Do you have someone on your holiday shopping list who says they don’t want anything? Do they think the whole notion of giving gifts is silly? Maybe they’re a minimalist.
When I say minimalist, I’m referring to a person who prefers to live life with few material possessions. They only want what they need. An electronic wine bottle opener doesn’t excite them. A heated towel rack would be received with a cold shoulder. What do you get such a person?
Something from this list of 7 practical gift ideas for a minimalist may bring cheer to their holiday. And relax, shopping for a minimalist is actually really easy if you stick to this list! If you buy them something they don’t need – it will likely end up in the garbage, donated, or regifted.
Consider these gifts that are sure to be used by the minimalist on your list:
Written by yours truly, a self-proclaimed minimalist.
1) Quality toiletries
Everyone has to stay clean. Consider gifting your minimalist high end/natural/eco-friendly toiletries. Examples include products from Tom’s of Maine and Dermalogica. Don’t assume minimalists are cheap – often they value high quality products.
2) Fuel cards
Nearly everyone has to drive at some point. Fuel cards are handy for your minimalist loved one when they’re not riding their bicycle. Nearly every fuel station offers them. Just make sure to buy from a fuel station in their neighborhood.
3) Gift cards to places they actually patronize
Getting them a gift card to SkyMall probably won’t go over too well. Instead, consider shopping destinations anyone could use: Amazon, Target, Kohls, eBay…
The worst thing you can do is get them gift cards to high-end shops that sell exclusively luxury items. By giving them a gift card like this, you’re forcing them to go against their lifestyle. If you would give them a $400 blender, that’s one thing. But if you give them a gift card to a store than only sells $400+ blenders, they aren’t going to like the experience… “Um, yes, I would like that blender even though my $30 blender does everything I need it to do. This doesn’t go against my lifestyle choices whatsoever.”
Everyone has to eat and drink. Often, minimalists enjoy doing so at home. They will appreciate prime cuts of meat, quality olive oil, and rare seasonings. Consider locally sourced wines and craft beers as well.
5) A nicer version of something they already use
Just because they’re a minimalist doesn’t mean they don’t have a few non-essentials. Maybe your minimalist enjoys his/her bread machine/racing bicycle/game console… Consider getting them a newer version. They may be jonesing for the newest version but they can’t justify buying it themselves. That’s where you can step in.
Believe it or not, some people actually do like getting clothing for Christmas. Remember, I’m a minimalist and I absolutely love clothing as a gift. But minimalists like myself aren’t going to wear something once and let it disappear in the depths of our closets. We want to strut our threads repeatedly. So find out what brands your minimalist prefers and go for the sure bets.
Nearly every minimalist I know has one major splurge: travel. Most minimalists I’ve met say that one thing you can never waste your money on is travel. To be safe, find out where they regularly travel to… be it a campsite, hotel, whatever. Then pay for whatever they normally get. A few free nights at his or her favorite campsite will have them thinking fondly of you as they fall asleep under the stars. Give the gift of memories.
These are my 7 practical gifts a minimalist will enjoy. The list can also be applied to hipsters, hippies, poor college students, 20-somethings on a budget, people on your list who seem to ‘already have everything’, and nearly everyone in between.
Happy last-minute Christmas shopping! And in case you’re wondering, I like to travel. 😉
I’m a personal finance freelance writer and webmaster. I welcome you to visit me at www.thefrugalpreneur.com