Minimalist Gifts

Not wanting her minimalism to dampen the joy of gift-giving, reader Patricia asks for some suggestions for gifts to give and receive that are not objects. Here’s a few of my favorites:

My Favorite Gift

My Favorite Gift

1) My absolute favorite gift to give and receive is time together. Consider tickets to an activity you both enjoy like a sports event, a play or a trans-continental train ride. A trip to Europe would be welcome. Once, I gifted my father tickets to the Glen Miller Orchestra (a favorite of his youth.) Mom, dad and I attended the concert together. I have seen my father cry just twice in his lifetime. On the day his mother died, and when he was thanking me for the gift of the concert.

2) Consumables: Sure, chocolate, wine and cheese are good. But how about postcards and stamps? Crossword puzzle books? Handmade soap? Firewood? Decorations made from nature that will decompose, like flowers, pumpkins, ivy, pinecones, etc. I knew a woman who loved to grow flowers. She collected vases from friends and thrift shops. All summer long she created beautiful floral arrangements and delivered them to the local nursing homes.

3) Purchase digital services like I-tunes or Shutterfly.

4) Photos (print or digital) of your loved one’s family. Preferably ones they could not easily get themselves like antique family photos that you have copied for the whole family or candid snapshots of your nieces and nephews when you have them for a sleepover.

5) A gift to a charity that you both admire. The Red Cross. The Heifer Project. Habitat for Humanity. Physicians Without Borders. You get the idea.

6) A gift of service. Cleaning out the gutters of an elderly homeowner. Babysitting for new parents. Use of your guest bedroom, if you live in  a place people like to visit. If you have a talent like photography or baking the most amazing treats, you can offer to do that for a special occasion.

We are limited only by our lack of imagination.



4 responses to “Minimalist Gifts

  1. Great suggestions Fawn! I’m making photo books for my grandkids this year, and as I go thru old photos, I’m sorting out pics of their families to give to my siblings, nieces and nephews. Whether just an envelope or actual albums remains to be seen.

    AND I’m clearing out the photos of people i can’t identify, zoo animals, and unidentifiable places, too. Win/win.

  2. I enjoyed the story about your sweet Dad’s Christmas present. It was very heartwarming. Thanks for suggesting the ticket idea – I think I am going to request them for an amusement park (Dolly Wood) this year for my Christmas present. I am also going to ask my Mother if she would like them also. Money is also a good gift to give and in the past when my children received it I put into their savings account until it was large enough to invest in the stock market. My children were tickled (not so much when they were very young) when it grew and helped them pay for college. I always told them it could be spent on any thing that was needed (car, travel, computer, down payment on a home, etc.) I also enjoy receiving chocolate, unscented soaps and lotions! I like to give these too. This summer I am going to give more flower arrangements from my garden to my neighbors. Fawn, Thank you for all of these great ideas.

  3. I guess I don’t have much of an imagination; I like cash and I like giving cash or gift cards. However, I do wrap it in a box so no one can guess what their gift is!

  4. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all the U.S.A. bloggers !!!

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