Minimalist gift guide – a list of 25 practical gift ideas

I used to spend days wracking my brain on what to get people.

Days!

It just took all the fun out of shopping and gifts and I started resenting the whole process.

Then I started experimenting with mindful gift-giving until I began enjoying it – both receiving and giving.  

If you haven’t already check out my blog post on How to take the stress out of Christmas shopping for some planning tips.

But if you already did, then let’s continue with some useful gift ideas:

1. BUY PRACTICAL THINGS THEY CAN USE UP

This is probably the best tip I’ve ever heard when it comes to minimalist gifts.

So whenever I’m in doubt, I buy or make something the other person can use up – this way they won’t be left with an item that will be cluttering their home.

Plus, those items are usually very useful, so you kill two birds with one stone.

Of course, if you know people really well and you know they will love something specific, then go for it.

Otherwise, keep it simple.

Here is a list of gift ideas:

  • Socks: we all use them, lose them and make holes in them. So they’re a perfect item to give to someone.
  • Body lotions, creams and shower gels: they’re always a safe bet.
  • Perfumes and body spray: this one can be a bit trickier because we must get the smell right, but if you want to gift them a perfume then pick a lighter and more natural fragrance, so they will like it.
  • Candles or home fragrances: if you know someone who loves candles or lovely home fragrances then this is the perfect gift.
  • A massage: this is an excellent gift for anyone, I mean, who doesn’t like massages? You can also buy any spa treatments that come to mind.
  • Hand cream: around this time of year I often include some handy little hand creams that people can carry around in their pockets or bags.
  • A voucher: some people may think this is lazy and not personal enough but ask yourself if there were times you would rather get a coupon then an item you didn’t have the use for? When I buy a voucher, I make sure it’s from a specific store that the person will love.
  • Lip balm: again, in this time of year, it’s often a necessity for both men and women.
  • Face masks: this way people can treat themselves at home.
  • Go somewhere fun together: instead of merely buying a gift, schedule a fun day or evening together as your little treat to them. You can go to the movies, bowling, escape room (my favourite!), a fancy dinner, theatre, show, etc.
  • Books: if a person loves reading, then find a book they will love and that’s it! You can also think about getting them a Kindle or an online version of the book if that’s what they prefer.
  • A course: if someone wants to learn how to cook, get them a cooking class, or perhaps you can indulge someone to an online course, such as a styling course or something similar. You know what they like best!
  • Reusable products (organic cotton pads, q-tips, a water bottle, a personalised shopping bag, makeup remover cloth, glass straws etc.): I find this to be a great gift, but of course I always make sure that the person on the other side will use it and enjoy it.
  • Make home-made coupons: I love this idea! I used to do it for my husband all the time. It’s free and easy to do – simply use some paper and make little coupons for things you know another person will enjoy: that can be anything from giving them a massage, making them their favourite meal or even doing the chores instead of them.
  • Shopping trip: if the other person wants to update their closet or home, maybe you can take them to the store so they can get something to add to their collection. We did something similar for my sister’s boyfriend – he wanted to refresh his wardrobe, so we made him a home-made coupon for a shopping spree. Then we went shopping together, treating him like a king – this way, we got to spend time together while also helping him pick a few pieces and buying them for him as a gift.
  • An electric toothbrush: we are cleaning our teeth every day, so maybe you can upgrade their routine by getting them a good quality toothbrush.
  • Jar of quotes: if you want to inspire someone or give them that extra motivation (which is pretty much all of us), then why not make a jar with different quotes for them to take out every single day. And if you add their name to the quotes and you personalise them, it will mean so much more.
  • A service: what if you get your partner a cleaner for a month or a babysitter for date nights? Maybe there is a service that can make the other person’s life easier, so think about that.
  • Money: this may be controversial, but if the other person needs it, why not help them this way. I would, of course, recommend you also add something personal, like a card or a little treat, so you show you thought about them. My grandmas always gave me money for my birthdays and I never complained, hah.
  • Subscriptions: what about buying them a subscription to a meditation app? Or maybe they will enjoy a magazine subscription? You can do it online and offline, whatever they prefer 😉
  • Donation in their name: perhaps they will appreciate the gesture of giving to people or animals in need.
  • Deluxe tea or coffee: is the person really into coffee or tea? Then maybe you can find something up to their taste to make their every day more luxurious.
  • The gift of giving: you can prepare some small gifts, like flowers or candy so that you and the other person can go to the local hospitals, charities, schools or organisations to show people working there your gratefulness. This can be a really gratifying and memorable experience.
  • A planner/journal or fancy stationery: Christmas is the perfect time to help them get ready for the new year, so have a look around and find the planner they will love. You can pick an empty planner or find more structured versions, like a gratitude journal, 5-second journal, 5-minute journal etc. But if they already have their journals, then get them some fancy and fun stationery. 
  • A scavenger hunt or a riddle that leads to the gift: I love detective stuff! When I was younger, my sister and I left clues for each other that lead to the main gift. So if you create a fun game for them, with a little surprise at the end that might be a fun and enjoyable experience.

But what if nothing on the list inspires you?

2. THEN ASK THEM!

Nowadays, it became a tabu to ask people what they would like for Christmas.

But think back when you were a kid. You probably told everyone what you wished for and not just that. You also wrote a letter to Santa, explaining what you wanted in details.

And all of that didn’t take away the fun from the present when you opened it on Christmas morning.

I believe that as adults we’re the same – if we want something and we think the other person can get us this particular thing, will be excited for it, even though we know what we’re getting.

So don’t be afraid to ask people directly – because we all want great useful gifts, we’ll gladly cooperate.

Did anything on this list help you? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below 😉

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by sharing it! Thank you!

And if you want to read more, check out my latest posts!

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