Minimalist Gifts in 5 Steps

Photo by Kostiantyn Li on Unsplash

In This Post

  • 5 point gift guide for minimalists
  • Different ways you can figure out how to pick the perfect gift
  • Some suggestions and examples of ideal gifts for minimalists

Whether you’re trying to think of something to give your local minimalist, or maybe you are the local minimalist thinking about how to navigate the tradition of gift-giving, the festive season can bring a little bit of anxiety. The first thing to do is to not let it stress you out. No matter who you are hoping to give a meaningful gift to, we have a few suggestions. This guide to minimalist gifts should hopefully make the experience a little less difficult, and a little more fun. Our gift guide for minimalists is below!

1. Are There Any Alternatives?

Okay. It seems a little unfair for our first suggestion to be avoiding giving gifts altogether, but this is the most minimal of all the options. Consider why you feel the need to partake in the exchange of gifts in the first place. Does it bring you a satisfactory level of joy and connection? Or, is it something you feel pressured into? Does it go against your minimalistic, financial or environmental goals?

If you are a minimalist, consider talking to your friend, family member or whoever it is, and explaining that you would simply prefer to not exchange gifts. A simple, polite, friendly conversation is likely all that is needed! If you are looking to give something to a minimalistic person, consider that they might appreciate it more if you didn’t. Even if to you, it feels wrong. It might be a gesture that they appreciate more than any type of gift.

2. Things That Aren’t Things?

If you’ve decided that you still want to partake in gift-giving, consider gifting something that isn’t a thing. This could be an experience, a token for an experience, or a place that you know they like to shop at. It could be the gift of your time or energy. You could offer to take them somewhere they’ve always wanted to go. Or, if they like to do things alone, set them up with an experience instead.

Experiences as gifts are a great way to spend meaningful, intentional time together. As well as avoiding adding more material objects into their life. Creating memories together is a wonderful alternative to physical objects. And this option is likely to last a lot longer too.

3. What Do They Need?

The gift of something we truly need is always a great thing. Practical gifts aren’t boring, but can be a great way to give someone the pleasure of convenience. Maybe they’ve been meaning to get a replacement for something. Or, upgrade something they already own. You can give them that very thing, as well as the joy of not having to spend the time or money acquiring it. This does require you to know exactly what they need, so proceed with caution fellow gift buyer!

If you do know the precise thing they want, it is a great idea to set them up with the nicest version you can. Maybe they need a new hoover and you know the model they’re hoping to buy, but you could gift them the fancier model. Luxuries we want but really wouldn’t buy ourselves are some of my favourite types of gifts to receive and to give.

4. How Do I Gift Gracefully?

Hopefully, you’ve got a few ideas of something to get your person. Or, maybe you’ve been inspired to not gift at all. Something to consider if you are choosing to gift something is how you gift it. Minimalism goes hand in hand with being environmentally conscious. Choosing minimalistic gift wrapping is a tasteful touch you should consider. Try using biodegradable or recyclable wrapping paper, or presenting it in a reusable (but beautiful) cloth that they can repurpose.

I’m always horrified at the amount of packaging that holidays like Christmas can create. And I come from a household where we recycle as much as possible. Choosing an intentional way to present your gift is a good thing to keep in mind. Remember too, that you don’t even need to wrap some gifts. Bringing a gift in a reusable tote bag and avoiding the wrapping altogether is another way to impress your local minimalist, or inspire others to forego the extra layer of plastic or paper.

5. How Do I Practise Gratitude When Gift Giving?

Our final point in this guide is to remember why you’re gift-giving in the first place. Traditions of gift-giving vary a lot. But, a lot of the time it is a convenient opportunity to appreciate others, share a meaningful connection, and express gratitude for those around you. Use this time as a reminder that people around you care about you and want to show you that they do.

You might not be the biggest fan of gift-giving, but think about what people are aiming to show you when giving you gifts. It is a sweet tradition to give each other little tokens of our love and appreciation. Even if it normally makes you feel frustrated and overcluttered. Try to be mindful and thankful for any effort and time people have put in for you.

In the same way, one of my favourite ways of actively practising gratitude is writing thank you cards. I know in 2022 this feels a little prehistoric, and maybe you only do this for your grandparents, but I think taking the time to write a little thank you note expressing your appreciation for someone (and the gift) is a very sweet thing to do – not only for the person who gave you a gift but as a way to reflect on and appreciate the love you receive.

Being grateful and actively practising gratitude is great for your mental health and well-being, and is nice from the perspective of the gift-giver too. So, embrace the tradition (or don’t) and see what you can do to make the experience of gift-giving as meaningful and as stress-free as possible.

To Put it Minimally

  • It might not be necessary for you to give someone a gift – consider why you take part in the gift giving practise, and maybe you’ll find it’s not as compulsory as you thought!
  • Your local minimalist probably doesn’t want a physical gift, so if you want to give them something, consider other options, like experiences, your time, or an upgrade on something they already have