100 Gifts For Minimalists

Inside: Here you’ll find a not so minimalist list of gifts for minimalists.

Curb the Clutter

The holidays are fast approaching. They have me purging and prepping in order to fearlessly take on this season of excess.

Prior to minimalism, I would go absolutely crazy purchasing gifts for my family. Each consecutive year, worse than the previous. I thought it was my thing.

I recognize now that my love for gift giving is not an excuse to mindlessly purchase, spend insane amounts of money, and cause our family and others to accumulate unnecessary items. Items that ultimately provide short term joy, long term entitlement, and insurmountable clutter.

When your perspective on purchasing and owning material items changes, it inevitably flows into the way you give and receive gifts.

This year I’m taking the “less is more” approach. Our family is looking to accumulate memories, experiences and personal growth rather than material possessions. 

Whether you are new to minimalism and looking for some gift ideas to encourage your cause, or you find yourself buying gifts for a family that has adopted a minimalist lifestyle, I’ve got your back. 

This post is packed with a not so minimalist list of gifts for minimalists of all ages. It is loaded with a wide variety from simple, tangible gifts to wild and crazy experiences. Some affiliate links have been included for your convenience* and at no additional cost to you. I’ve also included a link to my FREE Christmas gift coupon templates. Hears to curbing the clutter, preventing accumulation and opting to give with intention this Holiday season!

gifts for minimalists

100 Christmas Gifts for Minimalists

  1. Movie theater tickets
  2. Car detail service
  3. Consumable products
  4. Salon blow out: Refined Beauty Hair Salon, Rouge Hair Studio – local favorites
  5. High end beauty product they’d never buy themselves: Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner
  6. Family Photo Shoot: Kristy Photography, JamieLynn Photography local favorites
  7. Swimming lessons (We love ISR. It’s a bit of a commitment, but worth it!)
  8. Fitness class
  9. Gym membership or online workout subscription:YMCA, BeachBody On Demand, Yogaglo
  10. Online Course: You can find some of my favorite online courses and memberships here.
  11. Birchbox (3 month subscription)
  12. Zoo membership
  13. Museum membership or day pass
  14. State Park parking pass: Where to purchase Michigan Recreation Passport
  15. Chauffeured wine tasting tour
  16. Wine
  17. Overnight getaway (bonus points if you also offer to babysit)
  18. Indoor adventure park coupon: Rock climbing, trampoline park, mini-golf, laser tag
  19. Family vacation in lieu of gifts
  20. Pedicure or Manicure
  21. iTunes gift cards
  22. Monthly membership for perishable goods: Vinebox, BlueApron
  23. Massage
  24. Pre-made freezer meals!!
  25. House cleaning service
  26. Window washing service
  27. Lawn mowing service
  28. Concert tickets
  29. Day trip and lunch at a local event: Art Prize, Jazz Festival, etc.
  30. Audible subscription
  31. Spotify Premium, Pandora Plus, XM radio
  32. Canoe, tubing or kayak trip
  33. In home chef for an evening
  34. A unique spa experience: mud wrap, body treatments
  35. CSA shares (Community Supported Aggriculture)
  36. Restaurant or take-out gift certificate
  37. Road trip gift basket: candy, chips, gas card, iTunes gift card
  38. Replace a beauty product that’s running low: face lotion, exfoliant, makeup etc.
  39. Unique lessons: scuba diving, horse back riding, cooking classes, music lessons
  40. An awesome experience: race car driving, back stage passes, paintball
  41. Unique camps: Ninja Warrior Camp, college sports camp
  42. Comedy show tickets
  43. Tickets to the local theater
  44. Escape room
  45. Sporting event tickets
  46. Perishable themed gift basket: wine, beer, gourmet snacks
  47. Book and coffee gift basket/ Amazon gift card for a book & coffee shop gift card
  48. Really any type of themed gift basket: movie night, game night, baking, art etc.
  49. Family water park day trip or overnight stay
  50. Kids day out coupons: Aquarium, zoo, fishing, ice-cream, theater, amusement park.

But I Really Need a Tangible Gift

Now, I know it’s nearly impossible for some grandparents, aunts and uncles to not give an actual, tangible gift to the children they love so dearly. I myself am guilty of having loaded my nieces and nephews up with more gifts than they could ever needed.

This year, let’s steer clear of the junk and toys that simply accumulate and give intentionally.

gifts for minimalists

Here are a few ideas that will grow with kids, encourage imagination, improve fine and gross motor skills, and promote education. These are items we either own or I personally wouldn’t mind owning. These toys range in size, age groups and price, significantly.

Keep in mind, this is not a list of must-haves. Consider it a list of suggestions to help keep out the junk and focus on gifts that really keep on giving (not the kind of “keeps giving” you get from a 5-year-old with a harmonica).

