5 tips for Christmas conversations!

Conversation 5Last year, I wrote about how I had left it a little late to have meaningful conversations with loved ones about exchanging gifts, or rather not exchanging. So, I did my best to gift consumables or experiences and accepted any gifts with love and gratitude. I had a lovely Christmas and I felt blessed and fortunate.

However, I did make a mental note to try and be more intentional this year. So I started a bit earlier.

Oh, it’s a difficult balance. Too early and people throw things at you for mentioning Christmas; too late and people have already made arrangements and the awkwardness is far worse. I tried this last year with one person and they said they had already got me a gift – they looked so hurt that I scrambled to say that of course it was fine and things would be as normal.

So, this year, I’ve started with about a month to go. My starting point was having, what I thought may have been awkward, conversations about the lack of gift-giving. To be fair, the awkwardness was all in my head and I may even have put off some conversations because of this. But, in the end, they were fine.

Now I’m sure my lovely readers wouldn’t let a bit of perceived awkwardness put them off their minimalist journeys, but just in case, I thought I’d share some tips with you 🙂

  • Plan your approach in reasonable time – don’t spring this on Christmas Eve!
  • Be honest – no need to over-explain, justify or excuse – if this is the approach you’ve decided to take – fine, it’s your decision.
  • Don’t be guilted into conforming – you’re making a lifestyle choice to suit what’s best for you.
  • However, you can’t make this choice on behalf of others! They will do what makes most sense to them and it may not conform with your own ideas – that’s life!
  • Be gracious if you do get a gift – this approach is not for everyone.

Have a great week 😊

  5 comments for “5 tips for Christmas conversations!

  1. November 26, 2018 at 3:44 am

    This is something I really needed! In a time when I am making a transition to being self-employed, I do not have the extra money I once had and this year, I would like to ask that we skip the gift exchange. I have no idea how my mother will take it though – she loves buying gifts and I suspect she has already done so for this year. I asked my husband: do you think we can ask people to skip it this year? He says they will not likely abide by our request (plus I think he wants to get gifts). Sigh… so maybe we will go “minimalist” on the buying and ask for their understanding on our choice not to participate. Or I’ll make my husband in charge of it because he is better at sticking to a budget than I am. We’ll see. Great post. The sad thing is that I end up donating about 70% of my gifts because they don’t suit me. So I feel sad that the person spent money when they could have saved it for something important instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 26, 2018 at 8:13 am

      Hi Cristy, it’s such a tricky situation, isn’t it? I think people genuinely enjoy gift giving and buying thoughtful gifts to make someone happy. The problem is that this genuine feeling is taken advantage of by rampant consumerism and turns into a stressful exercise instead. But you have to start somewhere, which is why I wanted to have some clear conversations this year. It won’t work for everyone but I find that when I explain that we are donating to charity instead, and have done it in their name, most people are happy with this. I think, like the whole minimalism journey, it is an evolving process! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. November 25, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    We’ve encouraged either no gifts or consumables for years. So much nicer and less stress! Great article…one to pass along for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 25, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks so much, Laurel. Feels like a better way, in these consumerist times, Lxx


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