10 Minimalist/ Frugal Ways To Spend Your Holidays

The Christmas and New Years have been so heavily commercialized, that the season is ushered in with Christmas and end of year sale adverts. The reason for the season – the commemoration of the birth of Christ and the gratitude that should accompany the end of another year – are often over shadowed by the buying of gifts, excessive spending and in some instances, gluttony and drunkeness. With January around the corner, famed for having 5 long weeks, it is wise to slow down and look for other mindful ways that we can enjoy our holidays. Below I made a list of 10 frugal/ minimalistic ways you can spend your time over the holidays that will have your heart glad and your pockets thanking you in January.

1.       Play Cards
Cards are an easy way to connect and socialize with friends or family. It is also a good way to keep competitive people engaged, and the best part is a pack of cards can be bought with loose change or you probably have a pack lying somewhere in the house.
2.       Visit a Children’s Home
During the festive season most are engaged with their nuclear and extended families. Those in children homes and orphanages could probably do with a visit, and a loving gesture. The visit will not be their ultimate gift – as they probably want families of their own too – but it will go a long way in lightening up someone’s day – yours too
3.       Read a Book
You know how you have been postponing your annual reading over and over, you probably have not hit your target or maybe you did not even have a target, now is the time to read something – now that you have no pressing work issues and you have a few days to laze around. Grab a small book and complete one before New Years. You could read When Breathe Becomes Air by Kalanithi or The Year of Mercy by Leonard Cohen.
4.       Watch Films/ Videos With Your Family or Friends
During the year, if you have long work or study hours, it is difficult to watch movies with your family or friends. Now is the perfect time to watch with that film that you have been raving about, or someone else has been raving about with your family or friends. Here’s my list of Movies 2017, and among my favourite were Frida and Gia and The Color Purple.
5.       Spend an Afternoon Singing or Listening to Your Favourite Songs
A friend send me a clip of him singing merry Christmas and playing the guitar, and I thought it is such a fun way to share the happiness of the holidays. If you have a friend who can play an instrument or you are into acapella, you can play the songs you love and sing along. You can also dig up songs from the 90’s and early 2000’s and enjoy the throwbacks.
6.       Take a Walk to a Nearby Scene of Beauty
Walking has been scientifically proven to be therapeutic. Take an evening or morning walk to a scene of beauty, say where the sunset or sunrise is best viewed in all its glory, or to a nearby river or some other scene of beauty. This is especially more simple if you are upcountry where the environment is hardly tampered with – the air is fresh and clean and the pace of life is slow. Walking also enables you to get out to yourself and think of others and the environment and the beauty of nature itself.
7.       Donate your clothes – End of Year Cleaning/ Purge 
The end of the year is the best time to go through your clothes and see what you have been wearing and what you haven’t. If you have not worn a piece of clothe in 6 months, chances are you will not wear it in the next months even if it is still relatively new. You can pass them down to your siblings, or relatives or donate to the children’s home or to the Church charity basket. The perks of this is you will have done a good deed and had a lighter more organised closet come the end of the holidays.
8.       Call a Friend Whom You Have not Spoken to in a While
In this age of instant messaging and social media updates, it is easy to f
orget the satisfaction of long phone calls with some of our friends. That friend who fell off the radar, that friend who had a difficult year, or who changed towns or that friend you have not spoken to in a while that you have been meaning to call can easily be reached. Pick up the phone and call them and find out how they have been doing.
9.       Write Down 3 goals for the Next Year/Period of Your Life
Writing down goals is the first action to realizing them. Putting down our aspirations shows that we are serious about them, and even if they change, a roadmap has already been made. Write them and pin them up were you see them frequently – could be on your bedroom wall or next to the kitchen sink. If you write them down and put the notebook at the bottom of your drawers there is no difference with someone who has not written them down. Also, instead of a million goals, write 3 – those are manageable, and break them down into weekly and monthly goals and start working towards them as soon as possible. That way, when another year comes around, you will have something to show for it. You can also share your goals with your family and friends so that they can keep you accountable.
10.   Exercise… Maybe?
Instead of stuffing yourself up with all manners of (unhealthy) food, now is probably the best time to pick up that skipping rope you bought and never used. If you are in the company of family or friends, they probably have had the same aspirations and they will be glad to join you for a skip, a jog, a run or even some press-ups. If you have exercise music, aerobics are the way to go. And there is Youtube from which you can download exercise tutorials, and have a sort of exercise program. The more you are, the merrier, and you will probably feel so great and that could add exercise momentum for the coming months. Also, you do not need fancy gear to exercise, put on your sport shoes, and an old t-shirt and some comfortable pants and get going. 
You can comment below with another frugal/minimalistic way to spend your holidays. Sharing is caring. Happy holidays!

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