The minimalist in your life may not want much, but a unique gift will show how much you care.
What do you get that person on your list who has everything? Easy. More things. People who have lots of stuff tend to crave more stuff. But what do you get that person who has nothing and wants nothing? No thing (not to be confused with “nothing”). Most people know gifts don’t have to be tangible objects, but with minimalism on the rise, especially among millennials, it can be challenging to think of meaningful presents.
Here are some thoughtful, creative gift ideas for that minimalist in your life.
Would your beloved minimalist enjoy going to an Escape Room? On a hot air balloon ride? Zip-lining? Parasailing? Skydiving? Or perhaps something slightly less adventurous, like going to see a musical, a sporting event, concert, comedy routine or public speaker?
Take it up a notch: Instead of one evening, take them to a weekend festival, Ren faire, convention (personalized to their interests, such as Comic-Con or a TEDx conference) or short weekend getaway together.
2. Digital gift
While minimalists usually don’t have lots of gadgets lying around, many have one treasured digital device — a smartphone, for example. Is there an app or accessory that would simplify or improve an aspect of their daily life? People who crave clutter-free lives tend to lean toward intentional, minimalist design, so search for simple, streamlined apps based on your minimalist’s interests. Examples include iA Writer (for content creators) and Meditation Studio (for Zen seekers).
Take it up a notch: Treat your person to a monthly or yearly subscription. Example: Headspace (for relaxation and meditation) is $12.99 per month or $100 annually (or a $400 lifetime subscription if you’re feeling quite generous).
Another notch: Does your special person need an upgraded version of their one device?
Write (or hire someone on Fiverr to write) a song, poem or other creative project. Read or perform it for them and then offer to email it to them so they can look at it whenever they want.
Take it up a notch (or a note!): Find a local band or musician to perform it live as a surprise.
Find out your minimalist’s favorite charity and make a donation in their name. Or research a cause that you know pulls on their heartstrings, and find ways to support coinciding organizations. Is the minimalist in your life a cancer survivor, for example? Consider doing a benefit walk and surprising them by organizing a team or handling the legwork for a fund-raiser that benefits the cause.
Take it up a notch: Make a sizable enough donation to warrant their name on a plaque, brick or building.
While minimalists prefer not to collect knickknacks, they do enjoy useful items that will disappear! Put together a personalized gift of food or consumables. Consider placing the items in a multipurpose container, such as a reusable grocery bag. Add their favorite items or homemade goodies. Examples include tasty treats, unique snacks or hand-made soaps/lotions/deodorants. (Note: make sure the items are sustainably made, as this is usually important to minimalists.)
6. Personalized coupons
Remember those coupons you gave your parents when you were a kid? “Good for one free hug!” Well, they still work. You just might need to give some of them a slight makeover and personalization (e.g. another form of affection for your significant other). For someone you live with, think of chores they don’t like to do that you might be able to offer, or activities they’re always asking you to do that you typically grumble about. Examples: “Exchange to pick the movie tonight” or “Good for one hour of computer help!”
Take it up a notch: Include some special, prearranged “coupons” that you’ve already paid for, such as a massage at the local spa or a mani/pedi at the nail salon.
7. Themed meal or mini-party
Whether you cook your minimalist a savory dinner complete with their own signature cocktail or order takeout with their favorite decadent dessert, the idea is to create a celebratory atmosphere uniquely for them. If you don’t know their tastes, do some secret spy work by calling one of their family members, or just ask them yourself. Whether it’s just the two of you or a small group, you can make it feel festive by decorating the meeting spot with something they love and playing the music they like. When someone sees an atmosphere infused with their personal tastes, interests and style, they can’t help but feel incredibly cared for.
Take it up a notch: Surprise parties aren’t just for birthdays. Throw a large party for those minimalist extroverts out there, or organize a smaller gathering for your cherished introvert.
8. Your time
A universal currency of sorts, time is of great value in our fast-paced culture, making it a perfect gift. Whether it’s a day hiking together, sipping beverages in a cafe or simply sitting on a front stoop for a chat, your undivided attention is arguably the greatest gift you can give.