Minimalist Holidays

Minimalist Holidays

This time of year, it is easy to get caught in up in the craziness and frenzied pace of the holiday season. But what if there was another way to deal with the holiday season this year? How about if this is the year we break from that pattern? We discussed this at our last Minimal Quest meeting.

For an easier read this blog is in bulletpoint instead of paragraph format. Let me know if you need clarification onanything. And most importantly note the section on one of my favorite causes, The 350Project.

Main theme of the holidays: joy and people


  • What do you find joyful?
  • The process or task
  • Doing for others
  • The season /excitement


  • Make the holiday nice for them (what about us?)         
  • Creates memories
  • Time with family &friends

Not the theme:      

          Things and doing

How did it get so crazy?

  • Builds each year
  •  Kids
  • Parents get older, we take on more
  • Media
  •  Already so busy – squeeze this in

Extracting yourself from the whirlwind

  • Avoid door busters, high pressure sales
  • Instead support local businesses in your community
  • The 350 Project
For every $100 spent:
$68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other
expenditures if  spent in locally owned independent stores
$43 returns to the community if spent in national chain stores
$0 returns to the community if spent online!

Deeper meaning, lighter load

  • Gifts are not about the items, it’s about the love between the gift giver and gift receiver
  • No gift follow-up.
  • Gift cards– American Express can be used anywhere. Amazon is an easy choice for many.Only give if you are 100% sure it someplace they frequent or want to in the future.
  • Give experiences – Go with them, plan in advance
  • Give them something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. And for children give them toys. Children more then want toys they need them for growth, development and joy.
  • Plan to volunteer together
  • Ask for what you want
  • Gifts should not add to the receiver’s to-do list! Examples: Assembly required gifts, battery gifts.

Can I keep my traditions?

Yes, but look for ways to make it easier.

Make a holiday to-do list. Next to each item select one option from the options list.

Holiday To-Do List:                   Options:     

– Cards                                            A. Complete early

– Shopping                                      B. Simplify

– Decorating                                    C. Share

– Wrapping                                      D. Do less

– Entertaining                                  E. Let go of

– Parties                                           F.Rotation

– Baking

– Cooking

– Travel

– Cleaning

– Organizing

If you make a change – manage expectations.

Its about time management.

Review calendar. Write in all important dates.

Card list. Get that out of the way early. Look thru photos. Order online. Get list in order. Database. Keep stamps from last year. Save stamps from year to year.

Shopping – make lists / templates you can reuse next year:

  • Gift giving list
  • Hostess gifts
  • Teacher gifts
  • Service providers – mail person, paper delivery
  • Theme – Bombas socks, chocolate popcorn, consumable gifts
  • Shopping while traveling and on day trips.


  • Gifts
  • Wrapping supplies
  •  Baking supplies

Organize the entertainment areas: Living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom

Happy Holidays and Happy Organizing,


A professional organizer for more than 18 years, Susan Lovallo, CPA, CPO, works with individuals and businesses to help them declutter, simplify and establish or streamline systems. Whether you are organizing your home, business, or financials, the result is greater productivity with less effort, providing more time to enjoy life. Clients appreciate Susan’s easy and effective solutions and financial expertise, as well as her patience, compassion and sense of humor.