With Christmas looming, part of me can’t help but feel a little bit icky about the amount of waste and unwanted gifts people will be buying. Don’t get me wrong, I’m buzzed to rummage around the op shops come January when everyone’s donated a bunch of great stuff, but I know a fair amount of unwanted gifts will spend a few months hidden under someone’s bed, and then probably hot foot it off to landfill.

Last year I wrote this minimalist’s guide to Christmas gifting, and now I’m bringing you a bang up to date minimalist gift guide for 2019. These purposeful Christmas gifts give your recipient something they’ll actually get use out of, no matter who they are or what they’re into. The result? Less waste, less landfill, less awkwardness and less wasted money on your end. 

1.Illustrations

Meaningful gifts are the BEST gifts, and a cutesy illustration of you and your friends, family or pets is a no-waste gift that’s really from the heart. Lorna Lah Illustrates can turn your favourite photos into gorgeous digital illustrations that you can print and frame for your loved ones.  

2. Decent Pillows

A pillow might sound like a strange gift, but you’re essentially giving the gift of better sleep and a life free from neck pain. Most people rarely invest in good quality pillows, and you’ll be sure this snoozy gift is something they’ll genuinely get use out of. My absolute favourite is the Ecosa pillow, with curved edges and adjustable height padding to get your alignment just right. It also compresses into a travel bag, so you never have to deal with flat hotel pillows ever again!

3. Dried Flowers

Love gifting flowers but hate how they’ll only last a few days? I recently discovered dried flowers and oh my goodness – game changer. They last months, sometimes even years, and you don’t have to worry about maintaining them and watching out for their eventual demise. Gather Bar does some gorgeous bouquets to suit all budgets, too.  

4. Cute Snacks

Ever been asked what you want for Christmas and wished you could just be totally frank and ask for groceries?! The older we get, the less “stuff” we need, and we find ourselves wishing our Grandparents would just quit buying us ugly jumpers and just accept that we want to buy bouji food that our salaries can’t justify. Gifting some luxury food for Christmas can be fairly low cost, and give your recipient the opportunity to enjoy something they’d never buy themselves. Whether it’s a decent hunk of extra bouji brie, a fancy AF bottle of truffle oil, or some cute desk snacks like Shelby’s cookies, your loved ones will be genuinely thankful that they’ll get use out of your gift! 

5. Kitchen Equipment

Okay, this is textbook adulting, but a high quality kitchen utensil is one of the most life-improving gifts you can give – and it falls into the category of something they’d never usually buy themselves. We have this Joseph Joseph Garlic Press, and oh my lord, it’s the best. At almost $40, it’s pretty bouji, but it’s such great quality and a gift that’ll actually get used – and last. Other bouji-but-purposeful kitchen goodies could be decent knives that weren’t $3 from Kmart, chopping boards and serving spoons. Good quality ones will last a lifetime. You could also opt for nifty game changers like a cherry pipper or an apple corer to make fruit cutting really easy.  

6. A Wine Subscription

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know how much I love getting alcohol delivered (like, seriously). I’ve been getting quarterly boxes from Good Pair Days all year, and I absolutely LOVE IT. You can gift a subscription or one-off box, and that allows your recipient to hop on and answer the wine questionnaire that determines their preferences. Then, they’re sent wines tailored to their taste, with a little info card that explains about the wine, where it was made, and what foods it pairs best with. It’s the perfect gift for the wine wanker in your life. 

7. Entertainment Book Membership

I’ll be honest, I used to think these voucher books were a bit of a half baked gift, but the Entertainment Book for Dining is actually packed with really bloody good deals and freebies – and all profits are donated to a charity of your choice. Bonus!

Laying low this December while you free up cash for Christmas gifting? Try these 9 fun things to do for under $20 when you’re on a money diet. And if you’re after some preloved Christmas pressies for your fashion-loving pals, check out my second hand store for midsize babes sized 12-16.