Tiny Living

A Minimalist Christmas

A year ago, we decided that presents were no longer going to be the primary focus of Christmas. We opted to only have an experience with each other: a trip, excursion near home, or a really great “date night” to take the place of buying stuff for each other, in hopes of pleasing the other. It’s a lot of pressure we put on ourselves to find the “perfect gift” that most likely doesn’t exist. Making this departure from material gifts, was one of the best decisions we have made in a long time. One of our fave things to do is to get in our jammies (including Betty White), put hot cider in travel mugs, get into the jeep and go see Christmas lights, while listening to Christmas tunes on the local radio station. My heart warms just thinking about how lovely of an experience this is for us!

This year, the “no gift” policy has not changed. In fact, we are currently making baked goodies boxes for our family as their Christmas gifts. (Sure hope they aren’t reading this yet). Since we are no longer business owners, we can enjoy the Christmas holiday by going to see our family members and that is enough of a gift for us. We surely don’t want to take gifts in hopes that they would be pleased, or find more items to add to their return list, but instead, bake items that are consumable, that we know they will love.

You don’t have to be a self-proclaimed minimalist to go this route for gift-giving. There are plenty of ideas that are great gifts, without adding clutter to your loved one’s home, add to their return list, or add to the landfill. We, as Americans, are drowning in stuff! It’s insane, really.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Tickets to an event- one of the best gift I ever received were movie tickets. We rarely go to a movie outside of Netflix these days, but receiving movie tickets, Ger and I made a date night out of it and off we went!
  2. Baked goodies- I purchased paper cake boxes and made 5 batches of various Christmas goodies, and included some Beaufort fudge, and made a box for each family, and of course, for the singles- these boxes are going to be a HIT!
  3. Recipe with ingredients- jars with the ingredients to make some Christmas cookies with the recipe card attached is an awesome idea! You can even give a jar with a recipe of healthy smoothies!
  4. Subscription- give the reader in your life a subscription to Audible, or Amazon Kindle credits. If someone doesn’t have Hulu or Netflix, give them a year’s worth and encourage them to cut the cable cord.
  5. Create an experience- maybe your parents have a difficult time of getting an experience going themselves. Create it for them! Write up instructions for a picnic at the park. For example, “Mom & Dad- first, make sandwiches and cut up some fruit and veggies, pack it in a basket or cooler with some flasks of water, and take it to the museum lawn or park”. You can include two eco-vessels they can use for water, and a picnic basket with a handmade blanket, if you are a knitter or quilter, or pay someone to make one for you. You get the idea!

We absolutely love seeing the looks on our family’s faces when they taste the baked items we made for them. It is so much better than store bought items, and it is even better when you can talk about the recipes being special. For example, this year we made Gerry’s mom’s recipe for Sour Cream Cookies, Gerry’s sister’s recipe for brownies (for the brownie trees), my aunt’s receipt for Cowboy Cookies, and my other aunt’s recipe for PB-Candy Cookies.

We wish you a very Merry and bright Christmas, in hopes you know that you don’t have to have material things to make it sparkly and shiny. You can make that up in experiences yourself.

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