A minimalist Christmas might seem like a contradiction in terms, but there are things you can do to tone down the gaudy clutter if your tastes are at the spare and simple end of things.
The first step is accepting that There Will Be Stuff. Loved ones will send you cards and presents and these will make your home more cluttered than usual. Take a deep breath, note your good fortune in having people who gift you things, and work on the areas you can control.
Here at Lumens, we believe a balance can be struck between both worlds, where you can have a Christmassy home without compromising your clean aesthetic. These are our suggestions on how to minimalise the essential elements of Christmas.
Cards: The trick is to coral them all into the same area. We like this idea above of hanging all the cards in the hallway. That way anyone who had sent you one can admire it as soon as they come in, but they’re not part of your actual living space.
Presents: Instead of everyone buying everyone else in a family a present the recipient will almost certainly not want, cut down on the clutter buy doing a pan-generational Secret Santa.
The intrigue of trying to work out who is buying for whom adds a manic, silly air to the run up to Christmas, and this method allows for discrete consultation with partners or siblings to find out what the recipient actually might want. The present you get is likely to be much more beautifully wrapped too – people take greater care when there is just one present to wrap.
A nice touch is to agree an additional amount to be put in a pot for a big family meal out at the end of January when everyone really needs a pick-me-up.
This comes with a caveat though- under no circumstances should you try this with children. Getting only one present at Christmas from their family will scar them for life and make them the butt of teasing from other children. They should always be supplied with the usual quantity of nonsense.
Christmas Trees: If the thought of a tree in your living room brings you out in hives, try an alternative that takes up less space and is more streamlined, like these:
Christmas dinner table: We love this solution. It’s so simple, and yet so perfect for the season. Just a few sprigs of a Christmas tree and some seasonal pomegranates, married with candles, and we know it’s Christmas. You could change the pomegranates for fresh red holly berries, or even cranberries if pomegranates are difficult to get. There’s no need for anything else.
Above all else, keep calm,and make sure the recycling bins are empty and ready to go. Find out when the charity shops are open between Christmas and New Year and think of all the good your unwanted gifted clutter will do: it's a once a year chance to really help others!