The time is here. It’s mid-November.
And all holiday shoppers know what I mean by that.
BUT! Before we furrow our brows and reach for the Target ad, consider this:
what if this year could be a Minimalist Christmas?
As I began pondering this idea for myself, I came across some resources that were helpful for me, and I’d like to share them with you.
Okay, let’s start simple. This BuzzFeed article, 16 Minimalist Gifts You Can Give This Christmas, is a good one to bring your anxiety levels down about changing your Christmas routine and to bring up your confidence! Because you can do this! Ideas here include:
- concert tickets
- free night of baby or dog sitting
- a specialty food you are good at making
- a music or TV streaming subscription
- gifting animals to rural communities
So we’re feelin’ good, right? Got your confidence boost?
Now, instead of putting the article about the cliche importance of time at the end, I’m putting it up here toward the top because it is that important. The Gift of Time goes beyond any “ism” we choose to live by. So before we go any further, brush up on one the most important values of the season, one that transcends the religious traditions we partake in this time of year.
BecomingMinimalist.com’s Helpful Guide to Simple Christmas Links provides several more links to:
- help you rethink Christmas gift giving,
- provide gift-giving ideas,
- direct you toward simple, practical holiday lifestyle guides, and
- support emotional needs during the holidays.
It’s a great “one stop shop” kind of web page. Some links included here are:
- One Less Gift – A Holiday Gift Exemption Certificate
- Three Steps to a Simplified Holiday
- How to Survive (and Thrive) During the Holidays When You Feel Alone
Leave it to moms to come up with anecdotes to guide everyday life. With these 90 Clutter Free Gift Ideas from The Minimalist Mom, we are encouraged to give “Things to nibble, sip, read, watch, learn, laugh, smell… Nothing to dust” once the holidays have passed. Things like:
- consumables such as wine, cheese, homemade food, plants
- experiences such as passes for ice skating or indoor rock climbing, or a holiday weekend at your second house
- digital gifts such as a New York Times subscription or Flickr Pro account
- gift cards to local cafes, specialty stores, boutiques, or hobby stores
What is a post about minimalism without a feature from The Minimalists? This holiday Q&A, Minimalist Gift-Giving, asks Joshua and Ryan questions like:
- Before you were minimalists, how did you approach holiday gift-giving?
- Do you have any tips for how to resist the gift-giving frenzy?
- How do you families feel about your minimalist ways? Do you they expect you to buy them gifts?
- Any thoughts on how to stay focused on meaningful gifts?
By now, I am pretty confident that everyone in America is aware that 2016 is the 100th birthday of the U.S. National Park System. Someone with an affinity for the great outdoors might love a donation in their name to the NPS, or perhaps gift package from The Nature Conservancy.
So if you’re the one trying to give minimalist gifts to others, what in heaven’s name do you do when you have a self-proclaimed minimalist (or someone who just doesn’t want stuff) on your list? Top Ten Gifts for a Minimalist suggests things like:
- a Kindle
- a document/photo scanner
- a charitable donation in their name
- a museum, zoo, aquarium, etc. membership
- nothing (seriously)!
And if you are said self-identified minimalist (whether noob or seasoned!), or someone who just doesn’t want stuff?
You may be thinking, on one hand “you have the urge to purge your household of unwanted things; and on the other, you may be expected to produce gifts for friends and family. It seems like the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone,” says Miss Minimalist in her article Minimalist Holiday: Declutter-Gifts. Now repeat after me: not “regifting,” but decluttering. It sounds odd, and it might seem difficult, but it’s not impossible. What better way to give heirlooms, extravagances, and rarities a trusted new home? Check out the link for more criteria to help guide your 2-for-1 quest.
I think that’s a great start considering we have Thanksgiving just around the corner. Even if you switch out one “standard” gift with one of these minimally-minded gifts, victory is yours!
Who knows, you might even bring some enthusiastic friends along for the ride:
(We all have friends like that guy in the middle… Minimalism doesn’t call to everyone!)
Best of luck to you! And please comment with any additional resources you find. The more the merrier.
Thanks for reading!