Holidays can be difficult as a minimalist. During my first year off living minimal, I remember the anxiety as my birthday or Christmas started creeping closer. I’d finally gotten to a point of decluttering that I was happy with the items in my home. It had taken a LOT of effort and I was determined to keep it this way. So, what an earth was I meant to do about this inevitable gifting?
As I found out, its all about honest communication. I’m very lucky that my loved ones respect my minimal way of living and my sustainable values. No one wants to give gifts that aren’t fully appreciated after all. It’s particularly helpful if you can give specific ‘categories’ of gifts that you will enjoy and align with your values. By communicating this, I still find such joy in receiving gifts. Read on to get your own inspiration for gift categories...
Books, books and more books
Books have to be one of my all-time favourite gifts to receive. Whenever I handle a book-shaped parcel, I can feel my excitement grow. I cannot wait to delve into new worlds. I particularly enjoy receiving second-hand books. I’m often poking around charity shops to scrounge out new titles. There is something more endearing about a well-thumbed book. You can get some lovely vintage books this way and it’s a more sustainable way to shop. Although I am a minimalist, I do keep a fairly well-stocked bookshelf, but I also regularly donate books that have ‘done their job’ so that another charity shopper can also find this particular joy…
I’ve never been a massive jewellery person. I’ve always found accessorising a bit of a challenge, as I wouldn’t say I’m naturally ‘chic’. However, there is something wonderfully thoughtful about receiving jewellery from a loved one. I recently got my ears pierced and was pleased that many of my friends and family got the hint that earrings would be much appreciated!
I especially enjoy receiving jewellery made by small businesses, with charming little shops and Etsy being a go-to for this. Not only does this mean that items are more unique, it is often far more sustainable that buying from big brands. You can always provide loved ones with a brand guide to shop from, which saves them some time and guarantees that gifts will be well-received.
Natural skincare products
I would have the worst skincare regime if my friends didn’t kindly keep me stocked up! I still keep my skincare very simple, with just a few favourite products that I use on a daily basis. It feels like a real treat when I am gifted a more luxurious item, like a vegan face mask, that I can incorporate into my self-care. Consumables are always a good idea for minimalists as this avoids the dreaded clutter!
Sustainable lifestyle products
I always appreciate a gift that helps me lower my environmental footprint. I have received numerous gifts like this over the past few years, such as educational books, reusable make-up cloths, bamboo toothbrushes and glass reusable spray bottles so I can make my own cleaners. These are always so useful and I get ridiculously excited when I receive them!
Anything handmade is always that bit more special. The fact that a loved one has taken the time to create something for me is truly appreciated. Far more sentimental and sustainable than a mass-produced product. Even a simple handmade card is a lovely touch and I am often perfectly content with just this. So, get crafty and see what you can create!
Avoid clutter entirely and gift an experience instead. This could be as simple as a gift card to a favourite café to a more extravagant place on a yoga retreat. There are so many possibilities to really spoil your loved ones.
Giving to charity
For the past 2 years, I have asked my family to donate to an animal sanctuary rather than receiving gifts at Christmas. It’s a cause close to my heart. The thought that this money will go directly towards feeding rescued animals makes my Christmas that bit more special. Donating to a charity for a loved one is a really lovely gesture and I’m sure other minimalists, especially my fellow vegans, will be very touched with this gift. Its far from a cop-out believe me!
Even if you are given categories, buying sustainably can still be a challenge. Thankfully, some brands are making this easier. Nereus is a sustainable premium hair and body care brand based in London. They offer some wonderful sustainable products that can be perfect gifts. They have also written a comprehensive sustainable gift guide on their blog which I highly recommend for some more inspiration on this topic.
Remember, gifting is a wonderful way to show you care, but so is spending time with your loved ones. With the year we have had, this is all the more precious.
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This blog is kindly sponsored by Nereus London