Today I’m sharing with you all how we (and some others) opt out of Christmas. While some may consider me a Grinch for passing on the winter holiday festivities, that’s okay. I respect everyone’s right to their opinions and to find joy in the activities they personally enjoy most. If you’re Christmas crazy, it’s all good – Do you Boo-Boo. Nobody’s stopping you.
However, if you’re tired of busting your ass all year long just to go broke and pull out all your hair for one day of mass consumerism, below are a few ways to say goodbye to the Christmas chaos!
Spread Love Year Round
Everyone says Christmas is for the Kids! To give them a since of belief, love, joy and magic. So when we first decided to do things differently we started by going to the kids in our family individually and explaining in a very straight forward manner why we would not be participating in Christmas anymore. At the same time we emphasized the fact that this means they don’t have to wait until Christmas (or their birthday as we also opt out of birthday gifts) to get presents. Instead they could receive a gift at any time throughout the year from us and are more likely to end up getting more of what they need and want this way. You’d be surprised how many of our younger siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews jumped on the bandwagon and were so excited to know that they could get surprises all year round rather than only on 2 days out of the year.
Book yourself a weekend getaway without going too far. Stay in your city or choose a close by town. Turn your phone on airplane mode (let your family know you’re alive and not to worry about not being able to reach you ahead of time so no helicopter parents send the cops knocking down your door or report you missing). Pretend to be a tourist or to really save money, pretend you’re ultra famous and avoiding poparazzi and keep it lowkey.
Can’t afford a hotel with the hiked up holiday pricing? Just pretend you’re out of town and stay home. Again, put your phone on airplane mode but let immediate family know you’re alright.
Have a movie marathon, bake off, or game tournament. Do an at home spa day and relax the night away. My personal favorite home facial/spa kit is “Date with My Face”
There’s nothing wrong with doing a little something slightly related to the holidays or that may be nostalgic for you. For example, we do still love a good “Home Alone” marathon.
Why We Opt Out of Christmas
Now that you know how we opt out of Christmas here are a few reaons why. Please keep in mind, these are all my personal opinion. They are not law and not intended to offend anyone. If you find yourself getting in your feelings, grow up and get off my page haha.
- Save that money! According to The Minimalists podcast episode Gift Love, the average American spends $776 on Christmas. I’m sure my family isn’t the only one who goes beyond this average.
- Less gray hairs haha. Seriously though, the stress adults put on themselves to pull off the perfect Christmas feast or party is beyond me. As a child, I watched the adults in my family run around like chickens with their heads cut off while I had to walk on eggshells because all the adults were losing their minds. Seeing the toll it took on them helped me decide at a young age that that was not a choice I wanted to make for myself when I got to their age (which I am now at).
- I don’t believe in teaching children to believe in something that you know for a fact to be false. Yea I’m calling out Santa Clause. I think it betrays your children’s since of trust in you and teaches them that it’s okay to lie and lead others down the wrong path just because you think it’s a cute concept or instagram worthy. There are other ways to bring your kids joy and put a since of magic in their childhoods. Plus if you believe in a higher power, why should your kids believe anything you say about God? As far as they’re concerned you could be lying about him just the same. He’s probably just as fake as the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. So to Santa I say Bye Felicia!
- The majority of kids we know personally (and probably in this country) are EXTREMELY priveleged and spoiled. Most have so many toys and gadgets that never get used. It creates an abundance of waste in our homes and environment.
- The more things kids have the more ‘bored’ they get and tend to be less imaginative.
- We see many kids EXPECT and DEMAND everything under the sun and act like brats if they don’t get it even though they already have more than they could possibly need to survive and be successful human beings. Those who live with less tend to have a greater appreciation for what they do have.
Breaking the news to your loved ones who love the holidays can be the hardest part of this decision. It has taken a few years of consistently opting out and explaining our rationale for it to sink in for some of our family members. Reiterating the fact that our choice is not directed toward any individual, nor meant to steal any of their joy has slowly but surely been accepted. We do still enjoy spending time with loved ones and attending winter gatherings as long as there is no mandatory gift exchange.
The second hardest thing next to getting people in your circle to wrap their head around your decision is to get them not to continue to buy your kids or yourself gifts for the holidays/birthdays. I am still navigating this aspect of the journey but find The Minimalists episode on Gift-Giving very useful in this arena. If you’re not down for ditching Christmas but would like to reaccess your participation and financial invenstment in it, check it out for a few tips on navigating these murky waters!