Editors note: This is a guest post from Jennifer Wallington. It is part of the series Choosing to Connect. If you would like to participate click here for details.
Over to Jennifer…..
Our family aims to live a simple and minimalist life. We have learned that lots of things don’t cause happiness or contentment; on the contrary they are often a distraction from the things in life that are more important, people and relationships.
Our minimalist way of life has influenced the way we celebrate Christmas. We really enjoy having a simple Christmas together as a family. We look forward to the Christmas holidays and enjoy creating memories of times spent together.
Christmas is a lovely time for families to relax, reflect, and enjoy a special time of celebration. It should not be about stress, to do lists and getting into debt.
Christmas for us is about the birth of the baby Jesus. We don’t find the holiday very stressful or financially draining, because we don’t overdo it. We send a few Christmas cards, decorate a tree and eat turkey, but only because we enjoy doing those things. We participate in Christmas activities that bring us pleasure and don’t get overtired by doing those things that aren’t to our taste.
Our family enjoys the annual tradition of getting the one box of Christmas things out of the loft. The boys enjoy setting up and playing with the Playmobil nativity set, reading Christmas books and displaying the collection of decorations we have. Together we love going to a variety of Christmas entertainment, church performances, carol and crib services.
We don’t exchange gifts with family and friends. My boys enjoy receiving a small toy like a Lego, a book and some chocolate coins from us. They aren’t overwhelmed on Christmas day with opening presents. They enjoy their new things and relish the social aspect of going to church, eating a special meal and spending time together.
As a family we understand and appreciate how privileged we are in the west, so we participate in things like Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child a charity that sends shoe boxes containing small toys and gifts to children in other parts of the world who have very little. Doing this together helps build family bonds and connections.
By keeping Christmas simple we get to slow down from our usual busy lives of school and work. We have time to just savor the moment and enjoy spending time together. On the days between Christmas and New Year we enjoy lots of outings to woods and parks, building memories and enjoying each other’s company.
“There is almost nothing in your life that’s irreplaceable, other than people. And in the end, you learn that the people and the moment are all that matter. Everything else comes and goes.” Leo Babautua and Courtney Carver
The Wallington Family is a family of four- Jennifer, her husband Richard and their two boys aged 10 and 7. Jennifer is the author of the blog Simple Life where she writes about living simply.