Minimalist Christmas

I love Christmas. I really do. Over the past 20 years every single year has been different. We’ve lost family members who played a certain role, we’ve had people added to our family, we’ve been financially blessed or we’ve struggled.

One thing I discovered through my hygge journey is that a lot of decorations really stress me out. I’ve gotten down to a 3′ live tree with no more than 15 ornaments and a single strand of lights. I buy this tree from a local produce market that gets their shipments the day after thanksgiving.

I have a little sign on my door and the stockings are hanging up. One is actually full of the legit keepsake ornaments that I’ve had for (ahem) years and just can’t part with and the other was the decoration for my office at work last year.

Every year as things changed I realized how much I fretted over having to take down gobs of ornaments, respool strings of lights, pack away the tree, and take all the boxes to the storage room. I didn’t like that feeling at all. I wanted to enjoy my tree, the holiday itself, and focus on the things that really matter.

Last year was my first year to go minimal with Christmas, but this year as I was getting things out, I whipped out the big storage box and a bunch of bags and just started loading all of that unwanted stuff into the bags. I filled the box.

It was so easy to let it go. Other things haven’t been, but when you know what you want and you have a plan, it flies.

So, I knew this year I wanted to clean all of it out. We were actually camping the day after thanksgiving so I didn’t put up the tree as our tradition dictates, but it gave me a few more days to think about what I really wanted to accomplish. I had 4 decorations out for the tree and settled with them being on there for a week. Then, I dove in.

I pulled the 2 big boxes of junk out and went through every single bit of it. As I put stuff I didn’t want in the give away box, I realized I hadn’t actually wanted these on the tree to begin with! Why was I keeping them? Every so often I ran across one that was still near and dear to my heart and I put it in the stocking.

What a difference. The tree is super simple, I don’t have things covering every surface, and I’m not sitting here worrying about taking it all down.

Now we have time to focus on the other things that are more important. I say that because I’ve read several articles that relate clutter to anxiety. I can testify to that. I have a goal to keep surfaces clean and stuff put away in the rooms of the house that other people see. (Bean’s bedroom is still a work in progress, but the rest of the house is coming along nicely.).

And now I don’t have to worry about taking down the tree and packing away boxes of things I don’t really like. I have meaningful things out that remind me of the holiday season. I can see the things I’ve put out for the season because of the fact that all the other junk is put away or given away or thrown away.

It truly can be the most wonderful time of the year as you are able to reflect on the season, friends and family, the year you leave behind and the year you are about to enter.

I hope everyone has a wonder holiday season.

Peace and love, everyone.