Christmas baking muffins with icing sugar

Five gift ideas for the minimalist in your life

Minimalism is the latest buzzword in personal finance, and for good reason. People are catching on to the benefits of hoarding memories and experiences – not things.

During the holidays, however, the minimalist lifestyle begs the question ‘What do I get the person who doesn’t want anything?’ To be clear, it’s not that minimalists don’t want anything, but they probably don’t want an extra candle or bath soaps.

We’ve come up with a handy list of gift ideas for the minimalist in your life. In other words, gifts beyond simply ‘stuff’.

A charitable donation

The holidays are a time for giving, and what’s better than the gift of giving? It’s about as simple as the few clicks it takes to make an online purchase. Many charities offer charitable gifts as part of their donation offerings, and some even allow you to purchase symbolic gifts such as school supplies, animals or medicine.

A cool experience

Sending your loved one on a cool excursion is a great way to show them you care. Get creative, think about their interests and choose accordingly. For instance, the wine lover on your list might like a wine country bike tour. The adventurer would be thrilled with a sky diving excursion. There are endless options for the gift of experience, and the memories are sure to last longer than any material gift ever could.

A service

Similar to the gift of experience, the gift of a service is sure to be well received by friends and family. Pamper them with options like massages, manicures or photography packages for single or family portraits. The beauty of these types of gifts is that they give the recipient the opportunity to enjoy services they might otherwise feel are indulgences and not want to spend money on.

A lesson 

Has your loved one always wanted to learn how to play the piano? Or take up skiing? Try treating them to a few introductory lessons. You just might be igniting a lifelong hobby or passion. Not sure what they’re into? Sign them up for a dance class and volunteer to go with them for a fun bonding experience!

 Baked goods 

This one technically counts as ‘stuff’ but we still think it’s an excellent minimalist gift because, well, it gets eaten and enjoyed (likely immediately!) as opposed to collecting dust over the years. Putting your time, energy and love into a baking project will surely be recognized by your loved ones – even if it does mean a few extra pounds.

The holidays are a time of giving, and this year, it might be a good idea to think outside the box when it comes to giving. A material gift can certainly be meaningful when it’s well thought out and personalized, but thinking beyond these material gifts can result in even more thrills.

This holiday season, may the best gift be the one you can’t see.      

415922 CAN/US (12/17)

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Pira Kumarasamy

Pira Kumarasamy, is a Toronto-based freelance writer and communications consultant in the financial space. She has a background in economics and enjoys making complex financial topics relatable to the average Canadian. Her areas of interest include financial markets, student loans and real estate. You can reach her on Twitter (@PiraKumarasamy) or LinkedIn.