Friends, the holiday season is upon us, and I am over-the-moon excited about it. Pumpkins, then turkeys, then the finale of peppermint, presents, and snow… giddy doesn’t even begin to describe my face right now. Well actually, creepy might do the job since there's no one else in the room and my smile is freakishly huge...
One of the most common questions I get asked as an intentional home coach involves this time of year. It means getting and giving more stuff, and minimalism is all about being intentional with what you bring into your home, right? So how can we even begin to be intentional in this season? It doesn’t have to be stressful or overly complicated, promise.
I want to give you some solid gift ideas for minimalists and their kids, so you can awkwardly tag your relatives in this post on Facebook and forward the email to them because, well that’s what family does around the holidays - get awkward. So what have you got to lose right? Let’s do this.
Gift Ideas for the Minimalist Mama
I don’t think one can easily have too many books, and if you stalk her Goodreads account or sneak into her Amazon wish list, you may get a peek at what she would want to dive into by the fire this winter. The great thing about receiving a book is that there’s no guilt in letting it go after you read it, so this can spare an awkward visit when Aunt Sally drops by and doesn’t see the 20x30 neon green picture frame she gave you hanging on any of your walls. Another great way to go is Audiobooks. No physical clutter, and mama can listen while she drives home from school drop-off and start her day right.
Coffee or tea
It’s delicious, it’s comforting in cold weather, and it’s disposable. Fine coffees and teas are a great gift! Plus, you can splurge on a mom you know who would never buy herself the good stuff at Teavana or Starbucks. Give her a break from the usual Costco-brand grounds and make her day.
Speaking of warm beverages, mugs make perfect gifts. Even if the minimalist you know has plenty of them already, getting a new one is always exciting and she can make the choice to let go of one or two of her old mugs in favor of the super cute new one you got her. I'd buy from Starbucks or Target to make sure she likes it ;)
Framed photos or wall art
The thing about minimalists is that our homes are very important to us, and we care about how we feel when we’re there. If you’re confident you know your minimalist's style or where she often shops for home decor, pick up a piece of art or a pack of frames and take initiative in printing out some of her Instagram photos for her. I get my tiny little Instagram-sized frames at Walmart for about $1 each and they match my decor perfectly. Chatbooks is another incredible option for gifts. They take your Instagram photos and turn them into beautiful, high-quality books that make great coffee table inhabitants and discussion starters. Anyone would love to have one of those in their home.
An art gallery wall
This is really a gift for both the parents and the kids, but it’s a good one! Since minimalist kids tend to draw and paint so much, we mamas have a tough time taking pictures of the photos and getting rid of the original, even though we know it’s what we have to do because there’s just so. much. art. Receiving a set of matching frames that would fit a typical piece of paper so we can start a collage wall for the very best of our kids’ art would be amazing! Plus, kids beam with pride when their art is displayed. Play it safe with a set of simple black or white frames.
Fine everyday items
Getting something like a fine soap imported from France or a delicious, fancy pack of macaroons is such a treat! Totally not something the average mom is going to spend money on buying for herself. Get fancy and be her favorite ;)
This is the ultimate gift for a minimalist because it’s the whole point of why we live the way we do. We want to live life, not be stuck at home cleaning up after it. Experiences > things. Splurge for your minimalist and her family to take a trip to Disneyland, or get them season passes to a local family fun zone. Snag a deal on plane tickets for she and her husband to finally visit New York City and offer to watch the kids. Take her to do something she’s always wanted to do or get her tickets to see her favorite play. Give her a gift certificate to her favorite restaurant. Get creative and thoughtful here, because that’s what the giving of this season is about.
Gift Ideas for the Minimalist Dude
A minimalist wallet
This is the cool new thing, and it’s taking over the man world. Take a look at the best of minimalist wallets by clicking here.
This is something super useful for the man who listens to music or podcasts while he works (like my hubby) and gets rid of the stupid cord that always comes with listening on-the-go. Bonus: it also eliminates the need for a bluetooth headset for talking on the phone. Getting rid of two things for one? Minimalist win.
For the hipster or generally badass minimalist, beard goods are a total slam dunk. Get him some fine beard balm or a classy new trimmer and he’ll love you just a little bit extra. I get my husband beard balm here, and he loves it.
A fine leather dude bag is a great idea! This is another gift he can ditch his others for and just have one awesome bag for carrying his stuff around during the day or a weekend work trip.
I got one of these for my hubby a couple Christmases ago, and he flipped out. He still loves it. Basically, what a Key-Bar is is a metal key holder that eliminates the jingle, bulk, and jumble of keys. It's minimalism at its finest, plus it looks super manly and you know, guys are into that.
A gift card
Something you need to understand about minimalism is that one of the key points is quality over quantity. So instead of having nine pairs of Target shoes, my husband has one amazing pair of black Nike shoes that are good quality and go with everything, a great pair of sandals for the warmer seasons, and a pair of leather dress shoes for church and weddings and things on the fancier side of life. My point is, getting a gift card to a high-quality store is a minimalist dream because we prefer to spend our money on fewer quality items than tons of crap. No offense to the rest of you...
Gift Ideas for the Minimalist’s Kids
Again, the books have the popular vote here. We minimalist mamas want our littles to use their imaginations, to bloom and grow without the noise of modern toys, so books pretty much take the cake. I really only get rid of books if they’re damaged or my out of my kids’ age range. Opt for a great classic (or even a set of classics) you know for sure isn't a part of their collection yet. For example, I found a beautiful edition of Where the Wild Things Are at a little boutique downtown this week, I bought it for my kids and am beyond excited to read it with them! Books are the blood in the minimalist mama veins.
Another of the main purposes behind having an intentional home is for the kids to get outside more often than the typical 2016 child. A pack of baseballs and a couple of gloves for playing catch, a swing and slide set for the little ones, a bug catching kit... anything that encourages the kids to head outside and play is a win.
The opportunity for creativity is everywhere when the toys are limited. You can add to that by spending your holiday budget on pads of drawing paper, crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint and an easel… whatever kind of art the kid in mind is into. I know it seems like a cheap way out, but it’s a favorite in a minimalist home. My kids plow through those giant art pads in a week or less, so getting art supplies is such a blessing! Plus, if you’re buying for an artist who’s a little older, you can splurge on a really nice art set or professional art lessons.
Another repeat from the adult sections, but yeah, it’s that important. My kids understand that one of the main reasons we limit our stuff is so that we can spend our time out doing awesome things instead of always picking up (which is what we used to spend our time doing. Boo). Spend your money on an awesome day trip or season passes to a local fun zone and you’re a winner in our book.
Go ahead and get them a toy
For me, toys are not the enemy. Useless junk is. Kids are kids, and kids love toys. I love when my parents bless my littles with a toy they’ve really been wanting, and my husband and I buy them toys for Christmas and birthdays sometimes as well. It’s just the way it is- kids love to play with toys- and the point of minimalist is not to deeply deprive or torture kids, but to help them thrive and play intentionally. Kids just play so much better without toy clutter. So if you’re going to buy a toy, make it one that has a purpose or is something the kid in your life is just DYING for.
I hope this post serves you as a launch pad for minimalist gift ideas. I know it can be stressful to buy for someone who lives this way, but take it from me - the one thing that sucks more than getting junk is getting only thoughtless gift cards to Walmart because everyone was too nervous to buy us anything. We’re not monsters or freaks, and we all love the thought that goes into gifts. Go all in and use this post as a guide to help you let go of the worry that comes with shopping for the minimalist in your life.
Are you a minimalist or have you ever bought something for a minimalist in your life? Share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section!