If you are living a minimalist lifestyle, the holiday season can be excessive. I never understood why so much emphasis was put around gift giving instead of quality time with friends and family. Yet I do love giving gifts, so here are a few suggestions for minimalists on what to give and what to ask for.
Giving Gifts as a Minimalist
1. A Beautiful Basket
I’m a foodie and really enjoy all of the yummy goodness the holidays bring. One of my favorite holiday gifts to give is preparing a gorgeous food basket. I usually stock up with breads, fruit, trail mix, cookies, and tea from Trader Joe’s and sometimes make my own treats to add. I buy a beautiful wicker basket that can be reused and wrap the food items in material and ribbon. This works so well for those at the office or any food lover.
2. A Chunky Scarf
If you knit or crochet, a beautiful scarf is the perfect gift to give. To save time, buy a thick chunky ball of yarn to work with. It is much quicker working with thicker yarns and the finish will look more unique than the standard yarn size. I’ve done many scarves in the past for the holidays that were wonderful gifts that never go out of style.
3. The Appreciated Service
Sometimes a gift of service can be the one most remembered. If you are a techie, helping a family member or friend with their problem computer or other appliance makes a truly appreciated gift. If you are good with fixing things around the house or gardening, then that works too. If decluttering is your skill, help beautify a home in a minimalist way. The gift of service is usually more time consuming than buying something from a store, yet is cherished more in the end. Be creative as everyone could use help with something.
4. Host a Holiday Party
There is not one person I could think of who doesn’t enjoy gathering with the people they love during the holidays. I believe it is the most wonderful part of the holidays. Hosting a holiday party for friends and family is one of the best gifts to share with those you care about most.
Giving Gifts to Minimalists
1. The Greatest Experience
The true minimalist doesn’t want to add to their possessions as they have given up things to experience life more. Giving the gift of experience is one of the best gifts. Some perfect examples are tickets to the opera, ballet, professional basketball or football game, a musical, unique cinema, a special exibit at the museum, or even going on a mini vacation. Creating lasting memories is invaluable.
2. The Great Outdoors
Some love to hike and go backpacking for much needed getaways. If you have a minimalist friend who frequently enjoys this, then having the best and lightest gear makes such a difference with the overall experience. Read The Eastern Sierra Nevadas to get ideas for lightweight backpacking gifts.
3. Gift Cards
Gift cards to a favorite retailer can be great gifts. It allows the recipient to get exactly what they want or need without adding to what they already have until they are ready to. There was a time where I only desired gift cards from Whole Foods. If you enjoy making your own beauty products or work with herbs, a gift card from Mountain Rose Herbs is the way to go. There is no limit to where the gift card comes from and it doesn’t have to be for something frivilous.
4. Minimalist Electronics
There are certain electronics that make living a minimalist lifestyle so much easier. Here are a few of my top choices:
Kindle–No more unnecessary books.
iPod–If you don’t have one, it’s time!
Scanner–Go digital for photos and documents.
These gifts help release those major clutter items: photos, documents, CD’s, and books. Going digital with everything isn’t necessary, but definitely a space savor.
(Image by Dawn Michelle)