Firstly, this is a post that I never thought I'd write. Or at least not yet. Christmas? Already? In September? Normally, I'd be speaking about commercialism gone too far...and materialism gone mad. But it's all around us, whether we like it or not. Yesterday, looking for birthday cards in town, I saw a vast range of personalised Christmas cards for sale. This morning, driving home from the school run, the radio was pronouncing that it was only 109 sleeps until Christmas. And in my inbox, I'm starting to receive information about Christmas events. So, these are just some of the reasons that I'm starting to think about Christmas... and perhaps just starting to think about it in a positive way.
I'm aiming for a credit free Christmas. If you've been following the blog, you'll perhaps have seen me mention this already. In the past, I've been quite happy to use my credit and debit cards for those must-have Christmas purchases.....this year, I want it to be different. I'm aiming to fund gift purchases by decluttering, by selling unwanted items, unused items, those items we no longer love. But it takes time...so if you're planning on doing the same, it's worth thinking about now. Thanks to various selling sites, I'm over half way there...and of course, it means our living space is becoming just a little less cluttered, too.
No more gift fatigue. This is kind of embarassing to write...but one year, my kids actually suffered from "gift fatigue". I'm not sure if this is a real term or not, but by this I mean that they got tired of opening presents on Christmas day. Yes, they were little; yes, they had short attention spans; yes, they were the only grand kids in the family (and so got spoilt) - but still it's embarrassing to disclose, and something that we're not keen to repeat again. Since then, we've cut back every year. This year instead of buying lots, we'll definitely be subscribing to #buylessbuybetter as discussed in a recent post about shopping. And adult family members? We now do a "secret Santa" - one gift for each family member, that way we can (a) choose something really special (b) choose something they really want/need and (c) avoid waste and over-gifting. So....with this in mind, I'm planning ahead already. And to combat the commercialism we've already saved a shoebox that we can fill with gifts for Operation Christmas Child later in the year.
A new gifting mantra. Many of us have heard the well-know mantra of gift giving: "Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read." This year, I'd like to add "something to look forward to". There's always so much going on at Christmas, and I sometimes feel that we miss out. Instead of rushing around busy stores and crowded malls, buying gifts or staying up late to wrap said gifts...I want to have nice things planned where we can spend time together. A quick search on Google can already bring up several events in your local area, many of which are free to attend. If they're not free, perhaps you could treat a friend or family member to a ticket, instead of purchasing a gift? So far I've been thinking about Christmas Fayres, performances, and walks in the woodlands (a spot of winter forest bathing, anyone?).... there's always so much going on! This English Heritage event has caught my eye already, doesn't it sound lovely! Are you planning ahead?
Planning Christmas decor. Every year, until now, we've had a Christmas tree....this year, I'm a bit undecided. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know we have a large cat. At last weigh in she was approx 6.5 kg. But she's grown. A climber, and a playful one at that, I know she'll bring down the tree. I'm thinking about how I'd love to create some sort of Christmas tree design with our lights, but I don't know how or even whether it would work. So this is going to take some planning. And research. And learning. (I'm not technically very competent; the last time I tried to put together some flat-pack boxes it ended in disaster). Does anyone have any ideas, please?
I hope that you've enjoyed reading my thoughts about how I'm trying to incorporate some minimalist ideas into Christmas this year. I'd love to hear how you celebrate and spend time with your loved ones ... have you started thinking about gifting or making plans?