I have begun a journey into minimalism, and while I know I am only at the very beginning of that journey, knowing why I’m on this path has created a sense of peace and excitement in me. I want to have a simplified life, to have less stuff to clutter up my space and my mind.
I have Marie Kondo-ed my condo, super organized my kitchen, rearranged my furniture and donated and tossed out more than I knew I had. And yet, while things look nice and tidy, there is still tons in cupboards and closets. Lots I can still let go of and never miss. I know this. But, it is a journey and letting go of things is hard. I know I will be digging back into that closet and removing tops and things that either don’t fit or that I don’t wear. And while previously this would have been a daunting prospect, I am actually excited for the day when this happens.
Bearing in mind that I am turning towards a more minimalist lifestyle, I decided that this year I want to keep Christmas gifts super practical and simple. Plus, my family is hard to buy for because they a) kinda don’t want anything, and b) already have (like so many of us) pretty much everything they want or need.
To that end, I thought many of you might be a similar boat as me, and so I have put together a minimalist gift guide for you.
At Home Manicure Set
This is a practical and yet thoughtful gift. While many of us get our nails done at spas, some do prefer doing their themselves, or only on occasions. So grab a couple of bottles of nail polish, maybe a nice nail file or hand cream and you have yourself a nice little manicure gift set. Practical, affordable, and minimalistic. You are not adding “stuff” to anyone’s home that they may one day have to donate or toss.
I know these don’t seem super personal or thoughtful, but gift cards are super practical. A gift card to a favourite store is always appreciated, or for an event like a day trip to a zoo or museum (be mindful of Covid closures) is always a treat. If you know someone who is passionate about crafting or reading those might be great shop locations to purchase a gift card for. And, you could always tuck the gift on top of something like a box of Belgium chocolates to add a little something extra.
I love this idea so much. Find a recipe online and then print it off and gather the ingredients you need to create a dinner kit or gift basket! I’m thinking a soup recipe would be great, one that includes dry ingredients like legumes or rice, or even a curry dish. Keep in mind who you are buying for: do they have dietary restrictions? Do they enjoy spicy foods or not so much? This can be a really thoughtful gift, and one that is practical and definitely minimialistic. And, people love consumables in my experience.
Notebooks, Cards and Journals
We live in such a technological world, but I am finding that returning to traditional journals and stationary is becoming a trend again. A trend that I hope sticks around because writing down things instead of typing is so much better for your brain and can help reduce stress. So a pretty journal coupled with a day planner or a package of cards can make a nice gift for the writer in your life, or anyone really.
Self Care Day Kit
Sometimes we need a little push to take some time to ourselves. So why not buy a friend or family member a few things to help take some time out to themselves? A self care day kit can include bubble bath, a face mask and even a bath pillow or scented candle. Be sure to try and items that are cruelty free and made with natural ingredients as opposed to cheaper items that include artificial scents and parabens. Or, you could do something simpler and provide some items a person can easily carry in their purse like lip balm, a worry stone or some hand cream. Little things that promote self care are sometimes all we need to stop and take a deep breath.
Gourmet Tea/Coffee Basket
Who doesn’t like their daily dose of caffeine? It is certainly a go to for many of us in the morning, but we often don’t spurge on fancy teas or expensive coffee. So this is the perfect gift to give. Some gourmet coffee beans wrapped with a pretty bow or a some organic loose leaf tea is always a nice treat. Perhaps pick out a few sample sizes and put those together in a little basket. Or, add in a coffee grinder for the coffee beans. Be sure to consider who you are buying for–will they use that coffee grinder after the beans are used up? Remember, the point here is to give something that is practical and appreciated and that won’t be adding clutter to someone’s life.
Home Made Goodies
Honestly, why not? Especially if someone has a sweet tooth. It’s much more thoughtful than a generic box of chocolates. Bake something festive like gingerbread men, or jam thumbprints, or even something on the healthier side that contains less sugar and lard. You can even print out the recipe so they make the cookies again themselves. Again, know who you are giving to-this might not be the best for the person who wants to lose weight or who is trying to cut sugar out of their diet.
Gift of Massage
Minimalists often prefer experiences over things. So why not offer the ultimate experience in relaxation and gift a massage to them? Many clinics offer gift certificates. This would be a gift I would love to get because the benefits of massage are for both your body and mind.
Himlayan Salt Lamp/Candle
I know this is a thing that will take up room in a home, but the thing about minimalism is that it doesn’t mean you live with the barest of necessities. It just means you live more simplified and are more conscious of what you bring into your home and why. Himalayan salt lamps are soothing, are said to have health benefits. For one, it creates a calming ambience, and there is some research to support that they create negative ions which help purify the air, as well as have additional health benefits. This can be the perfect gift for a minimalist, as it’s functional, completely natural and soothing. Minimalism is, in my opinion, as much about a state of mind as a lifestyle. If the minimalist in your life is looking to reduce stress and anxiety, or is spiritual, this is likely the perfect gift to give.
This is awesome for the minimalist who loves to read but doesn’t want books cluttering up their house. As an avid reader, I have a huge library and it has become very challenging to house and manage all the books I have. Even though I have donated a good many of them. Invest in a good e-reader for the minimalist in your life, or if they already have, purchase a gift certificate so that they can buy an e-book. Personally, I was delighted to be gift with an e-reader myself even long before I was interested in minimalism.
Shopping for gifts can be hard, especially at Christmas when you are buying for several individuals. Consider cutting down your list in order to be more minimal in your life. Does your boss really need that bottle of wine? Does your kid’s teacher need another coffee mug? I’ll answer this one for you as a teacher: NO!
It is totally okay not to buy for everyone in your life, especially if you don’t know them that well. So consider this as well when you are out shopping or drawing up your list for this Christmas. There are a lot of other ways to say Merry Christmas–with a simple card, a box of donuts for your staff, or perhaps with a thoughtful gesture.
Are you going to be more minimal this Christmas? Share your thoughts and plans in the comments below.