Nov 272011

Ok, we’ve covered the giving to a minimalist gift stuff. Now what if you are a minimalist and faced with a list of people to buy for. Well…go up to them, shake their hand, say, “I’m not wasting my money buying you worthless junk you consumerist dumbass!”. Then grab your smelly rucksack and leave…..

Just kidding of course. You will want to hang around and watch the look on their faces as they realize you ain’t coming across with the presents. Keep a camera handy and get a shot to post on Facebook. Priceless.

Look, just because you are a minimalist doesn’t mean you have to blow off getting some nice things for friends and relatives who may not share your insightful and innovative lifestyle. It’s alright. Not everyone is willing to come over to the dark side, unless maybe you offer them cookies.

All seriousness aside though, the holidays with all the consuming and ad attacks does present an issue for the average minimalist. But relax. Remember there are no rules to minimalism. (Except for no debt). It is a state of mind and how you approach the holidays is up to you.

First off. If you have people on a gift list and they ask for something specific, as long as its affordable for your budget, get it for them! I mean, damn, it don’t hurt to put a smile on their face for a few moments even if the gift is something you would personally never buy. It’s ok. Make them happy. It’s what the season is all about…along with pissing off the fundies. This time of the year is not the time to throwing your lifestyle in the faces of those who don’t follow the wisdom of minimalism. Rather lead by example. If that special someone on your gift list hasn’t specified anything in particular, than stick with the practical and usable. Something you know they will use and enjoy. Do they have or use something that needs replaced or is worn out? Or go with something homemade. A big basket of homegrown food or stuff you baked on your own. Be creative and still maintain your minimalist ethics. It can be done.

If you are in the middle of downsizing, what better time to get rid of stuff then the holidays. Now I ain’t saying leave the musty old couch on your sister’s doorstep but if you are downsizing invite those on your gift list to come over and pick out something they may like. It’s not being cheap….well ok, maybe a little…but it is practical.

If all that bother and shopping and crap is still gnawing at you then come right out and tell everyone. You’re not going to celebrate the holidays by spending money on gifts. Either it’s not in the budget or you simply don’t want to. It’s ok. You can find other friends and family. Just kidding again. If you have friends and family who demand junk for Xmas then you may have issues but most people will understand. Instead of gifts, celebrate with good food, taking in the spirit of the holidays, that sort of thing. Spend some time with those who mean something in your life cause you don’t know how long anyone will be around. This is especially true with my family where everyone is pushing 80. Not a fun time when you suddenly realize there is one less seat at the dinner table than last year. But I am getting depressing and that ain’t the spirit of the season.

So if you are a minimalist. Enjoy the season. You don’t have to spend money to do so. Set a small budget if necessary, get practical and creative with anything you do give, and don’t feel guilty about not maxing out a credit card or hurting anyone’s feelings. Don’t incur any debt, stick to your plan and have some fun.

Happy (fill in the holiday or seasonal celebration of your choice if indeed you chose to celebrate a holiday or seasonal celebration).

Capt. Fritter

Remember…No Debt. I have a taser at the ready so watch it.