Do Kids, Christmas and Minimalism go together?


I love Christmas, I love the extra time with family, carol concerts, decorating the tree, mulled wine, setting fire to the Christmas pudding and I love gift giving. Thoughtful, considered gifts are a beautiful reminder that you are loved and that someone knows and cares for you. This year is the first Christmas since we started the process of minimising and simplifying and it’s definitely affected my gift giving. I’ve tried where possible to give gifts that align with our values, so nothing excessive, quality over quantity, things people actually want and will use and gifting experiences or items that can be ‘used up’. I could write a huge blog about all of that but during this week before Christmas I wanted to address the other side of gift giving, that is, the gifts we’ll recieve. Specifically I want to share a couple of thoughts about kids and gifts. My thoughts on this have been massively helped by Allie Casazza and her brilliant blog – check her out, she’s fab!

Some minimalists subscribe to the no gift rule for their families. This might float your boat, but it sinks mine. I genuinely love finding the perfect present for someone, and I don’t want to take that experience away from those who love my kids. Neither do I want my children growing up thinking ‘gifts suck’ or more to the point ‘mum sucks’! I want them to know the value of things, to use what they have well and to learn to love contentment rather than excess. That being said, this year I’ve realised that after spending the last 9 months removing things from our home, we are about to enter a period of welcoming things in. I needed a plan, a strategy, a way of preparing for this so that I could relax and enjoy the Christmas season knowing my kids are loved and will appreciate the amazing gifts they will receive. Enter Christmas Clearout Day!

White Space

The aim of Christmas Clearout Day was to create some white space. Space in the toy box, drawers and wardrobes so that when my two are given some awesome new toys and clothes they have a place to live straight away.


We attacked my four year old daughter’s bedroom this morning. Experience has taught me that trying to purge or tidy with her in the afternoon/evening is a no go! I began by explaining that she’s probably going to get some lovely new things for Christmas so we need to make space. I asked her if she thought she could find 10 things which we could donate to the charity shop for people to buy who maybe can’t afford presents (she’s seen us do lots of trips to the charity shop with our own things this year so she’s very familiar with the idea). She was up for the challenge, she’s my daughter of course! I tipped out a box and we held each toy up and she had to say ‘give’ or ‘keep’. Within a few minutes we had our pile. Her reasoning was kind of interesting “I’ll give these puppets because they are green. I don’t like green” BUT we got there! I also discovered she has a drawer named ‘interesting drawer’ where she keeps, and I quote, ‘things I find on the floor’ – I’ll work on that one!


I opened all the drawers and wardrobe, I removed anything that didn’t fit (those long legs just keep growing) or anything that was badly damaged. Most of this I will take to the charity shop but I’ll keep a few pieces that I love to set aside for potential sisters/cousins.

I fold her clothes using the Kon Mari method as it makes it a lot easier for her to find things in the morning (probably should blog about this some time). When we’d finished I had a ridiculous pile of clothes to wash and donate and plenty of white space in the cupboards.

So our first Christmas Clearout Day was a success, I thoroughly expect to have a January clear out (always good for the soul!) but I certainly feel more prepared to give and receive gifts and focus on the real gift, a baby, wrapped in simple cloth and lying in a manger.