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Gift ideas for minimalists

What to get the person who has nothing

By Business Rules for LifePublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Gift ideas for minimalists
Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

I find gift giving stressful.

I can spend hours and even days searching for the perfect item, or at least what I think someone else's perfect is.

It then taints the occasion as I examine the recipients face to judge their reaction. Do they like it? Is it 'them'? They have barely unwrapped the thing before I'm shoving the receipt into their hand. You can return it!

Receiving gifts is just as bad, and I feel genuine discomfort at the thought of someone wasting money on me.

So what do you get a minimalist (or someone who is trying to become more minimalist)? Nothing? Well, here are a few alternate ideas to get you started...

Something for their passion

Contrary to some clickbait article titles, you can be a minimalist and own more than 57 items. Being a minimalist is about reducing the focus on things you don't value, and increasing the scale and focus on things you do value.

If you know your minimalist well and know what their passion is, there's nothing wrong with a physical gift that aligns with this. Just be mindful that it is something that they will actually use for what they value doing, rather than something that is themed around it. For example, for someone into hiking you might ask if you can buy them a camping stove, or a spork, or a water bottle.

But don't buy them a t-shirt with a slogan like 'follow your own path' or a mug with 'world's best hiker' printed on it.

I don't know if these things exist, but you know what I mean...

Something consumable

Gifts are all about treating someone, and this might be something that is used rather than just owned. You could get your minimalist some fancy soap or bath bubbles (just check if they have a preferred brand or sensitive skin first), a nice bottle of champagne, or some hand made chocolates.

During lockdown there were big delays on shipping and only food shops were open, so for my partner's birthday I went to the deli and bought a mini smorgasbord of olives, smoked meats, blue cheese and fresh pasta. Yum!

It still makes a great gift if it something special that you wouldn't have bought ordinarily. You might even make something yourself if that's where you talent lies.

Something to experience

You could find out if there's a particular event that your recipient wants to go to, and either take them out or buy them tickets. It might be a movie, a music concert, entry to a museum or a zoo... whatever they are in to. Many places also do annual memberships if you want to get something bigger.

Also consider restaurant vouchers, vouchers for spa treatments, escape rooms, cooking classes, yoga retreats.. the list is endless!

Something to subscribe to

A great gift I've both given and received is a subscription, because it's something you continue to enjoy long after the occasion itself.

I've given magazine subscriptions (minimalists can re-gift these once they are finished with them), annual subscriptions to ad-free versions of services like Spotify and streaming TV services, and subscriptions to Amazon audio just to name a few.

Just remember to cancel the direct debit once the year is up!

Ask before you buy....

The most important thing you can do is to ask the recipient before you go out and spend money. They might already have something, have an alternative that they would prefer or are just not in the right season for something.

It's nice to be able to surprise someone, but you really need to know them to do this. Or hack into their Google search history...

how to

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Business Rules for Life

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