i’m dreaming of a simple Christmas


During some of the rainy days of the October school holidays, we did a slightly unusual Christmas craft project. Our family loves a good craft project, and we collect all sorts of recyclables every week; paper, card, boxes, bottles, you name it, but most prevalent in our collection is toilet rolls. And this is where the slightly unusual nature of our project comes into play. Our craft project was the wreath you see here, and unbeknownst to me until October, this just happens to be one of the million and one things that can be done with used toilet rolls. Thank you Pinterest.

At this time of year, with festive pressure just starting to kick in, it feels important for me to set my intention to maintain simplicity and calm over the whole festive season. It is really difficult to avoid the rising stress that Christmas seems to bring out in us. The consumer craziness can impact even the most rational consumer, even one with deep minimalist intent, and an iron will.

So here are some of my thoughts, and a few thoughts of others. The first piece of advice is from a very wise friend, and I really love it a lot. It is simply to avoid the shops completely. Don’t buy into the craziness. Use the internet, and have essential purchases delivered to you, or better still, direct to your loved one. To buy someone a book for example, you can either buy an actual book and have it delivered directly to the person, or alternatively buy a book voucher or ebook online and send it via email. There are so many ways to buy gifts which don’t involve being in the shops.

If you are creative, and I like to think of myself this way, you can make things with meaning and purpose for those you love. My top idea for this year is propagated plants, such as herbs and cactuses. Unusual planting containers like tins and cups etc, make beautiful gifts. Again, thank you Pinterest for some lovely ideas.

Consumable gifts are perfect. I love them because they can be enjoyed, they are useful and then they’re gone. No clutter, no stress, just enjoyment. Bath salts, a gorgeous aromatic soap, a homemade candle, a body scrub (so easy to make!), pickled foods, jams, the list is endless. Our olive trees have given us an abundance of potential gifts to marinate and share this year.

There’s also the concept of not giving any tangible gifts at all. Giving instead to those in need, rather than drowning ourselves in a sea of overindulgence. Or of simply sharing experiences instead of gifts, Leo and the Babauta family style. We are starting to do this with the kids when it comes to gifts from family and friends, but I think we’ll need to wait until the mystery of Santa has dissipated before we will be able to move towards this concept completely.

In the meantime, my intention is firmly set, to have a simple and peaceful Christmas…and I wish the same to anyone else who seeks it!

Linked with Essentially Jess for IBOT

19 thoughts on “i’m dreaming of a simple Christmas

  1. I love that wreath. I have pined similar things and have been meaning to see if it actually works. Will start saving some for the kids now.

    I like gifts. I like giving them too. But not if its just junk. I spend a lot of time thinking about what to get for each person and make sure its not just more stuff.

    1. Oh I think if craziness is inevitable, then how you approach the potential stress of the festive season is the key. You can be busy on the outside, and yet remain relaxed on the inside. I think that is what differentiates enjoyment and being in the moment from being completely frazzled.

  2. I love the idea of giving experiences rather than gifts. We have bought the girls tickets to the wiggles as part of their xmas present. They will love it. I’m dreaming of a simple xmas too and I think shopping online and avoiding the shops if you can is a great tip.

  3. I love that wreath. I too am dreaming of a simple lean Christmas. However I have no plans on how I will achieve this so thank you. I have used the internet quite a bit in the past. I find the shops so incredibly draining at this time of year. You have inspired me to go through my recycling too 🙂

    1. I’m impressed with the wreath every time I see it!! My 5 year old keeps telling me it shouldn’t be on the door until December, but I couldn’t leave it on the bench any longer. I was even thinking of making another one as a gift…an early Christmas gift. Stay chilled, and steer clear of the shops unless it’s an emergency!!

  4. That wreath is lovely – amazing it’s toilet rolls!! I also find the over consumerism at xmas overwhelming – boxes of ‘stuff’ go out, boxes of ‘stuff’ come in…all ‘stuff’ for a lot of people who don’t need more ‘stuff’

    1. It’s funny Jess, because when I was writing this I was wondering if there were people who love it all. And here you are! I love the holiday season, the relaxed vibe and the long warm days, I just hate all the excess I guess, and the pressure there is to be part of the excess.

  5. I’ve admired this wreath on Pinterest too!!! I love your intentions for Christmas. They echo a lot of what I am aiming for this year too. If only the grandparents respected this. Still, the intent is there. xS

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