A merry meaningful Christmas

What our minimalist Christmas looks like

Photo by Nika Akin on Unsplash

We bought a much smaller Christmas tree

Owning a smaller tree forced us to part with many of our tree decorations. Reducing our tree from a standard 7.5ft pine tree to a 5ft slimline tree meant we donated around 30–40% of our tree decorations to charity. The smaller tree also reduced the amount of Christmas tree lights required — from two packs to one — so we also donated these along with our Christmas tree star topper.

We halved our ornamental decorations

Last year we probably owned around 12–15 Christmas ornaments. These ranged from singing Santa’s to fluffy reindeers. Each shelf or cabinet was occupied by 3–4 ornaments fighting for their position amongst many Christmas cards.

We chose not to put up outdoor Christmas lights

Christmas lights look special and they symbolise the Christmas spirit throughout the winter months. However, you can’t see your own lights when you’re sat indoors. I’ve always found hanging outdoor lights to be a stressful experience and one that doesn’t provide me any lasting joy. So, this year I took back that time and avoided the stress I would usually experience trying to hang our lights.

We asked for experiences in place of gifts

Buying gifts can be an incredibly stressful situation. Deciding what to buy, questioning if the recipient will like it, questioning if they’ll use it — are all decisions we consciously consider before making a purchase. With the greatest of intentions, gifts may not always be practical or useful and they either find their way onto sites like Amazon or eBay or worse still, they end up at the back of a wardrobe and fail to see the light of day for several months.

We bought our own gifts

Parents may also find it difficult purchasing gifts at Christmas, especially if contact throughout the year is not as frequent as it once was when living at home. My own parents were happy to buy me an experience, however they were also insistent on purchasing me some consumables. They set me a budget and told me to buy some gifts. Instead, I chose a different option. I recognised the items that I needed and purchased these. These items fell below the budget set by my parents, however, the items I needed would prove to be useful and I would be grateful for having these in my life.


I can imagine that upon reading the above we may appear very Bah humbug, but this has definitely not been the case. Christmas, in my eyes, is about the time you spend with family, friends and loved ones. It’s not about the gifts we buy, the money we spend or how well decorated our homes may be. By having less decoration and less things at Christmas doesn’t make our Christmas less special.

UI & UX Designer. Passionate about design, health & fitness and wellbeing.

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