At a glance, you might mistake them for a bunch of Grinches—who else doesn’t do presents at Christmas?—but those practicing minimalism or mindful consumerism, as the blogs, books and social posts are calling it, aren’t actually shunning the holiday at all, just the blind buying spree that precedes it. And one could make a pretty good argument that, in doing so, they’re tapping into the true meaning of Christmas.
These frugal yet festive folks are collectively unstuffing the stockings and putting them back on their feet. It’s a toasty, cozy, together Christmas and it doesn’t cost a thing.
Canadian blogger and vocal proponent for minimalism Cait Flanders says that the lack of gifts at her family Christmas results in a more relaxed and ultimately jovial atmosphere. “The fact that we no longer exchange gifts actually helps, as it takes a lot of pressure off and makes the holidays so much more meaningful for us all,” she writes on her site.
But we know what you’re thinking: “Sure, this is all well and good for my budget, but tell that to my three children currently wailing underneath a giftless tree.” Fair. Flanders suggests that maybe no presents isn’t the right solution, so much as fewer presents.
Also on her list of tips for keeping things festive when there aren’t bulging stockings or mounds of presents to unwrap come Christmas morning: playing games, listening to music and enjoying movies as the focus of the holiday; getting outside; and not cleaning up the Christmas mess (the best mess of the year) too soon. We really like that last one.
If you’re looking to go presentless (be it giving or receiving, or both) this holiday season, it’s probably a good idea to let your usual gifting circle know early, so as to avoid that awkward, lopsided exchange.
Maybe you’re like us and more attached to the process of unwrapping something. If that’s the case, there are plenty of awesome yet inexpensive and easy DIY gifts that are sure to bring a smile to your loved one’s face. This Christmas, less really may be more.