Monday, December 26, 2016

A minimalist Christmas

It seems like as time goes by our Christmas celebrations have been getting more and more simple and this year was the simplest yet.

I just didn't feel much like decorating this year and the cats would have destroyed a Christmas tree anyway, but I do enjoy having some extra lights around during this time of year. So in the end I decorated the mantle with lights and silver garland, put two electric candles in the front windows (which looks surprisingly festive for very little effort), and added a string of paper star lights around the doorway. For comparison purposes, here's a glimpse at past Christmas decor.

The giving of gifts
Gift-giving was also simplified this year. After the boyfriend and I discussed it, we realized that neither one of us had anything we really needed or wanted for Christmas so instead we exchanged small gifts worth no more than $25. We've done this before and it allows us to celebrate a bit without the stress of having to find the perfect gift. The boyfriend got Trinidad scorpion hot sauce (he likes freakishly hot stuff), hair goop, body wash and a Google play gift card. I got the one thing I asked for and am pretty excited about:

See it? Probably not, let me zoom in.

Sticking with the theme of this post, you could call this minimalist bedside storage --it's a felt pocket with a flap that hides between the mattress and box springs and has plenty of room for the remote, my ipad and phone. There's no room for nightstands in the bedroom, and I really don't miss them much anyway, but it is nice to have a place to put these things so they don't end up flung on the floor or plastered to my face in the middle of the night. And as you can see above, it's pretty unobtrusive.

Beyond the boyfriend, my mom and I agreed not to exchange gifts this year, so that only left my grandma (who loves her annual gift of an Amazon giftcard which she uses to buy ebooks), and presents for the kids (I went with cash this year and hope they'll spend it on doing something fun). So shopping was pretty minimal.

It's not Christmas without sugar cookies
I'm kind of known for my Christmas cookies, and I enjoy eating them as well, so I still made those. But I stuck to the basics: peanut butter blossoms and iced cutout sugar cookies. And they are delish.

The big day
My mom decided she wanted to keep things simple on Christmas day so she came to our house. We made a fairly low-key lunch of steak, baked potato, salad and rolls, played games and watched a movie. There was no drama and little stress -- a definite win!

It was good to experience for myself that even without a bunch of preparation, buildup and effort, Christmas can be fun and festive.

How was your holiday? Do you prefer action-packed holidays and big gatherings or something more low key?


  1. Sounds like a lovely Christmas! Since I'm surrounded by a pack of godless heathens ;) nobody in my world really celebrates Christmas in the traditional sense. My parents have a winter solstice dinner each year, but this year they were too busy to put on a party so we just had a simple dinner with family and it was much nicer, IMHO.

    CatMan and I usually exchange gifts, but we don't get too hung up about it. He sees these things as opportunities to drag me kicking and screaming into some new piece of technology. It totally cracks me up because he gets soooo excited that he can never wait until the actual holiday, so I generally get my gifts from him about a month before the actual date.

    And to top it off, he usually ends up being the one to open them because he's so anxious to show me whatever gadget it is! Well, he generally lets me take the wrapping off, but from that point on he simply can't contain himself. This year was a new DVD player with 4K upsampling (I'm not entirely sure I know what that means, but he's very excited about it, and if it means that we'll be able to watch Netflix DVDs all the way through without half of them crapping out like they did on the old player, I'll be happy.)

    I think your simple decorations look beautiful, and it's WAY more than I can manage. The sum total of my festive atmosphere this year was a candle on the table on Christmas eve!

    Anyhow, glad you had a Merry Christmas. Best wishes for a happy 2017!

    1. Happy new year to you too Cat and thanks for leaving a comment! We're also godless heathens but usually have a family celebration on the day itself.

      Too funny about Catman and his gift excitement. The boyfriend is somewhat similar in that he usually uses gift-giving occasions to give me things he thinks I need that he knows I'll never buy. Sometimes (often) I don't react well because I hate to see anyone waste their money, which is why I was super surprised that he got exactly what I asked for this year. :)

  2. Hi Candi, That sounds lovely and unstressed. I put up a Christmas tree and bought gifts for relatives, but didn't bake or cook anything - was treated to others' hospitality. Rom and I exchange small gifts, too, with a $50 limit. Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

    1. It was very non-stressful. Sounds like you had a great Christmas too, Dar, glad to hear it! Happy new year to you too!


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