This year I’ve asked for no (or as few as I can convince my mom to buy) physical gifts. I already have too many things in my apartment, and if I find something I immediately *need* I go buy it myself.
As I’ve said here before, I’m trying to be more of a minimalist and intentional with my life, doing things like decluttering, selling, and giving away to curate what I actually want.
Here are a few suggestions I’ve come up with for giving the minimalist in your life (or anyone!) a gift (Christmas, birthday, or otherwise) without actually giving them an item that will clutter up their home:
A membership to a museum. I asked my parents for this for Christmas this year and I can’t wait to use it all year long.
Take them to dinner.
Do they have a reusable water bottle? If they don’t already have one, you can help them minimize waste, money, and time.
Something they will use up in the kitchen – fancy olive oil, nice cheeses, etc. While these are indeed physical items, they’re things we go through quite frequently and are always needed.
Go to a sporting event together.
Give them flowers! If you want to go the extra mile there are even flower subscription services.
Something that will allow them to get rid of a bunch of other random items, like something with many different purposes. Some examples would be one of the Dyson hair styling products (the base of the wand has many different attachments so that they can get rid of their straightener, blow dryer, curler, etc.), a Swiss Army Knife, or a Beer & Wine opener (so they can get rid of the two items in place of one).
A gift card. Gift cards never feel like a great thing to give, but they’re always welcomed!
Are they going on a trip? Offer to pick up the tab for one of their big-ticket items (my friend Kelsey’s dad is buying her ski pass for her trip this Winter!).
You could also have someone come to spruce up the yard, or if you have the skills, do it yourself!
Take them to coffee.
Make a donation in their honor to a cause they’re passionate about!
Is there a skill, hobby, or talent you have that they’ve been expressing interest in? Give them a few lessons!
Something that will allow them to stop purchasing items that don’t hold up the test of time. The best way to describe this would be an example: having one really good sweater can help you declutter a bunch of cheap sweaters that have misshapen or you don’t love. They won’t need to keep buying more in the future either.
Do they have kids? Babysit for them so they can have a night to themselves (or a date night).
Buy them a cooking class. My coworker just took her daughter to a macaron making class for her twelfth birthday and it was a big hit! Places like Sur la Table and William Sonoma have classes, but also check out local shops who might have availability too!
An item, like a book, that they can then regift, donate, or sell.
Take a lesson from my dad – one year he hired housekeepers to come with all of the more heavy-duty cleaning around the house. Or to keep costs down, do it yourself!
Wrap the gift in something eco-friendly or reusable (like a cloth bag or mason jar).
Do you have any other ideas? Let me know in the comments below!