A couple of weeks ago I posted about a simplified Christmas. As part of this preparation, I suggested thinking about gifts that you might want to receive in advance, to avoid people giving you unwanted items and wasting their money.

But what do you get a minimalist (or someone who is trying to become more minimalist)? Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Something for their passion

Contrary to some clickbait article titles, you can be a minimalist and own more than 57 items. Being a minimalist is about reducing the focus on things you don’t value, and increasing the scale and focus on things you do value.

If you know your minimalist well and know what their passion is, there’s nothing wrong with a physical gift that aligns with this. Just be mindful that it is something that they will actually use for what they value doing, rather than something that is themed around it. For example, for someone into hiking you might ask if you can buy them a camping stove, or a spork, or a water bottle. But don’t buy them a t-shirt with a slogan like ‘follow your own path’ or a mug with ‘world’s best hiker’ printed on it.

I don’t know if these things exist, but you know what I mean…

Something consumable

Gifts are all about treating someone, and this might be something that is used rather than just owned. You could get your minimalist some fancy soap or bath bubbles (just check if they have a preferred brand or sensitive skin first), a nice bottle of champagne, or some hand made chocolates.

During lockdown there were big delays on shipping and only food shops were open, so for my partner’s birthday I went to the deli and bought a mini smorgasbord of olives, smoked meats, blue cheese and fresh pasta. Yum!

It still makes a great gift if it something special that you wouldn’t have ordinarily. You might even make something yourself if that’s where you talent lies.

Something to experience

You could find out if there’s a particular event that your recipient wants to go to, and either take them out or buy them tickets.

It might be a movie, a music concert, entry to a museum or a zoo… whatever they are in to. Many places also do annual memberships if you want to get something bigger.

Also consider restaurant vouchers, vouchers for spa treatments, escape rooms, cooking classes, yoga retreats.. the list is endless!

Something to subscribe to

A great gift I’ve both given and received is a subscription, because it’s something you continue to enjoy long after the occasion itself.

I’ve given magazine subscriptions (minimalists can re-gift these once they are finished with them), annual subscriptions to ad-free versions of services like Spotify and streaming TV services.

Just remember to cancel the direct debit once the year is up.

Before you buy….

I think one of the most important things you can do is to ask the recipient before you go out and spend money. They might already have something, have an alternative that they would prefer or are just not in the right season for something.

It’s nice to be able to surprise someone, but you really need to know them to do this. Or hack into their Google search history…

Are you a minimalist? What’s a great gift that you’ve received that doesn’t misalign with your values?