It’s an ironic time to be writing about minimalism but it’s also a critical one. A lot of people (myself included) fall into the same overspending patterns around the holidays. Are you still a minimalist if you buy presents? If you treat yourself? What are the rules?
The simple answer is that minimalism (as lifestyle, not the artistic style) has little to no rules. You can cherry pick your favourites from the concept: maybe you like the bare walls and white sheets, or perhaps your preferred interior style is retro but you’re super into the whole capsule-wardrobe thing. That’s fine.
The most important part about minimalism for me is having as little distraction to what really matters to me as possible. I fall short on this a lot and not just by buying things. Over-scheduling my calendar with things I can easily spread out a little more (the world will not fall apart if you schedule your regular dentist check up a week later than you’re supposed to) is one of them.
If buying gifts makes you happy then so be it. But I see too many people spending their hard-earned money on less-than-thoughtful general gifts they “might just give to one of the relatives on Christmas” and saying yes to all of the gatherings because they have FOMO or just feel pressured to do so.
This holiday season I encourage you to spend your free time listening to your favourite albums with no screens around, reading more than 140 characters (or 280, dammit Twitter) and spending more time in cafes than shopping malls. You might just give yourself the best Christmas gift.