I was gifted Have Yourself A Minimalist Christmas on my birthday by my mum. I had actually asked for it as a Christmas present, but as she rightfully said, ‘you need it before the big day or you will have to wait until next year to put it into practice’. 

Have Yourself A Minimalist Christmas

Have Yourself A Minimalist Christmas

I couldn’t agree more- this book is essential reading for the lead up to one of the most stressful times of the year. But it doesn’t have to be! (I know, I was shocked too!) 

This book concentrates on some of the biggest stressors associated with Christmas; overwhelm, exhaustion and defeat. 

We can feel overwhelmed at the sheer amount of presents we think we need to buy, at the number of decorations we feel we should be putting up. 

We can feel exhaustion from the thoughts of having to cram more stuff into our homes when they are already full enough and defeated that we don’t have the time or the energy to do all of the activities that are prescribed to us at this time of year.

When you examine the language of Christmas it often consists of ‘shoulds’ and ‘thinks’- there are no ‘have tos’ or ‘musts’ in there. These are rules we’ve been trained to think we should live by and guess what? We don’t have to!

If you want to scale back at Christmas- (and who doesn’t?!) this is the book for you. 

RELATED: Minimalism: Seven gifts you don’t need to buy at Christmas even though you think you should

While I don’t feel my family are hugely extravagant at Christmas, there is always room for improvement and my biggest take away from this book was to have a rule in place for present buying. 

Meg Nordmann has a lovely rhyme to help guide her through gift giving- everyone gets...

Something they want 

Something they need

Something to wear 


Something to read

I personally think this is a wonderful mantra to have to be more intentional at Christmas. 

As a book lover myself I am glad there is mention of ‘something to read’, but generally people always need something to add to their wardrobe, hence the ‘something to wear’. Often people are ill equipped for winter weather so this is the perfect time to buy ‘something to wear’ that is also warm! 

‘Something they want’ caters for the things that crop up during the year that don’t count as a need but feel indulgent because you are only allowed one!

And ‘something you need’ covers things you might not have thought of, everyone needs something even if it isn’t all that obvious, which paves the way for a surprise gift. 

Having such a system in place makes people think hard about what they really want for each of the categories so there is no room for present buying just for the sake of it. 

I have used this rhyme for my husband’s gifts this year and while I have spent a little more than I would usually- I have bought him something he wants and will use every day. 

The book begins with a little history of Christmtas and how we got to where we are now, which is fascinating and the perfect curtain raiser to the following chapters. 

You don’t have to be a minimalist to enjoy this book- but if you do want to stay out of debt and feel relaxed as you sit around the Chrsistmas table this will help you to do so. 

I consider myself a minimalist but I found value in this book because even minimalists can deviate from their values at Christmas. 

The truth is- the marketing and new traditions that surround Christmas lure you in even when you don’t realise it so it’s important to understand how and why this season has gathered such momentum over the years. 

Have Yourself A Minimalist Christmas is the gateway to a season of peace, mindfulness and gratitude. 

Thank you to my mum for buying me this book and for Meg Nordmann for writing it!

RELATED: Seven minimalist Christmas gifts for toddlers

If you are a minimalist parent or indeed aspiring to be one and therefore want to avoid masses of presents entering your home this year, here are some ideas for toddlers that won’t overwhelm them or their bedroom... to read more click HERE 

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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