When people used to answer my question of, “What would you like for Christmas?” – with a response that they didn’t want a thing, my first reaction used to be one of  disbelief. How could you not want anything for Christmas? A new gadget, something to wear, something to eat or watch? I just didn’t understand. I used to think they were being extra crafty…that I’d have to think even more carefully about how to surprise them, to find them something super special. It never crossed my mind that they were being genuine and they simply didn’t want anything. But these days, after learning more about leading a simpler lifestyle, I understand. These are just some of the reasons that I don’t need any Christmas gifts this year.

I’m happy with what I already have – I’m lucky and I know that. Living in the western world, we take so much for granted and sometimes we grow complacent. I’m so privileged to have a home of my own, a little family I love, clothes to wear and enough food in the kitchen. I don’t *need* anything else. 

I’ve spent way too much time decluttering possessions that I’ve built up over the years to want to add even more stuff to my home. I’m starting to get my home to the stage that I want it, and I just don’t have the energy or desire to do it all over again.

Those ads that say you need “X,Y and Z” to make it a perfect Christmas just don’t ring true any more. Behind the sparkle and the facades, are clever advertising campaigns and strategies to sell us a lot of things that we just don’t need. One particular news article that grabbed my attention recently, and changed the way I look at things, talked about the “diamond invention”. Read more about that here.

My memories of Christmases gone by don’t involve stuff – if you think back to childhood Christmases, what do you remember? What are your fondest memories? I remember the games with family, the simple fun games. Charades, word games, word searches, carol concerts, a church service on Christmas Eve (staying up late was so exciting!)….The time, the attention, the love that was shared. With the exception of one Sindy (a Barbie-like doll with a pink ballerina outfit that I adored), I can’t really remember many of the presents I was given. 

That’s not to say I won’t be gifting – I’ve got children and it’s only natural that I want to make it special for them. This year, alongside the games console we’ve been saving up for, I’ll be trying to incorporate more experiences into the holidays. We’ve planned a special meal at their favourite restaurant, a theatre trip, trampolining and winter walks. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune to create memories.

What I’ll be hoping for this year is simply to relax a little, to finish that book, to  explore the beautiful region that I live in. To be woken up at stupid o’clock to see if Santa has visited, to be defeated on FIFA 18 or some other game that I have no idea how to play (to the hilarity of the kids); and to head out on Christmas morning to make our regular visit to see family. The roads quiet, the radio on, memories being made. As the saying goes, “You can’t wrap up moments like these.”

I’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to this Christmas. Have you made lots of plans? I wonder what your favourite thing is. Please comment below if you can.

If you enjoyed reading this post, then you might also like to take a look at 20 ideas for a simple Christmas.

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21 comments on “Why I Don’t Need Any Christmas Gifts This Year”

  1. We haven’t made lots of plans. Dear Husband and I have one get together with friends, but otherwise we’re going to stay in and enjoy time with each other because he gets a whole week off from work!:-) Oh, I’m SO looking forward to it!

  2. Hi Rachel, I’m not a person who likes having lots of plans. We will be going for our Sunday walk on Christmas Eve as per usual on a Sunday, probably wearing the silly elf hats I keep in the drawer for our last walk before Christmas and I do look forward to our family walk on Christmas morning. It’s a tradition we started a few years ago, and I love it. It’s usually just the four of us with the five dogs wearing Christmas jumpers on the beach at a time when most of the world still sleeps (unless you have small children). It’s also another reason I like to be organised with dinner.

    I agree that Christmas memories are created by people rather than things and I don’t gift things that will go to waste just because they look pretty in a box. It’s my birthday next week and when the family asked what I would like I requested that everyone put together for a new camera lens. It’s something that I really would like and am happy to have for birthday and Christmas.

    There is nothing my Dad or husband want so I’ll make them ‘coupons’ so that if they come across anything the would like in the coming year they can have it (within reason). They will be happy with that, no clutter, no waste and everyone is happy. The children don’t go without, but neither do they have huge piles of presents, I like to get them something special. This year my daughter is having a proper perfume I know she’s had her eye on but won’t expect (got it on Black Friday at 25% off… But shhhhhh).

    The magic of Christmas is what we make it and it needn’t cost a fortune!


    • Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing your Christmas plans…I love them! A walk on the beach sounds so lovely and your idea of gifting coupons to your dad and husband is ingenious!! I hope you enjoy your camera lens and I’ll look forward to seeing some more nice photos on your Instagram xx

  3. I drive 5 hours to see my nearest relatives for Christmas. My gift is seeing them:) I look forward to our tradition of going out to eat Mexican Food and then checking out all the Christmas Lights. Happy Holidays to you and your family!!

  4. I feel the same – my favourite thing about christmas is getting together with family. I do like giving presents but really not fussed about getting anything, if there was anything I really needed I would have just bought it already!

  5. I still unashamedly enjoy getting presents, but I realise that’s not what Christmas is about. Visiting my hometown and seeing the family all together is just awesome!

  6. You sound as if you have the right amount of plans. I agree that childhood Christmases were more about memories, although I do remember some of my presents too. Aside from presents, I always feel that managing to have good times is a family is important. However, this can be hard to achieve. I tend to aim for family harmony, anything else is a bonus lol

  7. I have the same feelings, I genuinely don’t want anything. If there’s something I want then it’s likely I’ve already bought it. Over Christmas I just want some time at home with friends and family.

  8. I love gifting but I prefer to give gifts that can be eaten or used and rarely buy things just because they look pretty. My perfect Christmas gift is books. Although they clutter up the place no-one has thought to buy me a kindle yet.

  9. Such a refreshing post – I love it!
    I’m not putting too much emphasis on Christmas, and my health is distracting me from a lot of the expectations of it this year. For me, I’ll just try to look forward to and enjoy some family time, snuggled up in the warm, a few drinks and no added pressures for the day.
    Merry Christmas – I hope yours is a peaceful, enjoyable one!

    • Thank you for your kind comment and wishes, Caz. I’m so sorry to hear your health is a problem right now. I hope that you start to feel a little better soon, and that you and your family have a lovely Christmas together.

  10. I totally get this. As the years go on I definitely want to stop getting things just for the sake of it being Christmas. Like things that I don’t really need. I’m looking forward to good food and time spent with family!

  11. I am just doing some catching up on blogs in the first “free” time I’ve had recently. Work was manic in the run up to Christmas, which didn’t leave much time for plans beforehand. Christmas day itself was running around between my mum, dad and gran, Boxing day was then travelling to the in-laws for a couple of days. It’s been a bit mad!

    You are so right though – Christmases past are not made of the things we got, but of the activities we did. I asked for a lot less this year, and the things I did ask for were the luxury items that I would have eventually bought anyway (nice shampoo, my favourite shower gel from Lush etc). I was so pleased to come home with a small bag of things I actually use and love.

    I definitely feel that I’ve become more cynical with the Christmas adverts this year, and around the things like Black Friday. The jewellery adverts especially grind my gears (I think my husband is quite relieved!!).

    • Hi Steph, it sounds like you’ve had such a busy Christmas. How lovely to spend time with all your family and to receive gifts that you truly love 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and best wishes for 2018!

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