Tuesday, December 10, 2019

8 Minimalist Gift Ideas

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Got a minimalist to shop for this Christmas?  Don't panic.  I know it seems like a tall order at first, because you'd hate to gift something they won't use or enjoy or even keep, but it doesn't have to be that complicated.  Minimalists are simple, after all.  Here are 8 minimalist gift ideas to prove that we aren't that hard to shop for at all:

1. Your Time.  My love language is acts of service, and I think a lot of minimalists would feel the same since we value time so much.  To me, nothing says 'love you' like someone doing something for me that takes up their time instead of their money (like John always taking the trash out!)  Give the gift of babysitting, or going with them to a yoga class they want to try, or even just out for drinks after the holiday craziness dies down.  I'd rather have a cocktail with a friend than another wrapped gift under the tree any day.

2. Memberships.  Minimalists like keeping their home clutter free because it frees up their time (no stuff to maintain and clean and worry about.)  Which means they usually like doing things like visiting museums and zoos.  A year long membership for these places would be put to good use!  Try to gift whatever they usually do with their time to relax, which could include a couple months of Netflix, Audible, or even their local gym.

3. Replacement Items.  Minimalists don't really keep backups.  We find a product we love, use it up, and then replace it with the same item when it runs out.  Ask your minimalist what's on their shopping that you can get them, or glance around their house next time you're there and take note of what they might be running out of or wearing out that could use replacing (think towels or sheets.)

4. DNA Tests.  DNA tests can be a fun and creative yet still minimal gift because there's no 'stuff' that sticks around.  They use the kit to take the swabs and then send it in.  Results are digital so they wouldn't even need to keep the paper copy.  You'll know if this is a good gift for someone because they've either mentioned wanting to know more or mentioned being proud of their heritage and very into tracing their ancestry.  Some people just love knowing this information.  I think it's super weird and big brother-y but I did get one for my dog!

5. Nice Food or Liquor.  Getting something that can get completely used up is key, like consumables.  So spring for something fancy, like a box of expensive cuts of meat or a really nice vodka.  Whatever it is that you know they enjoy.  In this house, it's champagne - I will always put that to good use!  But I know people who would prefer a bacon of the month club. (Ahem, John and Hawkeye.)

6. Tickets.  Tickets to events are a great gift if you know what your minimalist likes - concerts, sporting events, comedy shows, movies, etc.  If you have a date in mind for the two of you to go together, then by all means get that.  Otherwise you can give gift certificates to places like TicketMaster so they can go to the exact event they want on the exact day they want.

7. Gift Certificates for Getting Stuff DoneYou know what sucks after the holidays?  Cleaning your house.  I know a few people in my life who would be happy to get the gift of a cleaning service to be used at their convenience.  I wouldn't outright gift this unless you know the person wants it though, you don't want them to think you're telling them their house is dirty!  But you can give a gift certificate to places like TaskRabbit, which they can then use to book the service of their choice (maybe they'd rather have their living room painted or lawn mowed come summertime.)

8. Things They Can Donate.  Just me?  That's what I want for Christmas.  If you insist on buying me 'stuff' (some people cannot get over this), then buy me things that they need at an animal shelter, like bleach, dog food, and towels.  Then I can make a giant donation after the new year!

I feel like I have to note that minimalists actually don't want anything for Christmas.  If someone in your life told you that, you should believe them.  It's really hard for people to grasp this sometimes, especially those whose love language is gifts.  A minimalist's love language is never going to be gifts, so you have to think about what they want, not what you want to do.  That's the spirit of gifting, isn't it?  To show the other person you care and you listen to their intentions and know what's important to them.  Not having stuff is important to them, so if they say no gifts, hey, you're off the hook!

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