Christmas has the potential to be the MOST joyous time of the year. But it can also be the most stressful if you allow that to happen.
Every year, I sit down with my family to create a mission statement for our Christmas. We discuss things like whether it’s our beliefs that take center stage, or if we want to make it about giving or serving, or any other heartfelt experience that can increase our joy.
Once we have that mission statement in place, creating the holiday that we desire becomes easy. We’ve determined our “why" and that determines how we will celebrate our entire season. If people try to push back or veer us away from what we truly want out of the season, we have a strong leg to stand on and it doesn’t feel as hard to tell people no.
If you feel like your holiday season is being ruined by your kid’s stuff, it’s time to consider simplifying Christmas.
Many women turn to minimalism hoping that it will change their lives. But then the holidays come around and relatives begin asking what sorts of gifts the children would like, and before you know it your home is full of new toys again (and they’re still barely being played with).
If that statement sends you into a panic...
Mama, I gotchyo back! It doesn’t have to be that way!
How to Get Started
1. Be frank and honest.
If someone is coming to you and asking what your children would like for Christmas, be frank with them. Explain what types of things your child may be into. Maybe your daughter is really into drawing, so you could suggest a new art set.
I always find that it’s super helpful to make the other person feel like they’re going to be a superstar to my child. It makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
If you want to make this even easier, you could have your child create a wishlist. Then you can provide that to people who might be buying for them. I also have a list of toys for minimalist parents and their kids in a PDF right within my FREE course, A Merry Little Christmas.
2. Remain Gracious and Selfless
You can’t expect everyone to jump onto the same page as you when it comes to simplifying things. Asking them not to get your child anything can be really hard. Especially if their love language is gift giving.
Try tweaking the gifts so that they are working for you.
Provide a gift idea that your child would absolutely love - maybe something that would pull them away from technology. Or you could always ask that they get your child a game for their game system they’ve been wanting.
Spin it in a way that helps you and still allows them to feel joy for giving your child a gift they will love.
3. How to Handle the Out-of-Control Gift Giver
It’s pretty common to have someone in your life who is out-of-control when it comes to giving gifts. They claim “it’s their joy,” but it’s your home, and your holiday, and you don’t want to be completely stressed out because someone won’t stop buying presents.
Communication is the key here!
Talk to them. Let them know you love their heart, and that you are grateful that they can give so much to your children, but that it’s overwhelming. You could even mention that your children don’t even get the opportunity to play with everything because they’ve received so much.
In the end, if they choose to give a crap ton of gifts, that’s fine. There’s NO contract that says you must keep everything. You can always donate some of the items instead.
Don’t allow yourself to become handcuffed to the idea of minimalism. Allow things to stay if you or another family member love them, and if it makes them happy. Don’t make minimalism an idol, because all it does is shift the way you’re handcuffed to your stuff.
Communicate with people, set strong boundaries, control yourself when you respond to people asking for gift ideas, and allow yourself to feel the true joy that this season brings.
If you’re ready to put a lot more purpose in your family’s holiday, you definitely want to sign-up for my free course! A Merry Little Christmas is a guide to a simplified holiday for moms pursuing less.