A Minimalist’s Guide to Holiday Gifting

You think tchotchke is a Russian novelist. You’ve never bought a souvenir, a bauble or a trinket. Clutter makes you hyperventilate. There’s something to be said for the Zen-like state of living without encumbering things all around us. Even studies have shown that a de-cluttered living environment can be more conducive to creativity, focus and happiness. But being anti-thing can make the holidays a little rough and confusing.

Whether getting a gift for a minimalist or you happen to be one yourself struggling with holiday gift ideas, perhaps some of these will work for you.

Memberships are an incredible gift idea and they keep on giving throughout the year. Whether a membership to a public radio station, a museum, botanical gardens, or even a gym or spa, they can all be rewarding and inspiring for your loved ones for many days ahead.

Getting healthy can be a touching and meaningful gift for a growing family. Food is an essential part of all of our lives, making it the perfect gift for any occasion. A subscription to a CSA (community supported agriculture program) can provide fresh healthy fruits and vegetables each week. There are also wine clubs and chocolate-of-the-month clubs to keep your friends and family smiling all year long.

Donations don’t just have to be a slip of paper saying you sent money to a charity on someone’s behalf. You can have an orchard or entire acres of forest planted, adopt a cow, clean up a park or make a number of other exciting charitable contributions in someone’s honor.

An experience can also be a most memorable gift. Whether it’s a massage or a night’s stay at a luxury hotel, being pampered is one gift we all never tire of. Or perhaps you could plan a trip to a nearby animal shelter or go on an organic farm tour. A camping trip or a ski trip is one of those things we often say we’ll do during the season but can keep falling to the bottom of the list. As a gift, you can make that important commune with nature a priority once again. If camping is too complicated, you can take someone on a guided local wild edible food walk, or even visit an eclectic neighborhood in your town for an exotic meal and some fabulous window shopping.

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Photo: Robert S. Donovan courtesy of Creative Commons