With the years, I have grown really tired of 'stuff'. I think I have learned to appreciate a different type of things and to put more value on a happy lifestyle rather than material things. At home, we recently started a very big session of decluttering and I discovered we owned a whole lot of very unnecessary things. I discovered what was more valuable to my life and what was not.
This leads me to Christmas gifting and receiving. I love Christmas and I adore coming up with beautiful thoughtful gift ideas every year. But this year, I want to be extra thoughtful and give presents that do not create clutter in someone else's life. I came up with a list of things and I hope this can be helpful to others who are also interested in a more minimalist approach to Christmas gifting.
- You could get someone a theatre voucher, a cinema membership, a museum exhibition entry or a concert ticket for the culture lovers.
- If you know that the person in question has been mentioning wanting to get photos done for their family, couple etc. you could get them a voucher towards a photo session (make sure to ask them if they have a list of preferred photographers).
- For the food lovers, a restaurant voucher is a fantastic idea (we have been gifted some in the past and really loved it) as well as the gift of a food tour. You can find great food tours in many cities. As for Dublin, I can personally vouch for the Delicious Dublin Tours, not just because Ketty is a friend, but because I have attended one and thoroughly enjoyed it.
And then, there are the other gifts that can be a gift of time, immaterial, edible or charitable:
- If I offer people a restaurant voucher or other experience and I know they have children, I usually add a note with the gift of my time for babysitting on the day they choose to go and enjoy their dinner out, concert, play etc.
- Other gifts of your time can include offering to help someone with something they really need (painting a house, gardening, fixing furniture etc.) but that you know they have been putting off for a while.
A gift of cooking a delicious meal for people is also a great idea if you are talented for it.
- If you know the person owns a Kindle or other reading tablet because they want to reduce the amount of books on their shelves, you could give an Amazon voucher to put towards e-books (or a voucher for whatever company their tablet is connected to). I know this is one of my gifts once again this year because this is what I asked for.
- An edible gift or food hamper is also a fantastic idea (wink wink to everybody I know). Use a recyclable box or a lovely tote bag that can be reused for grocery shopping and fill it with delicious fine things you have picked carefully. I will not go into details so as not to spoil the surprise to anyone this year (I love gifting those) but it can include: wine, specialty biscuits or crackers, spices, chocolates, little cakes (at Christmas time, you can find some wonderful ones like stollen, panettone, etc.), cheese etc. You could also gift them a voucher for their favourite gourmet store or cheesemonger. And of course, you could also include homemade edible gifts in the hamper which is an extra lovely touch.
- And last but not least, a gift to someone could simply be a voucher for a charity that matter to them. In a time when a lot of us already have more than we need, I know this is something really appreciated. The one I choose most often these days is Kiva, an international nonprofit organisation of funding loans (you can help borrowers around the world with their business, education, access to clean energy etc. - for example, you could help a group of women farming in Guatemala or a single mum in Vietnam wanting to send her kids to school etc. there are many many people waiting for funding).
Are those types of gifts already something you do? If you have any other suggestions of minimalist gifts, please share in the comments below!