Today is Coraline’s second Christmas, although she was less than a month old for her first Christmas. It’s also our first Christmas as aspiring minimalists. Some minimalists would say you shouldn’t buy any presents at all. That sharing experiences and time together is the best present. In that case, we failed, though it wasn’t a complete failure.
We did try to make sure our gifts were things we’d actually use. Things that served a purpose in our lives and wouldn’t just end up in a drawer somewhere. I bought Sunny some nice kitchen knives to replace the old, dull, not-too-nice knives we’ve had for years. It makes cooking more fun when you have nice things to cook with. We don’t need a lot of crazy kitchen gadgetry, but it’s nice to make sure the things we do have are high quality and work well.
Sunny bought me some slippers with hard soles so I can wear them around the house even when I’m doing construction things. With a one-year-old crawling (almost walking) all around the house, construction projects have to be done sporadically and I always need to be prepared to step away at a moment’s notice. The description also says these slippers great for quick trips to the airport, so they’ll be great for when my brother arrives in January to help me finish remodeling the kitchen.
Most importantly though, we’re implementing a new tradition. It’s not just a Christmas tradition, but it certainly applies to Christmas. Whenever Coraline get’s a new toy, she’ll retire an old toy. Whether that means donating it, recycling it or throwing it in the trash. This way her room won’t get too full of toys, and hopefully the toys she has will be that much more special to her.
This year we bought her a wooden stacking toy. She already has a plastic one that I played with years ago. It’s missing some pieces, so we needed a new one. Obviously the plastic one will be retired to make room for the new one.
Her Mamo bought her a wooden xylophone, so maybe we’ll donate the other xylophone that I think she’s outgrown anyway. Who knew there would be xylophones for different ages?
As Coraline gets older, she’ll make her own decisions about what to give away in order to make room for the new. This idea was inspired by a coworker of mine who teaches her kids that sometimes we have to give our old toys away to other children who need them more than we do. She sets a good example for her kids. She’s given us so much stuff that her kids don’t need anymore: clothes, bottles, etc.
Merry Christmas to you! I hope you all have great experiences with family and friends, whether or not presents are involved!