Holiday Minimalism: Where Do You Spend Your Time?

When we think of holiday minimalism, many of us think of reducing our expenses through limiting gifts and other forms of consumerism. One of the aspects of holiday minimalism that I like to focus on, though, has more to do with my time. Too often we fill our time with unnecessary activities, cluttering our lives.

My husband and I, remembering some of the rushed and activity-laden holiday activities¬†of our youth, began a tradition of not doing anything for Christmas. While my experience growing up wasn’t too busy, my husband remembers rushing everywhere on Christmas Even and Christmas Day, and there being a general bustle — and sometimes stress.

In order to save ourselves the same kind of trouble, we do our Christmas Day a little differently. Rather than engaging in a number of activities, we limit what we do. We apply the idea of minimalism in terms of time and activities during the holidays.

Minimalist Christmas

How Many Activities Do You Need to Attend?

This year, my husband attended a small holiday get together at his work, but other than that, we aren’t getting too involved in holiday activities. We both tend toward introversion, so that makes it a little easier for us to reduce the number of activities that we participate in. There is no need for you to go to every party you are invited to, or host more than you are comfortable with. Carefully consider your situation, and what would make the most sense for you. Think about the most important activities and get-togethers, and attend those that you feel will be of the most benefit to your relationships.

In some cases, you might really enjoy attending these parties. It might not feel like a drain on your time and energy to attend. If this is the case, then there isn’t much need for minimalism. But if you are not inclined toward these parties, it makes more sense to step back. You’ve learned to cut the clutter in your things, and probably learned to say no in other areas of your life, so it makes sense to say no in this case as well. The holiday season is a time at which it’s hard to say no, but it might be necessary to your sanity.

Scaling Back on Christmas Day

If you celebrate Christmas, it can also make sense to scale back on the day itself, as well as with engagements throughout the holiday season.¬†For years, we’ve made it a point to have Christmas be as low-key as possible. We make a prime rib for dinner on Christmas Eve, and look at lights around town. The next day, we get up late and open presents (there are only three of us, so it isn’t hard to sleep in). Then we all do what we like best. My husband usually goes back to bed, my son puts together LEGOs or plays his inevitable new video game, and I sit on the couch with a pile of candy and read a good book. Later, we have leftovers and watch a couple of movies together as a family.

Our Christmas is ridiculously minimal, and we like it that. A few gifts, and time to just relax, is our ideal. What’s your idea of a minimalist Christmas?

About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.