Celebrating the Holidays in a Tiny House Celebrating the Holidays in a Tiny House

 One of the intimidating factors about moving into a tiny house is the thought of getting rid of all your stuff. For many this is the specific reason for moving out of their standard size home, for others it can be a source of stress. Although the dream of downsizing and living with less, enjoying the freedom and adventure this lifestyle represents to the wanna- be minimalist, it can still be a daunting thought. After all we have been conditioned to identify and associate who we are to our accumulated possessions. This concept can be no more strongly felt than around the holidays. This is the time that we pull out Grandmas china, drag in the 9-foot Frasier fur (that by the way, was very content living and growing outside), string up 364 feet of exterior lights, cook and serve enough food to feed a small country and buy mounds of expensive gifts, most of which will be forgotten in less than a months’ time. No wonder the holidays are so stressful. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Even if you do not live in a tiny house these following concepts can be adapted to help you minimize your accumulation of stuff, lower the unrealistic, outdated personal expectation of the perfect holiday, be more present, lower your stress and authentically enjoy your holiday the way it should be enjoyed.

Decorating your tiny house.  

Decorating your space can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of the holiday. That is if you don’t overdo it. Remember, what goes up, must come down. Wonder why you see that house with the Christmas tree lights still up in June? Don’t be that guy. Save yourself the holiday decorating hangover by being selective with your decorations.

A good idea is to choose a few focal areas to decorate. What will make the greatest visual impact?  May be a wreath on the front door to great guest, some garland around a window that you will look out of often, strings of holiday cards from friends that remind you of cherished relationships. The walls of a small space are an excellent place to hang decorations for obvious reasons. If you are dead set on getting a tree stay true to O Tannenbaum, which represents constancy and faithfulness, and get a live version. For years I decorated a live Australian pine. There are many small living options at your local home supply stores like Home Depot and Lowes. Another favorite on mine is the rosemary tree. All of these can be planted outside later or maintained in their pots to bring in again next year. You can also forgo the price of a tree completely by going into the woods, trimming pine branches, or whichever tree strikes your fancy, and placing them in an urn with water. And with the money you save and your new-found conservatory spirit you can donate to American Forest. An organization dedicated to conserving forest ecosystems.

Folks who live in tiny house are always looking for ways to multipurpose their things. Use this same mindset when decorating. If you use placemats or table coverings sew or fabric glue two styles together so they are reversible like this example.  Try decorating for the season, not just the specific holiday. For example, I put out pumpkins and mums on my front porch at Halloween and this splash of color serves me until after Thanksgiving.The pumpkins can then be smashed open out back for the deer and the mums can be planted elsewhere to come up again later. Then I put out the winter décor.  I have preserved a grapevine wreath that I can decorate and hang on my front door for any occasion. Here are some examples of how you can use this versatile décor piece for yourself. By the way, it’s super easy to make your own grapevine wreath. A great way to decorate and get into the holiday spirit is to make your own decorations that can be used later for another purpose. This can take the form of gingerbread houses that will later be covered in peanut butter and seeds to feed the birds or personalized ornaments you can pass out to friends as gifts. Here is another great article for small space decorating ideas.  You are only limited by your imagination.

What about the gifts?

Oh yes, we must buy, buy, buy. Gifts for mom and sister and Uncle Clark. Well there are many creative and thoughtful gifts out there that you may not have thought about. Gifts that don’t take up space, become obsolete in a month or create a burden on the environment. The key here is to know your audience and get something thoughtful and useful. A few examples are tickets to an event, a class or lecture on something they are interested in, a charitable donation in their name, or gift certificates to a favorite store. Food and drink are always great gifts, we all eat and drink! With so many meal kit companies around a fun idea is to send a gift card to a loved one, they choose their own meals that are delivered to their home and you’re the hero!

We are also in the time of “experiences”. Even though this is a recurring buzz word, and I’m not one to jump on a trend, I am neck deep into this one! More doing, less collecting of things! Many families are deciding to forgo the gift giving tradition and opting to allocate those funds towards a trip, vacation or adventure.  

If  you still need a thoughtful gift idea you can choose something that gives back like this list of goodies that donate a percentage of their proceeds to charitable causes.   

Let’s eat!

Another integral part of the holidays is the feast. Most people look forward to this once a year indulgence and why not. If you are hosting Christmas in your tiny home, you will be faced with your own special challenges when it comes to what you should cook. This is most dependent on what type of kitchen appliances you have. Some tiny homes have a full kitchen while others may only have a cook top or less. I wrote an article called Hosting Thanksgiving in a Tiny House that goes into detail on this topic.

Hosting a holiday celebration in your tiny house is different in many ways from hosting in a standard size home but regardless of what kind of structure you live in the real focus should be on the people that you surround yourself with. Don’t worry about not living up to past expectations. Don’t worry about how things have always been done. Cultivate and express your own values. Your Aunt May thinks your crazy for living in a tiny house anyway so just go for it!

Hosting Thanksgiving in a Tiny House

So, you want to host Thanksgiving in your tiny house for your family or friends, but you  don’t think that it’s possible in your limited space. Don’t be silly! With some forethought and realistic expectations, you can put on a most memorable affair!

Continue reading

Cooking in a Tiny House Kitchen

If you consider yourself a culinary connoisseur, love to cook, or just see eating as a functional event, you are going to need a way to prepare your meals. Many people believe that when you move into the tiny lifestyle, that you have to make sacrifices when it comes to cooking. That doesn’t have to be the case. Here are some options that will allow you to have full-size cooking features in your tiny house kitchens.

Continue reading

tiny house pets - title Tiny Living With Tiny And Not So Tiny House Pets

There is much to consider when you are going tiny including downsizing by pairing down your things. You favorite dog or cat does not need to be one of them. There are many people that live tiny with not only small animals but larger ones as well. Sure, you hear of folks who are moving to NYC and have to get rid of their dog, but for the majority of us, a house pet, whether they are tiny or not, are part of the family. And we will change the way we live our lives to accommodate them. Here are some great ways to help keep your space, your sanity AND your tiny house pets happy and comfortable.

Continue reading

Tiny House Laundry - Title Laundry in a Tiny House: Cleaning Clothes in a Small Space

When you make the transition to tiny living there are undoubtedly some sacrifices that need to be made. Giving up all of your modern conveniences does not have to be one of them. Many people think that they are going to have to sacrifice some of their major appliances, and normally the first one to go is the clothes washer and dryer. But with the options available on the market today, you don’t automatically have to forgo them. Here are a few options when it comes to doing your laundry in a tiny house.

Continue reading

The Best Tiny House Grills

Summer is here! And that means it is once again time to fire up the grill and get cooking with gas. Or charcoal. If you are living in a tiny house or are thinking about building one, you may find yourself outside grilling more often for a number of reasons. So break out the meat and veggies with these: the best tiny house grills.

Continue reading

Meal Planning - Title Tiny House Kitchens: Meal Planning for a Small Space

Not everyone is a cook. Not everyone needs to have a chef-level kitchen. But at sometime in your tiny living situation, you are not only going to have to cook, but more than likely you are going to have to plan out head of time what you need and where you are going to store the food that you buy. To be fair, meal planning can be tough in a normal sized kitchen, but even tougher when you go tiny. Here are some tips and tricks to help you with tiny kitchen meal planning.

Continue reading