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Ask most minimalists what they want for Christmas, and they'll probably say, "Nothing."
But maybe you want to give a gift anyway, or maybe you're a minimalist (or an aspiring minimalist!) who wants to give gifts, but doesn't want to add to anyone's clutter.
Here's a list of gifts pretty much guaranteed to brighten a minimalist's holiday.
12 Gifts for Someone Who Doesn't Want More Stuff
Minimalists prefer experiences to material things. If you know he'd be interested, tickets to a play, the symphony, a special art exhibit, a concert, a sporting event, or even a class (cooking, yoga sessions, beginning guitar at the local community college) would make a wonderful gift.
2. Gourmet items
Minimalists prefer consumables to other physical items. Again, you need to know your recipient. For some, a bottle of organic wine would be greatly appreciated, others wouldn't care for that at all. But there are plenty of other options: California extra virgin olive oil, a balsamic glaze from Modena, Italy, a selection of local cheeses, organic fair trade coffee, or a box of nice chocolates would all make delectable gifts.
3. Luxury bath items
This is another category of consumables that your minimalist recipient might enjoy. Consider a bar of artisan soap, a heavenly-smelling lotion, or some homemade sugar body scrub.
4. A restaurant gift card
Pick her favorite restaurant, or a new hot spot, and treat her to a nice dinner out.
Give a year's membership to a history, science, or art museum, the zoo, the aquarium, or a botanical garden. This is a gift that is worth far more than it costs, and is especially good for young families. They'll get free admission for a year plus other VIP perks.
How about a transit pass for a dedicated bus or train commuter? Or a bicycle tune-up, a new helmet, or a strobe headlight and taillight for an intrepid bike commuter? A student or a person living on a fixed income might appreciate a gas card.
7. Your skills and energy
Whether you can babysit, clean windows, give a massage, paint a room, bake sourdough bread, wash and detail a car, force bulbs for holiday blooming, or something else, the gift of your knowledge and time means a great deal.
8. An Amazon Kindle
Yes, the Kindle is another gadget, but it can replace entire shelves of books. Some minimalists love that, but do make sure your recipient is one of them. If he's already a Kindle owner, he might enjoy an upgrade to the waterproof Kindle Paperwhite. Of course, an Amazon gift card so he can purchase books for the Kindle he already owns, or a subscription to Kindle Unlimited or Audible would also make great gifts.
Go on a day trip to the beach or go on a hike. Pack a picnic lunch and meet at a sunny spot in the park. Get together to bake cookies, decorate the tree, or watch a favorite movie.
10. A letter
Written correspondence is more personal and durable than a digital note can ever be. Its uniqueness and warmth, and the effort expended in producing it, make it more valuable today than ever.
For the children of minimalist parents, put together a container of craft supplies: drawing paper, construction paper, tissue paper, crayons, washable markers, glue, pipe cleaners, colored craft sticks, rhinestone stickers, googly eyes, etc. A book like Debbie Chapman's Low Mess Crafts for Kids or one of Ed Emberley's drawing books would make a great addition. Kids can create and play without batteries, and even though the container and books qualify as "stuff," the craft supplies are consumable.
12. A charitable donation
The money we spend buying each other gadgets and knickknacks can do a world of good for those less fortunate. If your minimalist loved one is passionate about a certain cause, and especially if it's a cause you both care about, make a donation in her honor.
Of course, you always have the option of doing exactly what your minimalist friend has asked, and give him nothing. Just a smile or a hug and your best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!