A Merry Minimalist Christmas, Part 2... Apparently
Fore·shad·ow: be a warning or indication of (a future event).
My December article ended with the line “This season, create a simple holiday…” and now I realize that perhaps this was a warning of what was to come. Sometimes we put something out into the universe and she laughs and says “okay then, let’s do this!” The big U really does have a great sense of humour.
Simple. The goal for this year was to get back to basics and to keep things authentically simple, and that started with Christmas. My husband and I had planned a modest Christmas for ourselves and our two children, shopping mindfully and purchasing only the things that we knew we would absolutely love.
Our daughter, who is 13, had three things on her wish list: two DVDs, and an Ikea bookshelf for her ever-expanding book collection. Our son, who is 8, had four things on his list: one DVD, a finger skateboard, finger breakdancing shoes (yes, you read that right, shoes for your fingers), and a finger BMX (clearly you see the theme). Easy and simple.
Usually, I would also pick up “extras,” meaning anything and everything that I thought my kids would enjoy, or even partially enjoy. Basically, “extras” means extra wrapped junk under the tree to make it seem full and as a result, make me feel like a super mom. But this year I had decided that there would be no extras – none. I had faith that Santa would get the few things on my kids’ wish list, and my husband and I had decided to get the kids one joint present from us… a foosball table.
This was a big deal in our little minimalist house, so we needed to get creative and find room. Long story short, we created a perfect little space in the basement (“little” being the keyword). Perfect. So with space to fill, my husband bought a foosball table off of Kijiji and kept it at a friend’s house until Christmas Eve. (Yes, Kijiji; I am as frugal as I am mindfully minimal – very.)
On Christmas Eve, we set to wrapping and arranging presents under the tree. Stockings laid out, Santa snacks set, everything was finished and completed, and boy did it look bare under there! A handful of presents under the tree was not what I was used to, but this was our simple, minimalist Christmas. This was the plan. A minimalist tree, where we would leave a simple card directing the kids into the basement to collect their final present… the foosball table.
The foosball table. Finally at midnight, on Christmas Eve, my husband and I brought the hidden foosball table into the basement to set up for the big reveal the next morning. But it didn’t take long to size up space vs the disassembled foosball table. It wasn’t going to fit. And in a minimalist house with limited space, it wasn’t going to work. Period.
Well that kicked “simple” up a notch, didn’t it? Now, I was pissed – and frustrated, and disappointed. My internal dialogue went something like this: “Are you kidding me?!?! You have got to be FREAKING kidding me! $#!t! But I quickly realized that pointing fingers and getting angry would accomplish absolutely nothing, and I also knew that my husband was probably raging internally as well. So we took a deep breath, and agreed to hide the foosball table (and resell it ASAP), and pretend that this had never happened.
Funny enough, Christmas morning came and went like any other year. There were 1/3 of the presents under the tree compared to previous years, and I honestly don’t think the kids noticed. And after it was all said and done, my 8 year was absolutely ecstatic with his handful of presents (literally).