November 29, 2017

Have Yourself a Minimal Christmas

I keep things simple during the holidays. I do so partly because of my inherent nature, and partly because of our budget. "Less is always more" in my opinion. The fewer items displayed, the greater their singularity. The freer space also sets a calmer, collected tone.

Besides the aesthetic reasons to go minimal -- let's be honest -- Christmas can be pricy. Some Christmas trees go for almost two hundred dollars. I haven't even begun to get into how overpriced ornaments and lights are. Why on earth does a single ornament cost seven dollars? If you have a relatively large family, like me, than you probably already have to brace yourself for a heftier shopping bill as well.

Don't get me wrong. I love all of the seasonal traditions, whether it's exchanging gifts, decorating the tree, hanging garland, drinking hot chocolate, or listening to Christmas music. I just think that we, as a society, can get carried away with it all sometimes. We shouldn't be running around mindlessly spending. We should't be worried about finding the perfect whatever or stressed out about all of our expenses. It shouldn't be about the price tag or winning the light show content. We should be observing advent. For unto us, our dear Lord was born. What a sweet time this is to pause and take that in. Let's not let consumerism dull this for us.

I'd like to challenge you to make smarter, more meaningful purchases instead. We don't have to go on a spending spree to partake in the festivities. There are plenty of cheaper, fun ways to celebrate this holiday season. Here are some of my favorite tips to deck the halls like a minimalist.

To start off, see if you can use anything you already have. I used the chalk board from my wedding as an eye catcher on our faux mantle (shelf). You can browse Pinterest for lettering guides and ideas. I also like to hang greeting cards on a silver chunky frame with wires on it and wooden clothing pins. My father in-law made it for my wedding day, too. You can fill mason jars with spruce, mistletoe, or lights.

There's also nothing wrong with re-using decorations. If I fell for a knick-knack enough to purchase it, you better believe it's going to be frequently on display. You can find unique ones for less at Ross, Target's dollar spot, drift stores, and smaller local shops around the U.S. I purchased my vintage light blue blocks that read "joy" on them while we were visiting friends a couple of years back in Chattanooga. They can become great souvenirs.

Search for the hidden gems. I found five dollar bows at Target to garnish my simple wreaths this week. I bought a cute pair of one dollar stockings at their dollar spot too.

Nothing is quite as festive as candles. Stock up on some next time you're at Ikea or the dollar general.

Use nature as much as possible. I love garland and homemade wreaths. I use pinecones sometimes, but I can't have any real greenery inside because of my cats. Scavenge if you can. You could make it a family event.

Last, but not a year in advance. My husband and I often purchased our Christmas cards in January. I've bought bundles of gorgeous cards for as low as a dollar. We practically stole a few Star Wars ornaments at Five Below last year too. The ornaments are a little big for our current mini tree, but I'm hopeful that we'll find a great deal on a larger tree this year.

Happy Holidays! I hope your upcoming months are full of thoughtful practices, peace, and joy. 

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