A Guide to Minimalist Gift Giving

37 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes, 3 bags

As we minimise our belongings, we start to see through the illusion that stuff is actually valuable. Value is subjective, and without personal significance, most stuff is actually just junk. Unnecessary stuff drains us of valuable resources and creates physical weight in our lives. We don’t even get to take it with us when we die. Punked!

As you minimise your belongings, start to consider if you are contributing to somebody else’s clutter. Is it likely that half your gifts will end up forgotten, gathering dust?

Culturally, gift giving has been used to show love and appreciation. During the holiday season we shop in an attempt to bring joy to others. While this is a beautiful sentiment, our love for people is not defined by how shiny and new the gifts we give are.

A good gift is one that the receiver really wants, needs, or enjoys. The gift guide below is part truth, part humour. You get to decide which is which.

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  1. Home made art/card. You made it, and you are special. Therefore ‘it’ is special. ‘It’ is also biodegradable.
  2. Voodoo/chakra crystal. Make your loved ones vibrate with a more superior energy. Also doubles as great outdoor plant feature.
  3. Re-gift. If a loved one really loves something you own and you no longer have a need for it, shine it up and re-gift it.
  4. Secondhand treasures. A friend of mine and I were recently discussing a book, and it sounded great, and I really wanted to read it. Said friend then told me that she found the book secondhand and will gift it to me. I get to experience reading the book, and give it away guilt-free after. Ideal!
  5. Your knowledge. I once lived in Montreal for four months and made a tour guide book of all the cool stuff in Montreal for my friend who would be moving there after I had left. He loved the book and actually used it.
  6. Gift something your loved one already uses. Give them their favourite perfume, magazine subscription, a lifetime supply of Vitamin C, etc.
  7. Give experiences or consumables. Gift them a chocolate, a meat, a homemade pie, a bunch of flowers, a road trip, a hotel room, a spa day, a dinner voucher, etc.
  8. Digital gifts. Try e-books, subscriptions to journals, learning programs, etc.
  9. A homemade gift voucher (cash in an envelope) towards something important they are saving for.
  10. Best times photo collage poster. Biodegradable. Seriously though, if you are capable, make something they will actually use, like a scarf or a sock or something.            

When you shop this season, remember, as the old saying goes, ‘do not gift unto thee what thou shalt not want gifted upon thyself’!

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Look into his eyes.

Happy Holidays!


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