I used to get so excited about Christmas. I used to enjoy everything about it–decorating (over-decorating?), shopping, wrapping, the gift exchanges, cooking and baking, and of course, the get-togethers with family and friends. For a few years now, I have been hoping to spend a quieter and simpler Christmas. Is it age? Is it because my daughter is now grown-up?
This past year, we had our first minimalistic Christmas. I went with a simple, uncluttered, woodland theme for my Christmas décor: fresh greens, candles, pinecones, branches, and moss. Within our family of three, we agreed not to buy each other presents. Honestly, I could not think of anything else that I need. Yes, I have a running list of things I want (who doesn’t?), but I can do without them. My daughter crafted a hand-painted wooden plaque for our kitchen. That was the only present we opened on Christmas Day.
I did not set foot in a mall at all before the holidays. The few presents I bought for family I got at Chapters. I hope our friends understood. I’d like to think that I did them a favour by not adding more stuff to their basement or overflowing closets. Christmas has become a retail festival, and I don’t want to be part of that anymore. I don’t mind shopping for a few gifts, but I refuse to participate in the annual shopping circus.
We enjoyed a slow breakfast and lounged on the couch; we read, we chatted, we listened to music and spent a quiet day at home. Dinner with family and friends was just as relaxed. It felt good.
In the future, I plan to give gifts from our kitchen, which we’ve done before. My daughter and I love spending time in the kitchen and enjoy baking Christmas goodies. It’s still a joy to give kids presents, and I’m all for enjoying the festivities of Christmas. I just want very little to do with the consumerist side of it. I’m not abandoning the Christmas tradition–just simplifying it.