In the Slow Lane this Christmas

Every year Christmas seems to besiege us more unexpectedly than before. It seems only 5 minutes since I was reluctantly packing away my sandals and now I'm contemplating going into the loft to check how many Christmas cards and rolls of wrapping paper I have left over from last year. Some of my friends and colleagues have already announced that they've finished their gift buying and a certain item has already caused panic buying in the shops (a cuddly penguin called Monty, if you're not in the UK). If we're not careful advertisers, retailers, magazine articles and even our own friends and family can make us feel under pressure to get buying, get busy and get burnt-out. 

Not me. I'll be in the slow lane once more this Christmas, taking time out en route for peace and calm. My present buying will be mainly consumables, vouchers, experiences or items that people have requested. It will be carefully planned to match my budget and I'm going to try and keep extra food shopping to a minimum. I might even save the sherry for Christmas Eve. Shopping trips will be short or done online and I will buy it gradually over the next few weeks. I bought a few bottles of wine as presents on our recent trip to France, but other than that I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet. 

In pursuit of a calm lead up to Christmas and (hopefully) a chance to rest once the holiday arrives I have also decided it's time to finish those decluttering goals I set myself at the beginning of the year. I will report back on my progress but before I do... 

Why I'm Decluttering Before Christmas:

1. To reduce stress. When my home or areas of my homes are cluttered it creates daily stress as I search for items. Decluttering in advance will lessen this stress and make it easier to tidy and clean the house as Christmas approaches.

2. Empty space can be calming. Even one tidier drawer makes me feel happier and less stressed - much needed at this time of year. A cleared shelf in a cupboard to store Christmas presents will make me feel organised and prepared. 
3. To support charities. Instead of making a little extra money for myself I will donate unwanted items that I have been holding onto for too long to charity shops. 
4. I want to review my relationship with stuff. I need to ask myself: Why did I want this? How often did I use it? When did I last use it? Why have I been unable to let it go? 
5. To make room. It's inevitable that at Christmas new items will enter the house. Decluttering now will even that out and if I do a good job might free up some space permanently. 

What better time of year to assess and reflect on our relationship to material things? It might just slow us all down.



  1. I am absolutely with you on keeping the holidays in a more relaxed state. I've finished my gift shopping and only buy consumables now. Since I prefer a simpler, minimalistic lifestyle I also cannot bring myself to buy "stuff" as gifts anymore for others. Gifts are now quality over quantity, meaning a good single bottle of wine per couple or gourmet coffee, tea, or other foods.

    I tend to declutter after Christmas because of the many gifts we receive that we will never use. I know this is sad, but I would rather donate these items now rather than have them sit around for a year or so (out of guilt) and then get rid of them.

  2. Good sound sense. I'm with you all the way.
    jean x

  3. Yes! One of the commenters on my blog suggested a 'wise and loving Christmas' - that will be my motto for this year!

  4. I'm with you 100% on this - this time of year becomes a free-for-all scrimmage of spending madness.

  5. I am step changing this year. I need to finish writing my blog post about it. I have actually planned this one ;))
    De-cluttering is good for the soul.
    Leanne xx

  6. we are having a no present Christmas. All my family seem so relieved when I suggested it. we are all making one dish and having a pot luck lunch.

  7. I am having a major declutter - it has been going on all year so far and I am loving the empty spaces I have created. By unanimous demand we are doing the family Secret Santa (renamed the Not so Secret Santa) again this year. It really cuts down on the shopping only having to buy one gift. keep us posted on your progress.

  8. Decluttering is good on so many levels. For years I've been using a timer set for 10, 15, 30 minutes or whatever I can spare, to declutter. The timer keeps me focused and I found out it's amazing what you can accomplish in a short period of time. It's so nice to see that so many people are into enjoying a stress free Christmas rather than one long, manic shopping spree.

  9. That's a great idea to declutter to help raise funds for charities, I must get round to rifling through my wardrobe before December :)


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