Happy alternative Christmas!

Can you believe it’s nearly that time of year again? It’s come around so quickly. But as Christmas approaches, I feel strangely calm and organised.

Elf Christmas - articleI won’t be rushing around the shops with a big list, worrying whether I have just the right present for people. Or buying stuff that people may not really need.

That’s because I’ve decided to do something a little bit different again this year.

Christmas on the big screen

My husband and I believe that life is about relationships and experiences, so instead of buying more stuff this Christmas we’re treating our family and friends to a film and some food.

We’ve hired a private cinema screen and have chosen to show the film ‘Elf’, and before the film we’ll have a scrumptious breakfast buffet with our guests. This way we get to spend precious time with them, celebrating and really kicking off that festive feeling. Our guests just need to turn up wearing something Christmassy. It’s simple.

We did the same thing last year and showed the film ‘Arthur Christmas’. The kids were all on the edge of their seats on the front row with buckets of popcorn and the adults were laughing at the grown-up references and crying at the sentimental parts.

buddy_elf_poster_hohIt was a great success, with some of our friends mentioning how special it was months afterwards. And thinking about how they might approach Christmas a little differently next time. I plan and organise it a few months ahead, sending simple postcard invitations to make sure we can get everyone there.

Celebrating with our loved ones

For us, Christmas is a great excuse to get everyone we love together. Usually people only do this for big, obvious occasions like weddings and christenings, but of course these don’t happen all that often.

Most of the people that we invite came to our wedding, which again has such special memories for us, and we’re giving the message that they’re still important to us after the big event. So, our guests get to see each other – and us – more often and our relationships become stronger.

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It did feel a little weird last year not wrapping presents for my family and friends, but I think that’s just habit. Sharing our time feels much more special (and of course it’s also better for the environment).

Every time I think about the experience it makes me smile and gives me a really warm Christmassy feeling.

I can’t recommend this enough. Christmas shopping can be stressful, expensive and time consuming – not really what Christmas is all about. So as you gear up to the festive season, maybe you could think about trying an alternative Christmas…


Row of baby elves

About Michelle Solomon

I've spent the last four years decluttering and simplifying my life, so I can focus on more meaningful stuff. I love travelling to far flung places, mountain biking, meditating or just cuddling my two gorgeous cats.