Monday, January 22News For London

Minimalistic Christmas: Value over Materialism

With Christmas around the corner, there are a lot bargains to be taken advantage of. It all started in the beginning of the season, which escalated with Black Friday and now everyone is impatiently waiting for the Boxing Day sales. 

From food to home decor, from electronics to beauty products, everything costs less and people are rushing to the stores, frantically to fill their carts with the discounted stock.

Photo credits: Lia Chabane

It is evident that one’s bank account will be left empty, and materialistic gifts like these cannot satisfy anyone. Christmas is exactly two weeks from now and this is the time to reconsider do we really need all of these purchases. Can we enjoy the winter holidays without getting bankrupted? Is it necessary to bear the weight of Christmas shopping and stress about what to get our loved ones when we can simply find some time to share a moment with them? Is there another version of celebrating the holidays?

Photo credits: Lia Chabane

The answer is Yes. The way to do it is to live well without spending our money on things we do not actually need, without living from one payday to another. Fewer items, fewer burdens, less stress which can bring about a sense of peace and appreciation. In other words – Live Well with Less.

Photo Credits: Maggy Day (The Inspired Minimalist)

Journalists from University of Westminster came across this inspiring group called The Minimalists. The group follows the ideology of removing everything that is not essential, to make room for what actually is. We are all familiar with the saying ‘You can’t buy happiness’ and this is a big part of a minimalist’s view of life.

Coming across such an idea makes us think that minimalism is only to get rid of material possessions or in other words to ‘declutter’ our lives, to extract everything unneeded. This is not the case though. The crucial part is that we gain control over our lives by filling the gaping void with what is important instead of just stuffing the void with unnecessary things. The Minimalists are people who have made the decision to replace the 21st century burdens of buying excessively with the simplicity of enjoying the real things.

We interacted with the group leader of the London-based minimalists group – Regina Wong (she is also the creator of the blog Live Well with Less and the author of ‘Make Space’).

Regina Wong, Creator of Live Well with Less. Photo Credits: Live Well with Less 

She shared with us her experience of living a minimalist’s life, her views on what Christmas means for a minimalist and what is the true value of the holidays ahead.

Regina Wong decided to make some changes in her life about five years ago. Despite having money, a good job and a relationship, she felt like something was lacking. She needed to find her true self and her purpose, and she found the way to do it by getting rid of all the clutter and extra weight in her life. There was no hesitation or regret, it was quite the opposite – she was left feeling freer and lighter. Regina says that since she became a mindful consumer she had no regrets buying anything. Regina’s views on being a conscious shopper are on her blog here.

Considering the festive season Regina says in her blog that: ‘A minimalist Christmas is not about being a Scrooge’. It is not about depriving yourself from having a good time and showing your loved ones that you care about them. It is about how you do it.

Regina said to Westminster news that it is important to question what our priorities for the festive season are: ‘It is not about being anti-consumption, but it’s about being more mindful of what we consume and what we give.’ Having a minimalistic Christmas is about quality, not quantity. It is about being creative with you gifts and showing your friends and family you love them by making something for them yourself instead of spending a fortune for something just because the happy faces on the adverts are telling you to. A minimalistic Christmas is about keeping it simple. No hassles, no stress. Just joy.

Regina Wong – ‘Minimalism is a journey, not a destination’ 

Westminster World also got a chance to interact with two minimalist followers James Leverich and Janet Leverich who shared their experience living this lifestyle and how it has changed their life. James said: “The last couple of years we have been trying to go with more experiences than buying things.” Janet said, she prefers making things for people as it is far more personalized and people really appreciate them more.

Audio Credits: Lia Chabane

Live Well with Less is a movement, a philosophy, a way of living a good and more fulfilling life without stressing about the little things. If you are interested to make some changes you can check Regina Wong’s book here.

More information on the topic you can find out here:
Minimalist.org (London, UK) 
Live Well with Less 

Credits

Content: Betina Gluhova

Sub-Editor: Sreelakshmi Vachaspathy and Lia Chabane

Interviews and Minimalist Images: Sreelakshmi Vachaspathy

Audio Editing and Christmas Images: Lia Chabane