‘I’m not buying my kids Christmas presents – all they do is clutter my home’

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    One mum says she's refusing to buy her kids any Christmas presents this year as they 'don't need material objects'.

    Dagbjört Jónsdóttir, 40, has thrown away 1,000 items from her home over the years – including sofas, dishes and clothes – and says Christmas presents will "clutter the house".

    Instead, the mum-of-two is giving her children gift cards for indoor play parks or handmade coupons which her kids – aged six and three – can redeem for a day out of their choice – such as a trip to the beach, a bicycle ride in the forest or picnic.

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    Dagbjört admitted her children sometimes want physical presents but says, compared to other kids, she believes they are "more aware" they don't always need material objects.

    She and her husband, Thorsteinn Gudnason, 40, a building constructor, also don't buy gifts for each other and instead book a holiday together.

    The Jónsdóttir's unique take on Christmas means they are able to spend hardly anything and enjoy the festive period stress-free without having to "run to the shops", according to Dagbjört.

    Her minimalist lifestyle seems to have also rubbed off on her kids, as they both recently downsized their room and sold over half of their toys in a yard sale.

    Dagbjört, a freelance marketer, originally from Iceland but now living in Odense, Denmark, said: "Every year we get more and more conscious about gifting – more so this year. We don't really receive or give material presents at all anymore.

    "Our kids get experiences and we don't give them material things. We try and focus on something we can make a memory of.

    "We usually gift them gift cards for these indoor play parks or we design these little coupons that have a trip to the beach or somewhere fun to go – we try to make it things we can do as the family together.

    "It's a lot cheaper with these self-made coupons and all the decorations. Almost everyone has this crazy December and we don't get that, the stress on that is zero."

    Although her kids tend to receive mostly gift coupons for Christmas, Dagbjört says they do receive material items sometimes. "Of course, sometimes they want physical presents and when we go out and we see a commercial or something they often say they want certain things," she said.

    "When they have birthdays they get gifts from grandparents, aunties and uncles, but this year it's the bare minimum. Compared to other children, they are more aware that they don't need the material objects all the time."

    A minimalist lifestyle is the idea of living with fewer items and only using what you really need. When it comes to her minimalist Christmas, Dagbjört decorates her home using re-purposed household items and things found in nature.

    She said: "We do have a tree but we try to make the decorations ourselves or we find them in nature. Things that don't serve us purpose anymore are also used."

    Occasionally, Dagbjört has been faced with receiving a material gift that she didn't want and even had to pretend to like it. "A couple of years ago, I was given a gift and I had to pretend to be happy," she said. "I would put it up in the living room when they came over but now I usually just pass forward gifts so it's not just going to waste. Nowadays though we don't get many presents, maybe twice a year and that's it."

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    Dagbjört's simplistic take on Christmas has allowed her to relax and enjoy the festive period. "We don't believe in that consumerism ethos and it's just not stressful at all for us," she commented. "We don't buy material items because we feel like the kids have enough and enjoy themselves much more with fewer items in their room.

    "They do get one toy present from their grandparents. It is just our experience – when they have way too much, they don't play with it at all. But this way they play with each toy and do appreciate everything they have.

    "Many children get loads of presents on Christmas and are barely able to use them all.

    Dagbjört's Christmas and minimalist lifestyle has also attracted the attention of others. She said: "Because the feeling of it is so good, people have been asking me for advice on how to downsize and become a minimalist. I think a lot of people want to try it but society makes it difficult because of consumerism and materialism."

    • Christmas
    • Parenting
    • Family
    • Property

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