When practicing a minimalist lifestyle, Christmas can get a bit complicated. While you’re learning to love living with less and enjoying spending your hard-earned cashola on experiences that bring joy and well-thought out purchases, your family and friends might be into a more traditional Christmas laden with novelty nick-nacks and piles of gifts.
Of course, you want to enjoy family traditions and feast on as many mince pies as you can possibly fit in your mouth at once, but you might find gifting a bit more difficult. You want to show your loved ones you care and engage in the gift-giving tradition, without winding up with an apartment full of things you just don’t need.
It’s important to note here that at first glance this sounds ungrateful. Oh, the poor privileged white millennial doesn’t want her Christmas gifts. But dig a little deeper and it’s actually quite a mindful way to look at the festa of consumerism that we’ve begun to know as Christmas. Giving and receiving things that we simply don’t need is wasteful.
Minimalist Gifts to Give and Receive
Whether you’re the minimalist, you’re buying for one, or maybe your whole family is trying to be a little more mindful with their consumption, there are ways of doing Christmas gifting that isn’t incessant piles of “stuff” with no meaning. Try these minimalist Christmas gifts for the minimalist in your life this year, or popping these on your list for Santa if your family are plugging you for ideas already.
On the note of enjoying experiences over stuff, gifting an experience to the minimalist in your life is a great way to treat them to something special – and you know it’ll be enjoyed. It doesn’t have to be some generic experience from a naff voucher site either. If you think of something they’ll love, email the venue directly and ask if they can write you a credit note, or if they have their own gift vouchers. If not, pop the cash in an envelope and make your own experience voucher on a free graphic design site like Canva.
Winery lunches, movie tickets, special performances and festival/gig tickets are all good places to start.
Fancier Versions of Everyday Essentials
These gifts are my favourite type of minimal gifts for Christmas. When you give a gift to someone, you want to know it’s going to be well-used or well-enjoyed. A good way of ensuring you don’t gift something that’ll sit and collect dust is to give fancy versions of everyday essentials.
Things like surface cleaners, condiments, spices and home fragrances are things that anyone will use – even a minimalist! William Sonoma have a gorgeous range of cleaners, hand soaps and room sprays that will make everyday chores much more enjoyable. Because it’s still an essential product, it’s ideal for a minimalist because it will be used to its maximum capacity – it has a purpose.
Babs Bodycare Natural Deodorants: $15-$22.00 (these are incredible)
Things to Make Life Simpler and Easier
Minimalists are all about streamlining processes and creating a more efficient life with room for joy. Nifty storage pieces or organisational tools are gifting fodder in this instance, so get yourself to Muji for an extensive range of minimal-friendly gifts. Alternatively, these make-life-easier gifts will woo the minimalist within.
Packing Cubes: $4.96
Donations or Sponsorships
Doing good with your Christmas gifts means a bucket-load of good vibes for both giver and receiver. While at first it might sting a little that you haven’t snagged your usual truck load of socks, jocks and items of makeup that may or may not inflame your face, when you really think about it, you’ll find yourself feeling grateful for things like your health, your happiness and your capacity to give back.
Edgar’s Mission is an animal sanctuary that specialises in rescuing animals in danger. Whether that be because of their involvement in the meat and dairy industries, or because of injury, illness or neglect, Edgar’s Mission provides a safe, nurturing home where they can thrive. This Christmas, why not give the gift of animal sponsorship, or a one off donation to the sanctuary? By sponsoring an animal or donating to the charity, you’re helping to fund Edgar’s Mission’s vital work and help animals live healthier, happier lives.
By giving and receiving more minimal-focused gifts this Christmas, we can cut out the consumerist greed that’s usually associated with Christmas. By designing lives filled with joy instead of stuff we really don’t need, we can truly enjoy the holidays, take a break and prepare for a new year.