This christmas cost me a total of $100. Yep that’s right, it’s not a typo. Why did I spend so little? Because I am a minimalist and we choose to give presence over presents.
We don’t buy presents for adults we just make a card and tell them how much we love them and how much they mean to us. My child got 4 things she really wanted. A new outfit for christmas day, shoes, swimmers and a scooter from Santa. Total of 4 presents under our big christmas tree. And not one person was left disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love christmas (I suffer from OCD obsessive christmas disorder lol) and we are not poor by any means but we also don’t believe in going in to debt just to show people you love and care for them. You show them you love them by spending quality time with the ones you love, the gift of presence is what most people want.
If you ask any one that has lost a family member or lives far away from them, how much they miss them at christmas time? I can tell you it would be because they want more time with them and nothing else. Not presents, just time. And guess what? Money can’t buy you time. It’s the only thing in this world you can’t buy more of, time. So, use it wisely.
We spent the month of December doing the things we love, visiting family, looking at christmas lights with carols blaring on the speakers playing car karaoke, going to carols by candle light, baking cookies, playing board games, watching christmas movies, making art, swimming and going on random adventures. My husband and I both run businesses and that never stopped us we made use of the time we had to spend quality time together.
All the stuff I mentioned above cost us basically nothing to do and we had the best time and I have the most precious memories with my little family. I basically only have 10-15 more years of her enjoying the little things christmas brings before she is off creating memories with her own friends and family.
Did I feel guilty by not giving in to the pressures of christmas, yes (but it faded pretty quickly). I avoid the shops and TV over christmas as it’s everywhere you look, buy this, buy that, show someone you love them today by sending yourself broke. Sounds strange when you think about it like that doesn’t it?
Work all year to buy things you can’t afford for people that don’t really want the stuff your buying (because happiness can’t be brought). To then stress yourself out more by spending hours preparing and shopping in massive crowds, trying to make everyone happy by putting yourself into debt or under more financial pressure, when all they want is to make you happy in return buy then buying you things you don’t want or need and all because society says that happiness is one more gift away. Weird hey!
This is the first christmas where I felt so happy about all the memories we made as a family and in the words of frank Sinatra we did it our way.
Christmas traditions are yours to create, not to follow someone else’s or society’s view. Don’t do things that don’t bring joy, love and happiness into your life. If you don’t like cooking, don’t do it. If you don’t like entertaining your whole family don’t do it. This also goes for birthdays and anniversaries. Because the only thing that your children, family and friends are going to remember on that day is your mood. Your own happiness matters the most, it’s what spreads joy to others. So give yourself the best gift and relax and enjoy your life. Otherwise you might blink and miss it cos you were too busy.
I choose quality time with my family and friends all year round for every occasion I ask for memories and now so does my daughter, she is 5 and I had the happiest little girl on christmas day through the gift of time when I asked her what she would have preferred, lots more presents or the christmas we had, she said simply “this christmas was the best ever and I wouldn’t change anything”. That says it all really. And In a few days’ time the memories of the gifts will fade but the memories made through presence will last a life time.
Save your money on gifts and become rich with life.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Everyone.