A Mildy Minimalist Gift Guide
I will confess I still look forward to receiving presents on Christmas. I do still have a wishlist. But more than the receiving of gifts, I really enjoy giving them more. I was even commenting to my husband the other day, about how I hate mailing gifts to people during the holidays because then I miss out on seeing their delight when they open them. It was definitely a kind of competitive goal to see who could get mom or dad to laugh or cry the most when they opened their gifts Christmas morning. Giving gifts is definitely a family love language.
As I’ve grown into a sort of mild minimalism in my life, I definitely value receiving and giving different kinds of gifts than I used to. I generally try to avoid nick-knacks and other decorative items that don’t serve a purpose in someone’s life (unless they are really beautiful and high quality and I know they would love it and give it a special place in their home or jewelry collection). I also tend to avoid generic gift cards and cash, mainly because they aren’t as exciting to watch people open (just a personal preference). Instead, I prioritize consumable, practical, and experience related gifts. Below is a quick guide with minimalistic gifts for everyone on your Christmas list!
Get the whole family at once (optional)
Two years ago my immediate family all agreed we were going to skip Christmas presents entirely and all chip in to rent a cabin over New Years. It was a picture perfect weekend of playing games, watching Star Wars (it’s become a thing we do every year), and sharing meals together. We even did some star gazing out on the frozen lake!
Gifts for Kids
I love the “something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read” mantra for kids’ gifts. This is something I definitely like to practice with our daughter. Christmas for her starts with the Feast of St. Nicholas on December 6 (today!). She leaves her shoes out the night before and she receives some candy and Christmas PJs. Then, small books in her stocking on Christmas Day. For the “big” present I like to focus on toys that are educational and that inspire creative and imaginative play.
- Dress Up Clothes
- Toy Cooking Sets
- Art and Craft Supplies
- Outdoor Toys
- Educational Games
- Tickets to experiences like a concert, play, or dance program
You get the idea…
Gifts for Mom / Grandma
For mom’s and mom’s-in-law I love to think “let’s spoil mom”. I always try to think of things that she would love but wouldn’t necessarily purchase for herself. Here are my favorite consumable and experience related gifts for Mom:
- Facial Masks / Lotion / Scrubs / Bath Salts
- Scented Candles
- Cozy Wearables (socks, slippers, sweaters…etc)
- Books she would enjoy (or a gift card to her favorite bookstore)
- Wine (or other special beverage she likes)
- Homemade treats
- Movie or Show Tickets (make it a gift-date!)
- Experience Gift Card (Wine and Canvas type events, etc, See Groupon)
- Photo book with Kid’s Pictures
Gifts for Dad / Grandpa
Why is it that goofy gifts are the standard for men? I’m not really sure, but I generally just go with it. I try to give the goofy gifts a practical spin though. Otherwise they just end up with a man cave full of funny trinkets! Most of the men in my life really value quality time, so I do try to focus on experience related gifts for them.
- Coupon for a Coffee Date
- Go Fishing/Hunting with him (or whatever activity he enjoys)
- Gear or tools for his favorite hobby
- Funny Clothing or Accessories (that are actually wearable in public…)
- Book or gift card for books
- Magazine Subscription
- Gift card/Groupon for Craft Beer Tasting (or whiskey is fun too)
Sisters, Girlfriends, Wives
You can certainly pull from the “mom” category for sisters, sisters-in-law and female friends, but here are some other ideas:
- Ladies day/night out (if you’re a guy, just make a cute coupon with a Visa giftcard for her to use with her friends!)
- Spa Day (check out your nearest cosmetology school for cheap facials and massages!)
- Skincare and Cosmetic Giftcards
- Food and Wine (always appreciated, try and make it interesting!)
- Wine Tasting Date
- Really Nice Chocolate
- Gourmet Coffee/Tea/Cocoa
- Yoga/Fitness Classes (but only if she has expressly shown interest in these!)
Brothers, Boyfriends, Husbands
Again, feel free to borrow from the “dad” category.
- Funny underwear or socks
- Tech Accessories (that he will actually use)
- Cooking Gadgets (more and more men are interested in cooking these days, and they are ALL OVER the latest tools!)
- Gift card to his favorite local restaurant OR Make him a special dinner
- Outdoor gear
- Nerf Guns (make sure you get more than one gun! Start a post-Christmas dinner battle! Maybe take it outside if you’re at Grandma’s house…)
- Board Games
- Video Games best played with more than one person. Jackbox Games are great!
What did I miss??? What kinds of minimalist presents do you like to give? 🙂