30 items of clothing, 7 pairs of shoes, 2 bags
Through December I am uploading a series of posts and videos on the topic of minimalism during the holiday season. Today, I want to offer some advice for minimalist gift giving.
Last year I wrote a gift guide for the minimalist. I won’t go into the same detail today, the video below does that perfectly well. I would like to summarise my ideas instead.
Gift giving is a beautiful thing. The sentiment which guides us to buy things for our loved ones comes from a good place. The reality though, is that unless we know the loved one well enough to know or ask what they want, we might end up getting something the person does not want at all. We’ve all been in that situation where we receive a gift, but don’t really like it and then have nothing to do with it. We feel bad re-gifting, selling or donating the item, as there is a sentiment attached to it. This is one of the ways in which clutter can grow in our homes.
As a general warning, be careful not to project your own values onto your loved ones. Be sure that you are ultimately shopping to satisfy their needs, not your own. If you suspect that your loved one would not appreciate any of my suggestions, and in fact would prefer diamond earrings, go get those. It’s really not our job to decide what other people like, and there is nothing more unattractive than someone imposing their lifestyle or values on you when it’s not something that interests you. Self awareness and objectivity should be practiced in all areas of life.
Having said that, if you feel like you understand the gift receiver well enough to make decisions about what they might enjoy, please keep reading.
It is not possible to know exactly what everyone wants or needs, so I have some safe gift ideas that will satisfy most yet not cause clutter in the long run.
My first and most important tip is to gift consumables or experiences. Items that are edible or biodegradable are an easy way to bring joy to someone’s life. Most people love eating or drinking something, so take advantage of this life fact. Similarly, most people like doing things. Most people enjoy the prospect of eating out, getting a massage, seeing a film or trying something new. Experiences are invisible, but bring a lot of joy. As a bonus, you can take part in the experience, which can bring connection and love.
My second tip is to re-gift or shop secondhand for gifts. This will not work for all people, so beware to make sure that the person you have in mind will be accepting of this kind of gift. Some people might of course be insulted by a gesture of this kind. 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. Consider buying items secondhand if the person is sustainably minded. Secondhand books are great for even people who don’t fit that type.
My final tip is give your loved ones some sort of knowledge, whether it be your own, or from another source. This can come in the form of something you write yourself, or something created by someone else. This kind of gift can include subscriptions or courses, both real life or digital.
Below is a video discussing these ideas in more detail. Check out my YouTube channel for new videos about minimalism every week. Follow me on Instagram, where I record my minimalist outfits. Check me out on Facebook for resources and updates. I also have a Patreon account, where for a small donation you can view additional content.