Cultivate Joy for the Holidays

How to Have a Merry Christmas, How to Have Happy Holidays

7 simple practices to make your minimalist holiday season happy!

minimalist holiday season joy

Sometimes it’s hard to be a minimalist in this holiday season.

If you are looking for something deeper and more meaningful this season, that will help fill your energy reserves up… look to cultivate joyful moments rather than try to buy your way to connection this year.  

***Now, I need to start this off by stating: this is not a list of ways to spend nothing this holiday season. I can come up with something if you guys want that!***

This is a list to help you find joy this season, and step out of the cycle of buy, buy, buy…spend, spend, spend… more, more, more.

So… with that being said, here is the list that will help you bring joy back into your Holiday season by helping you focus on what you truly want (and sometimes need).

minimalist holiday season rest

In a world obsessed with busy, the greatest gift we can give ourselves is rest.

Sweet friends, we are spending so much time working and living outside of our means, that we tend to work ourselves to sickness.

Maybe this season , what you truly need (and require) is some rest. A truly minimalist holiday season activity.

Look for ways to slow it down and let go of some of those responsibilities.

Are there things that you feel obligated to attend but they drain you?

Say no.

Do you try to do too many things in this time, and neglect to do things that matter to you?

Pare down on obligations and focus on filling yourself up with some zero responsibility days.

minimalist holiday season senses

Explore your senses to discover joyful moments in your holiday season.

I always say in order to savour a moment you need to experience it fully. Since starting my journey as a minimalist my holiday seasons have changed.

I no longer have that hustle and bustle feeling. 

I find it easiest to do that by using all five of my senses in any given moment.

                     Smell        Touch       Sight       Taste        Sound

Begin to take note of the specific senses that trigger that feel good vibe for you.

I bet right now you could list off a few in every sense.

What smells can you use in your home that will bring you joy…. I have a specific essential oil blend that I love to diffuse. 

I also love to do a simmer pot

Baking with my daughter is something she has loved since she was young… but I am not a baker… my mom is. So when my Mom is down in Arizona for Christmas I decided to bake (store bought) cookies with her. The smell and texture of the cookies is divine!!!

Under sight is definitely Christmas lights for me. 

When looking for things to fill you up this season, be sure to include things from your five senses.

Think of this as a scavenger hunt for joy.

“Whoever brings you the most peace, should get the most time.”

minimalist holiday season connect

Connecting with the people you love during the holiday season

One of the most surprising side effects of adopting a minimalist lifestyle  has been the ability to spend more time with loved ones. 

I no longer dread the giant to do list at home while I’m out with them.

I’m no longer feeling swamped the moment I walk in the door to our home. Which is helpful when your mom patience is wearing thin.

During the holidays, our family make a conscious, intentional effort to spend time with loved ones.

Being present in each others lives is truly a gift because time is our most valuable commodity.

It doesn’t have to be big…

One of my favorite ways to connect with loved ones is to send a quick text or voicemail to share how they have popped up into my life and made it better somehow. 

minimalist holiday season honor loved ones

Honor loved ones that have passed away by remembering their presence in a meaningful way.

You might think this is the wrong list for something about grieving.. we ARE talking about ways to cultivate joy…right?


Joy and grieving don’t really seem to go together, but you would be surprised at how you feel connected to a deceased loved one when you focus on honoring their life somehow.

These ideas could be anything, big or small, the most important thing is to do something with intention that is meaningful.

How about gathering the whole family and singing Christmas songs together? 

Maybe it’s carrying on a specific tradition?

Perhaps you could bake their favorite cookie recipe.

Even calling someone that also feels the loss of that person and reminiscing with them about that person that has passed.

It could simply being a quiet nod about a song they loved. Blast that music baby!

minimalist holiday season time

Intentionally Give Your Time to what is most important to you.

If baking treats over the holidays and then delivering them to your loved ones over coffee brings you joy… do that.

Guard your time wisely.

Take time away from the people, places and things that drain you to give to the people, places and things that fill you up.

If you have a family filled with type A planners and you are expected to bring a specific food to the potluck each and every year with planning messages flying around and stress mounting… then maybe it is time to step back from that energy and do something else. 

Spend your time doing what fills you up. Doing what is most important to you. And surround yourself with the people that light you up.

How can you simplify some of the experiences?

I find over complicated events and traditions make for stress. Is there a way to simplify some of those things?

Could you choose to go to a family event rather than two work Christmas parties?

Where is it most important to focus your time?

Do more of that.

We are never promised tomorrow… so put what is most valuable to you in the forefront.

minimalist holiday season gratitude

Count your blessings rather than burdens and focus on gratitude and contentment with life

There is not a person on this planet that has a perfect life… not one.

Yet we are inundated with the highlights of most people’s lives and meanwhile we look around at our own home, life and existence and feel like it isn’t enough.

I have a teenager that sometimes hates me for breathing too loudly. (true story) But I am always aware that she is a blessing for me. (somedays is is more of a challenge than others).

The best way to combat this joy stealer is to practice gratitude and contentment.

What are you grateful for everyday? 

If that’s difficult…

What are you grateful for today?

How have you overcome some hardships to have what you have today?

I want you to savour what you have.

When you are with the people that you love the most, take a deep breath and take it all in.

Instead of the 12 days of Christmas… or advent calendar, create a gratitude advent. Anything that gets you and your family talking about your blessings rather than burdens.

Your life is good enough.

minimalist holiday season give

You gain the most joy from giving to others with no expectations.

This is one of my favourite things to do to have a joy filled minimalist holiday season!

Shovel the neighbours walks (or driveways if you get energetic like I do).

Go to grab coffee and pay for the people behind you.

Give my time or money or excess stuff to a cause that I love. 

If someone wants to gift me something and ask what I would like, I usually tell them they could donate to a local animal welfare society. 

We have gifted in loved ones names to homeless shelters and mental health associations. 

I created coupons when I was a teen for my grandparents to use throughout the year… 1 hour of general maintenance, yard work, house cleaning and so many other coupons. 

Sometimes you can give support to loved ones as a gift. One of my favorite past times was take my grandma out grocery shopping when she couldn’t get around very well. We always laughed and were goofy and I felt like it really helped us to remain connected. 

If you would like a list of specific suggestions ( a huge list of over 60 ideas to cultivate joy this minimalist holiday season), check out my private members area for that download!

Not a member? Sign up! It’s free!

Even if you take a few of these ideas and make them your own, I believe that they will help bring more joy into the (usually) chaotic season. 

You’ve got this friend!

Are you going to try one of these ideas? If so, let me know below!

Did I miss anything? Add it into the comments section <3


  1. Pingback: How To Make Your Home Smell Great with a Simmer Pot Cozy Minimalism

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