For minimalists, the anticipation of an influx of things can make the holiday season stressful. I don’t think this has to be the case. There are many non-thing things that make great holiday gifts.
Here is a list of valuable things that don’t add to the everyday clutter.
1. Spotify gift card.
Give the gift of music. Your loved one can think of you each time he or she plays a favorite album.
2. Car detailing.
There is nothing better than having a newly detailed car. Simplify someone’s day with this gift.
3. Audiobook membership.
Give someone a year’s worth of books without adding one item to the shelf.
4. Sponsor a child in need in someone’s name.
Let a loved one know that in lieu of a gift a child will be sponsored for a year.
Offer to mow someone’s yard for a month, cut down his tree, paint her shed… whatever you can offer. The gift of service goes along way.
Who doesn’t love a massage? Give your over-stressed friend a chance to relax with a gift card to a local massage therapist.
7. Instructional class.
Give someone a skilled class from Udemy.com or a paid account to Codecademy.com. This gift will keep on giving and possibly generate income for your loved one.
8. Digital magazine or comic subscription.
Most people have a smart phone, and now you can subscribe to the best magazine titles and comic book series right on your iPhone or tablet.
I have three kids. Childcare is expensive. Offer your time to someone as a gift. Watch their children so they can go on a date, run errands, or just take a nap.
10. A trip.
Instead of holiday gifts, take your kids to Disney World or the beach. Memories made with your kids on big adventures will outlast the temporary enjoyment of even the trendiest of toys.
11. Maid service.
Have your friend or loved one’s house cleaned. Everyone loves a deep cleaned space. Give this gift and give your loved one a clean break.
Finally — replace something valuable: This is technically a “thing,” but if you replace something your loved one uses every day, you aren’t adding any clutter to their footprint. For example, replace someone’s old eye glasses with a new pair from Warby Parker.
This holiday season, remember not to impose minimalism on other people. Instead, use this time as an opportunity to educate people on the simplicity movement. Talk to your family and friends about the positives of living with less and try giving your loved ones a non-thing thing.
*Note — This article was originally published at Minimalist Today.