I wanted to take a moment to reflect on Christmas 2018 from a minimalist angle. This Christmas I decided to ask myself- Is a minimalist Christmas even possible in such a consumption driven society, where we place such a high level of importance on exchanging consumer goods?
Christmas can be an expensive time of year, particularly when Christmas for many seems to centre around expensive gift giving. Quite often around the holiday period, there are many news stories and articles depicting the number of gifts that were unwanted or thrown away. Research shows that on average in Australia about twenty million Christmas presents are classified as unwanted. To put it simply, people just seem to end up with too much stuff they don’t want. For this exact reason, for the past few years my family and I have not exchanged gifts. We have had lunch, enjoyed each other’s company and watched our favourite TV shows together and it was fabulous.
However, this year I was challenged slightly because my boyfriend’s family are big on Christmas and the whole gift giving experience. Which is fine, I’m not going to try and change anyone else’s Christmas traditions and for most of the family we agreed on small gifts only. What I gifted appeared to be well received (I spent a lot of time considering each gift before purchasing) and everything I received was perfect for me. However, there were some members of the family I was unsure of what to gift. After all, most adults these days have everything they could ever want.
So, I decided that some homemade baked goods might go down well, particularly with people who don’t do much baking themselves. I made several batches of meringues and a large portion of spiced mixed nuts. I packaged them up in Christmas boxes and bags with Christmas ribbon and tried to make them look as decorative as possible. I’ll be honest, there were a lot of expensive gifts exchanged and so I was rather nervous as to how well my baking would go down. I must say though that despite my hesitations, the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone seemed genuinely grateful to receive my baking (even though part of me is still surprised). Maybe that’s because it was delicious, maybe it’s because people don’t bake much anymore. Regardless, people seem to appreciate time and effort that’s put into things and I most definitely put in a fair few hours in the kitchen.
A big plus about baking? It’s all consumable, so a very minimalist gift idea. From what I heard, nothing lasted very long at all! I even used bio-degradable cellophane bags (as they are made of a plant based cellulose, so environmentally friendly as well!! As a side note for those that are penny conscious, home made baked goods are a great way to go provided you are willing to invest the time.
Thinking far into the future to this year’s Christmas (a long way away I know) I’ve decided to make more home made delicious items, though what exactly I’m not sure yet. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
How do you make your Christmas Minimalist?