As we began our journey into Minimalism, one of the biggest hurdles we came across was gift-giving. Really, it’s more of the gift-receiving that we struggle with.
You see, Josh and I both come from families that use gift-giving as a love language. We appreciate their generosity and while we did ask them to scale back on the quantity of gifts, we didn’t want to break their hearts by saying no gifts at all.
Now our biggest obstacle is giving them ideas for gifts that will benefit our new lifestyle. We love that they ask, but actually coming up with ideas can be really difficult. For awhile we asked for “activity gifts” like zoo passes and special event tickets, but as we get ready to hit the road for our epic adventure, those become less feasible.
On the other side, we also inherited some of that gift-giving gene. And when gift-giving is appropriate, we want to make sure that the gifts align with both our values and those of the recipient.
So how can minimalism and gift-giving work together?
Know your giftee!
What do they value? What do they enjoy? Is there a spot in their life where a need can be met in a joyful way? Maybe your yoga-loving bestie really needs to replace that worn-through yoga mat, but you know she won’t spring for something that will last for more than a couple of months. She’ll know you’re super thoughtful, it’s not something that will sit and collect dust…and you won’t have to witness her falling on her face when her old mat slips in yoga class.
Make sure your gift is “Doing Good.”
What causes do both you and your giftee support? What businesses are donating to or align with those causes? And lastly, are those gifts environmentally friendly and made from sustainable materials?
Support small business and makers.
Something that many minimalists have in common is a desire to support small businesses rather than big-box stores. When we participate in consumerism, we want to put our money where our mouths are. This also speaks to supporting businesses that may not be small, but embody values that matter to us like commitment to the environment and treating employees fairly.
With all of that in mind, it can feel like a daunting task to find the perfect gift and maybe buying a gift card is starting to sound like the best route. But no worries, I’ve got a solution for you and it doesn’t even involve leaving the nice comfy chair you’re in!