When we think about it; if it was any other time of the year and we were panicking about getting someone a gift or spending time with a friend, we would say to each other, “it’s only one day!” but when it comes to Christmas, the majority of us go into meltdown mode to make sure it’s the perfect time of the year. I wanted to discuss four pieces of advice that I tell myself if I start panicking about the holiday season.
Having the perfect wrapping paper is not the most important part of the gift.
Listen, this used to be me. I had to have the prettiest wrapping paper and it all had to be the same type. I would get the matching tags and I would have to go back to the supermarket numerous times because I was always running out. If it was colourful, I was in but if it was covered in glitter, I HAD to have it. If we actually think about it for one minute; that wrapping paper is going to be admired for maximum 30 seconds and ripped apart (unless you are Monica, then you slowly unwrap it and iron it for later, but how many of us are doing that with each gift?). That’s it, that’s all that happens and it more than likely ends up in a bin at the end of the day. All that extra money on the glitter, the colourful pattern, it’s going in the bin and because the majority of that type of paper isn’t recycled, it’s just going to sit for years unable to decompose.
I’m not trying to guilt anyone, I promise I’m not, but once you really think about where that wrapping paper is going and what it’s being used for, something just clicks. It clicks that we don’t need to be really fancy; last year I used brown wrapping paper and I used regular string and it gave the present a minimalist feel. This year, I’m going to add ribbon to the present instead and that means that the paper will be recyclable, the tape I use is also recyclable and the receivers can use the ribbons afterwards if they want. This doesn’t apply to only Christmas, this is all year round and it means that you won’t have to rush round the shops looking for fancy birthday paper because you’ll have left over brown paper from Christmas and maybe a ribbon or two.
2) If you can’t attend every single event, people WILL understand.
Christmas and December in general in expensive; it’s the busiest time of the year and we want to gift our friends and family with presents that they will love. That comes at a cost and you still have to pay all your regular bills, so going out for a few nights over the month for dinner would be absolutely fine any other time of the year but around December, it’s a little harder and it can be hard to admit that to friends and family. You may want to go out and still catch-up over your monthly pizza night or have that weekly pub night, but if you can’t afford to or you have family plans, the people around you will understand. It’s a busy time of the time and you’re having to balance everything you would normally do as well as planning your Christmas and scheduling your family time around your work schedule (and your own family’s schedule). A catch up over a coffee on your lunch break can be just as effective or inviting a friend over for a home cooked meal can be just as comforting. These are things we should be doing all year around but I believe it’s so important to emphasize that if you can’t go out as often as you used to or you feel like you’ve committed to so many events, it’s okay if you can’t go to everything, and those that truly care about you will one hundred percent understand.
3) Quality over quantity is more important.
This has been a really important part of my Christmas gifting experience especially over the last few years and with my on-going journey with minimalism (or at least my very very slow journey with minimalism) I treat my present buying the way I want to be treated with gift giving. As much as fifty presents would love on the sofa on the morning of Christmas, am I going to get around to use all fifty? I absolutely love surprises and I love surprising people especially with gifts, and I believe the reason why I’m so good at gifts is because I do research. One of my favourite things to do throughout school and college was the research part of an assignment and it has stayed with me. Of course, if you ask someone what they want and they tell you; well you have hit the jackpot and you know exactly what they want, but we all have those people in our lives that we ask what they want for Christmas and they either say “Oh nothing, I don’t need anything” or “I don’t know, I’ll let you know” and they never let you know.
I would rather buy fewer presents that I either know the person will love or is higher quality than buying five smaller presents. I think this is something that parents deal with quite a lot and especially now that almost everything is documented on social media; the living room is covered in presents or there was one woman a few years ago I remember being interviewed on TV who bought her children something outrageous like three hundred presents! I can’t imagine what it’s like as a parent because I’m not one yet but I can imagine that you want to give your children the most magical Christmas. You want them to go back to school and tell them about the amazing time they had when they were off on holidays and you want them to fit in with all their friends. Where does it stop though? Do you get yourself in debt over it? Do you push yourself so far that it means the first half of the year you’re struggling to get back on track over ONE DAY? Children might not understand the quality of a gift but I believe if it’s taught to them at a young age, they will appreciate it so much more. (I’m saying this as a non-parent but this is how I want to raise my future children. At least I have a plan right?)
4) At the end of the day, it’s ONE DAY.
Is it worth it to completely stress, stretch your budget to harm you for the next year coming and make everything perfect for ONE DAY out of the year? I can give you the answer right now and I can tell you it’s a firm no. We have another 364 days to buy gifts for each other, to show each other how we feel and show our appreciation for one another; the pressure for this one day has completely taken over on an entire new level and instead of looking forward to Christmas, it’s sad that so many don’t love the build up and the excitement of it all because all they see is the pressure to be perfect.
As always, thank you so much for reading today’s post, I know it was a long one but it’s always a good excuse to make a cup of tea beforehand, right? If you have any feedback; please let me know in the comments, over on my Instagram or over on my Twitter. Also, I love Christmas themed posts, so if you have one that you think I would enjoy, let me know! Have a great week! ❤️