A Minimal-ish Christmas

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This Minimal-ish Christmas post is courtesy of our contributor Chantelle of Dolled Up DesignChristmas can be a delicate balance of wanting to give your kids everything they ask for and trying not to overload them (and your house) with more “stuff”. I’m seeing more and more being written about simplifying Christmas to make it less about the consumerism and help ease the pressure on us parents. One such concept I have come across is to limit the gifts for your children to just 4 things:

Something they want.
Something they need.
Something to wear.
Something to read.

A Minimal-ish Christmas

I absolutely love the notion, but don’t think I could fully commit to making our Christmas that minimalist. I know that Christmas shouldn’t be all about the gifts, but growing up there was something magical about sneaking down to see the tree lit and overflowing on Christmas morning. For my own children, I am torn by wanting to recreate the same wow factor and ensuring their memories aren’t all about the gifts.

A Minimal-ish Christmas:

With all this in mind, I decided to create my own Minimal-ish Christmas poem a few years ago. I wanted something simple to limit the gifts I was buying, but included some of the items that were important on my list such as books, family-friendly board games and building toys. I always loved the calm moments during Christmas break when my siblings and I would settle down to build a new Lego set or play a new video or board game together, and want to give my kids similar gifts that promote spending time together as a family.

A Minimal-ish Christmas

The specific categories have really helped me narrow down my lists, and ensure I have a “fair” and equal number of gifts for each of my children. I tried to have each of the categories fit different needs or wants, and this provides a good range of gifts my kids will be happy to play with long after everything is unwrapped Christmas morning. The categories are more specific than the original 4 item version I was inspired by, but still leave a lot of flexibility within to suit each individual child:

A TOY they WANT: That top toy written in the letter to Santa (within reason, of course). Santa usually brings that toy in our house and I will pick out something secondary from my husband and I for the kids to enjoy.
An OUTFIT they NEED: A shirt and pant set, new pajamas or a robe, a new dress, athletic wear or jersey for a sport they play, a new snowsuit, a swimsuit.
A GAME to PLAY: Board games, a video game, sports equipment, a new toboggan, an iTunes card for a new app.
A BOOK to READ: Any book or series they might enjoy, or a magazine subscription to enjoy throughout the year.
Something to BUILD: Lego, Mega Construx, Magnatiles, SnapCircuits, craft kits, beads or a new puzzle.
Something for WATCHING: DVD’s, movie passes, sports event or theater tickets, a Netflix subscription.
Enough small TREATS to fill a STOCKING: Chocolate, Gum, candies, blind bag toys, playing cards, crayons or markers, new toothbrush, hair accessories, bath products, a Christmas ornament, socks & underwear.

I have used my Minimal-ish poem the past three Christmases and it has really helped me to be more mindful of what I am buying. I feel much more organized when it comes to shopping plus narrowing down the list ahead of time means I can watch for sales on the items I have picked in each of the categories.

Not every gift on the list is from us to the kids – some end up from Santa and others end up being the kids gifts to each other. There are still plenty of gifts under the tree using this approach and the kids end up with a good mix of the things they really want plus some things they might not have even known they wanted or needed. It is all about balance and I love that I was able to find this balance by way of this cute rhyming poem!

A Minimal-ish Christmas

We’d like to send a big THANK YOU to Chantelle for sharing these creative Christmas ideas with us! Her parties & crafts are always easy to recreate and kids love them! Be sure to follow her on Facebook to stay updated on all her fabulous ideas. 

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