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Minimalist Christmas Gift Guide 2017

Posted on Nov 30, 2017 by in Minimalism | 0 comments

Lately I’m learning all about ways to incorporate minimalism into the Holiday season. Focusing on the meaning behind Christmas is so much more important to me than checking off all the to do’s on my long list. There’s naturally more going on around this time of year, but I prefer to minimize the chaos to maximize the cheer! Since Christmas is just around the corner, I thought I’d talk about some ideas for what to give people when you want to take a more minimalist approach. In my opinion, that means giving gifts that are:

– Within your budget

– Useful and practical

– Personal

– Meaningful

Remember that minimalism is all about owning things that bring us joy or serve a purpose or both. It’s not about owning the least amount of things, but rather owning only things that we can truly appreciate in our everyday lives. It may seem like a challenge to come up with minimalist gift ideas for each person on your list, but I’ve got you covered!

Gift cards

This is an obvious one. Gift cards don’t take up much space and they are pretty easy to get. But try to get something very specific for your friends and family. Your runner friend would appreciate a lululemon gift card, your mom might love a gift certificate toward shopping at your local flower nursery, and your brother in law might appreciate a gift card to REI for some rock climbing shoes.

Reading Material


Give a Kindle or give an Amazon Gift Card towards books for their Kindle! People who want to minimize the amount of stuff they have will appreciate owning such a small device full of so many of their favorite books!


Some people really enjoy receiving real books. I love to give books with handwritten messages in the cover instead of cards. If they aren’t a reader, maybe they would enjoy a recipe book, a survival guide, a DIY craft project book or a book about their latest hobby.


An audible subscription would be an awesome gift for most people on your list! There is such a wide variety of books available to listen to while you’re cooking, getting ready in the morning, driving, or just having a no TV night with the family. It’s also great for little kids who can’t read yet or older kids who have a lot of reading to do for school and would benefit from hearing the material read aloud.
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Repair something

Help your friends or family out by fixing something of theirs that isn’t working properly. Maybe they have a broken kitchen cabinet or their computer is giving them issues. If you have a skill that would be helpful to the people around you, look for opportunities to improve the functionality of the things they already own.

Fun and Practical


Candy is always fun, but your favorite snacks are even better. My husband enjoys mountain biking and usually brings along water mixed with a sports electrolyte powder. He’ll appreciate stocking up on that more than a bunch of Santa shaped chocolates!


Art supplies are a great gift for someone who likes to be creative. Paints, pens, pencils, yarn, sketchbooks, crochet hooks, stamps, and the list goes on.


Either a musical instrument, a gift certificate towards lessons or supplies for the instrument they already own.


For kids there are all sorts of fun science kits that will feel like toys but are actually learning tools too!


Don’t think just wrenches and drills here, although those could be just the thing! I’m talking about anything that would be useful to the person based on what they’re interested in. Things like cameras, kitchen utensils and camping gear. Just be sure it’s something that they can really use and not just a space waster.


Create something out of supplies you already have in your home! You’d be surprised how many project odds and ends you have laying around! Or, go collect things from nature and make something beautiful. Check out Pinterest for tons of ideas on DIY projects and look at my recent post on DIY Painted Feather Necklaces.


Give them something that they will remember forever! Fun experiences are more enjoyable to collect than things that take up shelf space!

Experience ideas: Spa day, horse back riding, indoor skydiving, theme park tickets, museum tickets, a cooking class, paint nights and more!

Time together


A gift certificate to a favorite restaurant is easy and thoughtful. Schedule a night to go enjoy a dinner date together. Or make dinner and serve it in your home, bring it to them or go on a picnic!


Go to an opera, a play or even just the movie theater together. There are a wide variety of shows to see depending on how much you want to spend. Get expensive seats at a Broadway musical or go to your local college or theater groups to see what they’re presenting. Wrap up the tickets so they have something to open on Christmas!


You could give them tickets toward going to see a live sporting event or you can give them a basket ball and a plan to go shoot hoops together.


In lieu of gifts, decide to go with your family or friends to a local soup kitchen, Animal shelter or kids toy drive and see what you can do to benefit others this season while you have a good time together as you serve!

Plan a Vacation

Maybe you can’t go right away, but plan a trip for your family to a place they will be excited to go! Give them a brochure, a stuffed animal or a food that goes along with the theme of the trip. Or a really fun way to announce a trip is to make your own puzzle by writing out the location name on a piece of paper or cardboard and cutting it into smaller pieces that they have to put together in order to discover what the gift is!

A day of fun

Give the gift of spending time with someone for a full day doing whatever they would love to do. Maybe your son would enjoy going to the arcade, the pool, his favorite pizza place and then playing catch with you. Why not dedicate a whole day to doing all the things that would make the recipient feel extra special?!

Game night

Give a new game that you’re dying to try out and learn to play it together.

Amazon Wish Lists

If you still have no idea what to get for someone on your list, check on to see if they’ve made a wishlist. You can search by their name and then you’ll know you’re getting them exactly what they’d like! Also consider making one for yourself and your kids so that other people can stop agonizing over what to get for you and your family this year!

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