The Minimalist and The Materalist
Especially at Christmas time.
I said in an early post about how I feel like getting rid of all our stuff and going camping/travelling with my family. Well since that post, about three weeks ago, we have actually started down sizing and clearing out the things we don’t need. At this point we don’t have any plans in place to do anything, other than making our lives easier.
We have been through the children’s bedroom and removed all things other than beds and books. As well as the play room, removing and down sizing.
The most used words in our house at the moment are “if we don’t love it, it’s going.” In that sentence we include the idea of “really like what the item does for us“.
If we don’t love it, it’s going.
We are making way in our lives for more of the things that we love and less of just stuff.
Recently there has been has been a video going around Facebook and other social media from SBS called Minimalists: Living with Less.
This particular video speaks so much to me. I know how much of our life is strained when our possessions own us, and not the other way around. That is what we have been doing, taking control back over our possessions and aiming to live a more meaningful and purposeful life. Choosing to live our lives the way we wish and not live only by the winds of change. Which is great and is really creating freedom with in our house.
With in hours of removing 2/3rd’s of the toys in the play room and cleaning it all out, the children where playing games together in there. They hadn’t done that in over a month or two. After removing 2/3rd’s of the books in our house, they started reading again, and I even found them reading to each other. So the removal of all the extra actually made room for them the enjoy the things that they really liked.
Now all of this is great. However it’s also Christmas. That time of the year where we force a lot on material things, and giving and receiving gifts. Now this year we don’t have a lot of money and were not sure our children would receive gifts from us. We are taking the children away over the hoilday’s so that is our gift to them, but not so much a physical gift that they could open on the day.
Which leaves me in the two camps, because idealistically I don’t have a problem with not bring more things into our house, but emotionally there is still that connection for me with gift giving and making Christmas special for our children with that. We have some lovely friends and family that have helped us get gifts for our children this year. To try and balance out the gifts and make it even today I was walking through Target looking for one more gift for our so. As I was walking through I saw all these things that my children would love (for a time at least) and would be things that I would love to give them. However we of course don’t have the money, and then that starts the thought process that our children are missing out or we aren’t good enough to be able to giving them those gifts.
But is that really true?
Are parents that can give there children everything toy, game and thing under the sun better than parents that can’t?
Are our children really missing out?
And do they even need those things?
For me the answer to all those questions is NO. After removing things that we don’t love from our house I have seen growth in my children, they are nicer to each other, play better together, use there imagination more, and use what they do have more.
In truth they aren’t actually missing out. They are probably having more fun, more enjoyment of the things that they do have because choice anxiety is lowered when you have less to choose from.
I would love to hear your thoughts? are you minimalist or materialistic ? or are you also struggling with both? How do you find that balance? Is there even a balance? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.