“Black Friday” is a strange phenomenon – people buy tons of clothes and electronics because there is a SALE sign on them. People collect things, love things, store things, move things, and always want a little bit more of everything.
It makes sense in an evolutionary way though. Our ancestors had to stockpile food for hard times because it was important for their survival. However, these times are over: The next supermarket is around the corner and if there should be a sudden onset of winter, you have to crawl through the room and turn on your heating system.
Nowadays, there is no rational reason to cling to things, but people see a disproportionate meaning in clothes, shoes, furniture, electronics and jewels. We reward ourselves with expensive gifts to forget about unpleasant quarrels of everyday life. Indeed, we try to fill an inner void and expect a mood shift after new acquisitions.
Buy, buy, buy… now! This is not surprising because the advertising industry has taught us to do so. It has been sending us the same message for more than 100 years:
Buy our product to feel better - what are you waiting for?
Be the person you have always wanted to be!
Live the life you have always dreamed of!
There are only a few steps away from freedom, carelessness, beauty, perfection and happiness!
I have to admit that only typing these sentences makes me feel better! Yes, yes, yes, yes, I do! Now, right now, right here, and the same again, please!
This race might satisfy people for a short time, but it leads to a downward spiral: more money - more consumption - more work - more money... Stop! Turn your back towards it! Now it is time to get out of the hamster wheel to live a self-determined life.
This is where minimalism comes into play: You deliberately avoid unnecessary consumption and useless objects. Goodbye, golden hamster wheel!
#goals for Christmas 2017: No mindless consumption
Don’t get me wrong! I love Christmas season and its scented candles, home-baked cookies and old songs, I love seeing my sisters and cuddling my parents. However, I cannot understand why this season is equated with buying lots of stuff. People acquire an incredible amount of objects (“Christmas presents”) and move them around in their families, in their friend circles and work departments.
Let us be honest - most well-meant presents are a quick buy, a check on your to-do-list, a fast decision without a deeper meaning (“What could I get for my dad? Maybe a tie? Or a perfume?”).
We should change the intention this year from “buying stuff” to enjoying quality time with our beloved ones. There are so many things to do instead of nerve-racking Christmas shopping: baking cookies with friends, drinking hot spiced wine with colleagues, singing Christmas songs, decorating your home with self-made accessories, tickling siblings or writing Christmas cards. How does that sounds?
Minimalist Christmas Tree: You do not have to show up with empty hands
It is a lovely tradition to put a small gift under the Christmas tree and to unpack everything together. You should not skip this amazing ritual, so here are some alternatives that you can prepare for Christmas Eve:
Use your imagination and surprise your beloved ones with handcrafted presents, such as cooked marmalade, cookies, jewelry or candles.
Quality time is a gift: Write a voucher and invite your family members to a home cooked dinner, to a concert or a massage.
Donate a part of the money that you would usually spend for presents: My boyfriend sponsored a child a few years ago, my sister donated to the children’s cancer ward in Berlin last year. Voila, the perfect Christmas present!
Andrea & Katja
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