In last week’s post on a gift-free Christmas, I mentioned how much time I found myself having as nothing revolved around the Christmas shopping anymore. But this crazy season offers so many festive choices; markets, parties, events, and we want to go to it all, all the time, but we also want to enjoy the atmosphere, at home, and outside. Clutter clutter clutter. For months, so many of us long for Christmas, for all the potential it has. Come December, however, and we forget why. Relate?
Being a minimalist doesn’t mean that I cut out on celebrating or decorating at home. Well, I definitely cut back, but there is still plenty left for me to enjoy. I usually make a list of all the things I have to do on one side of the paper, and a list of what I want to do, on the other. Having it in front of me makes everything clearer and it is time for decluttering! I ask myself these magic questions:
- Does it make me happy?
I do that with everything in life. Minimalism is about surrounding ourselves with things that make us happy. Will the fifth Christmas market in a row that is even far out of town honestly make me much happier? Will I smile from the late Christmas party with colleagues after the long day in a conference when I have to get up, with the same people, early the next day?
- Do I need it?
Do I really need to get my great aunt something from that fancy, remote shop? Do I need to get my dogs new Santa’s outfits this year? Do I need to have coffee with fifteen friends before the new year?
Why do I insist on decorating every room of the house to the brim every single year without help? Why am I always the one inviting the cousins over and have to bake 200 cookies? Why do I still write Christmas cards? Just because you have always done something, doesn’t mean you can’t change. It might even feel awesome. Asking ‘why’ could also give you a very motivating answer: “True, I am inviting all the cousins because I have space, and it creates so much happiness to all of us, being able to catch up once a year.”
Congratulations – your list is smaller, makes more sense, and you now have time to reward yourself with some mulled wine, and a book in front of the fireplace.