1 month 2 birthdays

I always thought my love language was gifts but recently having done the Love Language test it seems I am instead a physical touch person.

Never the less I do love gifts – so when my husband and my daughter celebrate a birthday in the same month – I have to think and act carefully to avoid falling back into my previous patterns of excess.

I am planning simple but beautiful celebrations this year for both. My husband does not want any kind of party. And my daughter has not asked for any specific gifts (other than the usual pet unicorn). So I will endeavour to listen a bit to both.

I don’t want to overspend, with one more family birthday and Christmas coming up next month.

  • So something restful for J
  • And something unicorn-themed for my younger daughter

And there will be cake. For James I plan on baking a decadent chocolate cake. For my daughter either a pavlova with lots of fruit (thanks Lucie for the idea), or the iced and decorated watermelon cake (from my sister) which is always a hit.

We spend much of our time avoiding sugar and eating greens. So for us it is ok for a celebration to be a little sweet. But for us it is early summer here so we can simply picnic with fresh fruit and fruit juice ice lollies.

I love celebrations. I love birthdays. I love Christmas. But I am trying to celebrate these occasions this year without excess.

I notice the Minimalists I regularly follow – both Courtney Carver and Joshua Becker – have both recently sent out their festive emails preparing us all for the coming season.

From Joshua’s mail today:

I think of it this way:
Halloween is… 
followed by Thanksgiving…
followed by Black Friday…
followed by Cyber Monday… 
followed by Christmas… 
followed by New Year’s Eve.

Joshua Becker

That is a whole lot of celebration and expense and expectation in the USA.

For our family in South Africa we celebrate Halloween, but fairly simply. We are heading out in a couple of hours trick or treating around the neighbourhood.

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The latter 2 are increasingly visible but we don’t subscribe.

We do however celebrate Christmas. Being summer we have our long school holidays and we spend time in the ocean and outdoors. My girls and I make decorations and do Christmas baking and decorate the tree. We make some gifts and we buy some gifts.

I have noticed as I have learnt more about Minimalism that I consider purchases more. I am a natural spender so still may buy more than I should. But it certainly is a considered choice.

It will never be my intention to stop celebrating. I am a big believer in joy and love and gratitude. But I am working on a healthier, less materialistic version of all celebrations.