Hello, again! I am back with a few more ideas from our tiny house family on creating a simple and meaningful holiday celebration. Last week, I shared about setting intentions, holding a family meeting, and buying all gifts locally. Let’s keep going:

3) Share your wishes with extended family – Once you’ve set your holiday intentions with your partner and kids, it’s important to share with grandparents and other extended family. Every year, Oma and YaYa ask for a list. This used to catch me off guard, and we’d throw a wish list together in an evening. This method (or lack thereof) resulted in random stuff: things we saw in catalogs/TV or thought up off the top of our heads–basically, advertising told us what we’d like. Now, we start our wish lists during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. As we are practicing gratitude for all that we have, we realize we really don’t want much. Creating a wish list over a period of weeks (months, even) has resulted in more meaningful and useful gifts.

As you are working in your daily life, you may think “These scissors hardly cut. Man, it would be really nice to have a good pair of scissors.” Or “My fingers ache every morning from all that gardening. Maybe there is a tool that will help.” When these thoughts occur, stop everything, and write them down. I find that if I don’t take a moment and write ideas down, I forget them. Before you know it, you will have a meaningful list of items you’d really enjoy.

christmas morning in a tiny house 2012   3 Ideas on How to Create a Simple & Abundance Holiday: Tiny House Family

4) Wrap consumable gifts – I want my kids to feel the abundance of love and the excitement of waking up to the magic of Santa’s visit. I get just as excited as they do to see little packages under the tiny tree. Wrapping consumable gifts such as chocolate, incense, paper, candles, and fruit help create the magic without leaving us with clutter. Believe it or not, a giant wrapped chocolate bar is a coveted gift in our house.

5) Limit TV, and catalog viewing, especially with kids – Keep the channel tuned to PBS, so that the kids aren’t exposed to advertising. Ads make toys look like so much fun, but when they show up on Christmas, they are often played with for a few days and forgotten. Encourage extended family to stick to the wish list for gifts.

Just to be sure I’m not making all of this up, I asked Ella and Archer, “What was your favorite Christmas present from last year?” Ella said, “All the stuff in my stocking: the chapstick, the giant candy bar and my teddy bear.” Archer said, “My pocket knife.”

Count your blessings, and enjoy creating your wish list. Until next week!

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   3 Ideas on How to Create a Simple & Abundance Holiday: Tiny House Family

Hari Berzins

Contributor and Tiny Home Owner at Tiny House Family
Hari Berzins lives with her husband, Karl, and their two kids, Ella and Archer, in a cozy 8’ x 21’ tiny house which they designed and built. They are currently building a bigger tiny house as part of their plan to build a mortgage-free micro-homestead on their three acres in Southwestern Virginia. Follow their journey at tinyhousefamily.com.

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{ 9 comments }

  • Kat

    I think a good tip also with any wishlist is to have gifts in a wide range of prices. This will encourage relatives to keep to the wishlist because everyone will be able to choose something in their price range.

    Reply
    • Hari

      Hi Kat!
      Thanks for your input. That’s a great point!

      Reply
  • alice h

    One of the best gifts we ever got was a case of toilet paper. The huge box under the tree was impressive, amused the heck out of everybody when we opened it, and was remarked on all year as we used it. Maybe not the best gift for tiny spaces, though it’s amazing where you can find storage for something like that. I gave my granddaughter a case of paper last year so she could go nuts drawing whenever she wanted. Big hit!

    Reply
  • Hari

    Hi Alice,

    Super cute idea. We have room for things like that in our insulated shed. I like that it’s consumable and something you’d use anyway. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Mary

    This makes me feel better about the way my kids were raised. We had no TV 1969 – 198?. I wrapped everything I bought for my boys from October to Xmas, because we loved the look of abundance. How did I NOT think of candy bars? Our habit was home made treats, so a candy bar would have been a big hit!

    Reply

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