to splurge

· There are many more ways to reduce the number of gifts to give. Consider using the 4-gift rule for kids. This accomplishes the feeling of wanting a child to have more than just one gift or a stocking to open, while giving them gifts that cover these needs:

o Want: movies, craft items, toys, wish list items

o Need: piggy bank, bedding, toothbrush and toiletries, luggage to name a few.

o Wear: clothing or play clothes, shoes or next season swimsuit

o read: flash cards, books, technology items such as leap frog or ipads

OR go shopping from your attic. There is bound to be so many beautiful things stashed in your attic, get them back out! Re-purpose them or find a new way to display them.

4| The gift of time

· Some people are down-right HARD to shop for. And for many, between getting married, starting a family and moving, we accumulate A LOT of “things” over the years. The beauty of getting older is also getting wiser and with that comes the desire to spend more time with friends and family vs the number of gifts under the tree. But don’t ask the kiddos, because they may have a slightly different point of view. The gift of time or giving an experience is priceless with this short list of some fun ideas:

o Membership to museums

o Events and concerts

o Getting pedicures

o One-night stay at a B&B

o Babysitting for a couple to take a date night

o Cooking or cocktail lessons

o Local tour of lights or historic tour together

o Horse carriage rides

o Cookie decorating party then deliver the cookies to homeless or elderly or around the neighborhood

There are so many ways to give a gift of time, and when we reflect on the year’s past, those are the memories that stay with us.

Lastly, this approach isn’t for everyone. While many of us desire to simplify the holidays, it may not fit with our traditions, wants and what we envision for our family. Some of us, get all willy-nilly over the festivities. None-the-less, the one thing that we can all say to be true, is that the magic of the season comes in many forms and we hope everyone gets to enjoy it with family and friends. That truly is the biggest blessing to receive.

Wishing you all warm holidays and cheers to the new year!

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