The Minimalist movement can be traced back to the 1950s and 1960s. It began with minimalist art and architecture and gradually made its way as a lifestyle. If you plan on becoming a minimalist, there are multiple Facebook groups, blog articles, websites, Instagram and Twitter accounts that can help you make the change. You can also find websites that sell products that last longer and are good for the environment. Living a sustainable lifestyle these days is not as challenging as it may seem. If you have the right support you would very soon be encouraged to live a minimalist lifestyle.

Before we go any further let us try and understand what minimalism is. Minimalism is simply living with fewer things. But why live with fewer things when you can buy a range of products and luxury goods that supposedly spark joy. Why are so many people turning to minimalism? There are many reasons why a minimalist lifestyle has become appealing.

At a personal level, having fewer things saves a lot of time. It’s easier to decide what to wear, from a wardrobe that has fewer clothes. When it comes to organising things be it kitchen utensils, clothing or accessories we all know how painstaking it can get. Being a minimalist helps you skip that extra work.

If you live with family, I am sure you would have complained about having less wardrobe space. If you own a lot of accessories, shoes and clothing the space never seems to suffice. Just imagine how peaceful it would be not having to bargain for more space with your loved ones.

Another great reason for being a Minimalist is you save a lot of money. You don’t have to worry about running short of funds at the end of the month. The average American credit card debt per household is about $6,125. Saving yourself from all that debt means that you can retire early or use those funds for activities you truly enjoy.

All these reasons are great but the one that stands out is that minimalism helps you protect the planet and secure the future of generations to come. Being a minimalist helps you actively participate in mitigating climate change. The climate crisis stems from a culture of consumerism, all that excess we own has a carbon footprint, all the waste we generate piles up in the landfill emitting greenhouse gases. It is estimated that around 60% of greenhouse gases come from the production and consumption of goods and services. Minimalism is a way of life that strikes a balance between consumption and consumerism. 

Christmas is loved by all but it can be heartbreaking to see the damage caused to the planet. Christmastide should be a time that sparks joy and happiness, that celebrates togetherness. However, we often get caught up in overconsumption and can get exhausted with the financial debt we have created from overspending. The Christmas story inspires us to live differently, it draws light on existing frugally and with simplicity. We cannot experience the joy of Christmas if we exhaust ourselves in frenzy shopping,  impulse buying and deceiving deals.

We can all make some effort to minimize the environmental impact of Christmas this year. Here are a few ways to celebrate a Minimalist Christmas.

Buy less

At this time of the year, shops are filled with decorations and Christmas goodies. Instead of filling every table and wall with decorations, we can select fewer decorations that would set the Christmas spirit. Remember the saying ‘the less the better.’

Spend the holidays with your passion.

In today’s day and age learning never stops, there are so many hobbies or activities that you can do during the Christmas break. If you are sporty you can hit the gym, try Zumba, take up an indoor or outdoor sport like badminton or tennis. If you enjoy cooking why not try a few recipes from the internet or the cookbook that’s been lying around for years. If you’re a music lover you can join a choir, learn a musical instrument or attend a concert. If you enjoy adventure and travel you can try discovering a nature trail or a new place. 

Avoid visiting a shopping centre

If you are trying to shop less, visiting a shopping centre would be counterproductive. Instead, use that quality time to catch up with family and friends.

Get creative

Before you plan to buy something, check whether you already have that thing with you, or whether you can use something similar as a substitute. Last year, I planned to bake cookies but didn’t have cookie cutters so I designed some heart-shaped cookies using bottle caps and a knife.

Remember the reason for the season

The reason for this season is the Christchild, the prince of peace. The focus of Christmas should be on carrying forward his mission into the New Year. We can spend the holidays in silent reflection and prayer. We can use our talents to reach out to others. 

So this Christmas, let us strive to bring the virtues of Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. Let us share the abundance we have with those who need it the most. Let us unite and bring hope for our planet as well.

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