Stress-free holidays | How to enjoy Christmas like a minimalist

If you continuously struggle throughout December because of the holidays, learn how to enjoy Christmas like a minimalist for a stress-free holiday.

Christmas is around the corner, and even though we won't celebrate it the same way we used to because of the pandemic, it's still one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, especially for children.

All the duties that involve Christmas can be overwhelming, and for some, could end up being a stress trigger, when it should be anything but; Christmas is about joy, not stress.

Why is a minimalist Christmas such a great idea?

If you celebrate Christmas not just for the commercial aspect but also for spiritual or religious reasons, let me ask you why we celebrate it and what it means to you?

I believe that the original tradition around Christmas, whether you are religious or not, celebrates a holiday of joy, love, and family. A season where we get to see all of our family members receive unique visits from living far away.


Also is a season where we remember the ones who left us and become nostalgic thinking of the past holidays.

However, in recent times Christmas has made a complete turn and became a full commercial season, where people worry about all the things they have got to buy just because.

I have nothing against buying gifts for others; it's a way of saying you care and cherish that person in your life.

But falling into debt because of the holiday is a terrible habit many take. Here are some simple tips to avoid this issue, and start the next year without new debts.

  • Don't spend money you don't have.

  • Create a gifts list with a budget in mind.

  • Wait for sales and compare prices before buying.

  • Try to cut down unnecessary expenses, especially Christmas decor.

  • You don't have to buy new outfits just for the holidays, dress nice with what you already have and let your personality shine.

How to enjoy Christmas like a minimalist?

Applying some concepts from a minimalist Christmas will help you enjoy the holidays with your loved one stress-free. You will find useful tips on decoration, gift-giving, food, and activities.

Minimalist Christmas decor

If you want to cut down expenses, this category is the easiest to do it, and minimalist Christmas decor doesn't have to be scarce.

Also, for a minimalist, a house full of decor is both overwhelming and wasteful; besides, fewer decor items can look elegant. Since you are buying less, you can purchase higher quality pieces. Here are some tips to decorate your home.

  • Declutter your decor, check everything you have, and toss or recycle anything that is broken or you don't like anymore.

  • Use natural materials that will look good on any decor, such as natural finish wood, metal, or glass.

  • If you are handy, you can create your decoration; there are plenty of DIY projects on Pinterest.

  • Less is more; instead of putting decor everywhere, place focus on some spots to create highlights.

  • Go for the same color pattern; although you can choose an all-white decor that looks the best on a minimalist design, there's nothing wrong with using pops of colors during the holidays.

  • Metals such as gold, silver, or copper look sleek and modern.

  • Red and green, a classic combination.

  • Shades of blue, serene, and elegant color.

  • White and natural wood, a warmer version to create a cozy minimalist decor.

If you want to see more Christmas decor ideas, DIY projects, and product suggestions, check out these 120 minimalist Christmas decor ideas.

Minimalist gift-giving

Make Christmas gifts with love because they represent how much we value a particular relationship, gift-giving out of compromise is wasteful, and the receiver won't probably like it.

Don't forget to set a budget to avoid using credit to pay for the gift, another great way to save more money, especially in large families, is using the secret Santa method.

One person buys one gift to give to their secret receiver, this way you can buy something of higher quality, remember to set a price limit. Some gift ideas include:

  • Consumable; tea, coffee, chocolates, candles, etc.

  • DIY; paintings, a scarf, even a cake or cookies.

  • Experiences; going out to diner, park visits, art lessons, or even a trip.

  • Objects; I place this last because you have to be thoughtful about what you will buy, find something the person needs or has mentioned in the past as a want. If you are in doubt, you can always buy a gift card.

For more minimalist Christmas gift ideas, check out these 24 minimalist items to gift. Or find cool ideas from my curated selection of minimalist design random items from September and October.

How to wrap Christmas gifts

Present wrapping is a wasteful practice for one-time use; the big issue with commercial Christmas wrapping paper is that it comes with a thin plastic layer, making it difficult to recycle. If you are into zero waste, I recommend these ideas.

Wrap in a recyclable paper such as plain recycled paper; even though they have no patterns, you can decorate them with pinecones, leaves, or ornaments that the receiver can also hang on their tree.

Use bags, these elegant-looking bags can be reused repeatedly; they are not completely necessary but a better option to regular wrapping paper.

Wrap in fabrics, this stylish way of wrapping gifts uses fabrics like scarves, handkerchiefs, or napkins, which is a gift within a gift. You can find a lot of wrapping ideas on Pinterest.

How to organize the Christmas meals?

Prepping and cooking the Christmas meal is probably one of the most stressful things about the holidays, you have to create a list, buy everything and start cooking, most of these meals take multiple days to finish, here are some simple tips to make this task less overwhelming.

Manage the food

Christmas meals, just like Thanksgiving, are known for excess. Are you placing so many appetizers that your guests are full when it's time for the main entry, and you have to give them dessert as a take-out because they can't eat it.

A minimalist will always use quality over quantity for Christmas diner; instead of five different regular appetizers, make two special ones; instead of three entries, cook one with more expensive ingredients.

Calculate how many guests you will have to cook the appropriate amount, have some containers to give food if there are leftovers, or donate them to a charity; the last thing you want to do is throw away excess food.

Avoid using single-use plastic dinnerware; not only it looks extra tacky, but it is terrible for the environment.

You don't have to buy additional dinnerware sets for the holidays. Just use your regular dinnerware or buy a good quality one that will look great on both Christmas and throughout the rest of the year; my favorites plate design includes this 1948 set by Jonathan Adler or this Lenox Tribeca set.

Don't forget to include your family members in the cooking process; this shouldn't be viewed as a chore but as a tradition to share with your loved ones.

Even the kids can help, have them decorate Christmas cookies, or mix ingredients; as long as they don't deal with sharp utensils, electricity, or heat, they can help.

How to enjoy activities and events like a minimalist?

Minimalist value time more than anything; this is why we own less, to focus on what matters to us; this concept applies to any events.

When it comes to Christmas, pick and choose only the invitations that draw your attention, it's better to politely decline something you don't want to do than going out of compromise and feeling miserable.

To help you make a clear choice, set your priorities if you want to rest and reflect, avoid any parties, but if you're going to spend some grown-up time, leave the kids with their grandparents, for something more private, attend a family reunion.

Under no circumstance think that going to the mall to spend the afternoon is a good idea, especially with your family, malls know this and will try to tempt you, persuading you to make more impulsive buys. During the holidays, avoid any shopping center like the plague.

I hope these simple ideas help you celebrate a more conscious and relaxed Christmas.

Honestly, we don't need much to enjoy the holidays; by removing the superficial excess, we can focus on what matters the most; being with the ones we love and care about.


Here are some other Minimalist Lifestyle posts you might find interesting.

120 Minimalist Christmas Decor Ideas

10 Ways to Have Fun without spending Money

10 Ways to Save Money

Minimalism & the Environment

11 Questions to Ask Yourself to Shop like a Minimalist

130 Purchases that will Save you Money in the Short and Long Term

How to Teach Minimalism to Children

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