Tangible Minimalist Gift Ideas For Kids

  1. Personalized calendar or photo book: Shutterfly or Snapfish
  2. Osmo Ipad Genius Kit (Compatible iPad required)
  3. Perishable foods/snacks you don’t typically purchase: Cracker Barrel syrup, favorite sugary cereal, Nutella, Sprite, Gatorade, Pringles
  4. Live butterfly garden
  5. Build your own robot, littleBits, or droid inventor kit
  6. Flashlight Friend
  7. Laser Tag Guns (Our all-time favorite family past time)
  8. Science experiments: Crystal growing kit, geode kit
  9. Moonlite Projector
  10. Face paint crayons
  11. Water table
  12. Musical instrument: toddler music play, keyboard, guitar, ukelele
  13. Games to bring the family together: Sneaky Squirrel, Rug Checkers, Sorry, Princess Cupcake Game, Risk, Ticket To Ride
  14. Dress up clothes
  15. Box of paper, scotch tape and a stapler (seriously! Always a winner)
  16. Critter case and magnifying glass
  17. Wall decals (Go Green!)
  18. Doll House
  19. Solar System String Lights by Steam Powered Girls (I think I love these more than my kids)
  20. Homemade play dough kit (mix dry ingredients in bag and include further instructions)
  21. Camping supplies: sleeping bag, lantern, tent
  22. Gardening tools, seeds
  23. I See Me books
  24. Regift something from your own childhood (I had saved a handmade doll from my grandmother and regifted it to my daughter. She adores it, because it was mine)
  25. Bathing suits, sprinkler and goggles (go great with swim lesson gift certificate)
  26. Gloves! (This company sells singles replacement gloves! Seriously, my son just lost 2 pairs in 3 days!)
  27. Hunting equipment
  28. Needed sports equipment: New cleats, balls, clubs, leotard, or money toward team fees
  29. Swing set: One big gift in lieu of multiple smaller gifts. Extended family can donate to the cause.
  30. Basketball hoop
  31. Fairy garden accessories (we love to build our own natural houses and decorate with fairy and animal figurines)
  32. Sidewalk chalk
  33. Magnatiles
  34. Gonge Riverstones
  35. Kindle E-Reader
  36. Bike
  37. Bike accessories: helmet, bell, basket
  38. Scooter
  39. Wagon
  40. Fishing pole, tackle box and lures
  41. Books: Have You Filled a Bucket Today?  The Giving Tree 
  42. Monthly kit subscription: Kiwi Crate (My kid’s LOVED this gift).
  43. National Geographic Magazine Subscription
  44. Tree swing
  45. Play kitchen
  46. Wood building blocks
  47. Bubble bath
  48. Paints and craft supplies: Pearlescent watercolors
  49. Primary Lacing Beads
  50. National Geographic DaVinci Build Your Own Catapult Kit


For more on the topic of holiday giving check out:

20 Experience Gift Ideas For Grandparents (and You!) to Give this Christmas

How to Help Family Stop Giving Too Many Christmas Presents

3 Types of Toys to Avoid Giving

1. Junk toys

I say avoid because I don’t have a trash can outside my garage door where I require my kids to drop any toy they have received that doesn’t fit my specifications required for keeping. I let them in, I let them stay for a bit and then we let them go. These toys would be birthday party favors, class party favors, dentist office prizes, etc.

When purchasing for children think about adding something to their lives that will help them grow. From fine and gross motor skills, to math skills and laughter. Even if it won’t stand the test of time, let it add value to their lives.

2. Duplicates

Grandparents seem to love to keep their gifts a secret until the big unveiling moment, even from the parents. I’d like to encourage you this holiday season to keep the parents in the loop. This way you avoid purchasing a gift the child already has or may be receiving from someone else. This will benefit you far more than keeping the secret will.

gifts for minimalists

You won’t necessarily have to hold onto receipts because you know it’s a winner. You won’t run the risk of having “givers remorse” when the child exclaims, “I already have this,” or “I got this from my other grandma!” In turn, you won’t add more to your own to-do list, by impulsively replying, “I’ll return it and get you something else.”

Trust me, this is a win-win. Telling the parents what you intend to buy works out best for EVERYONE.

3. Never ending themed toys

My son loves Star Wars. My daughter loves all things princess. Adding more themed toys to their collection always used to seem like a brilliant idea. However, they just get lost in the collection and leads to unnecessary accumulation. Opt for something  they can use, enjoy and let go of.

My son’s favorite gifts are the coupons for a fun day out. His aunt takes him to an MSU basketball game every year for his birthday present. It just might be the gift he looks forward to the most.

Read the full post, regarding what types of toys we have purged and avoid at all costs.

A note to the minimalist…

Remember, we are working on gratitude and contentment. Not just teaching this to our kids, but ourselves as well. This means that when we get bombarded with a bunch of toys we may not have chosen to purchase, we show gratitude.

We are not necessarily entitled to our unentitlement. Does that make sense?

People just want to love you and your kids. Let them.

Model grace and gratitude.

I recognize it took my 35 years to arrive in this place and I haven’t been here for all that long. It’s an adjustment for my family as much as it has been for me.

Take a big breath and prepare accordingly.


*Disclaimer: This post contains links, for your convenience, to many different gift ideas. Some are affiliate links and some are not. Always feel free to shop around for better prices and brands. Or even better, find these items in great condition at a Mom2Mom sale or on your local rummage sale sites. I try to  suggest products I either have or that have great reviews and I would be willing to own myself. Always do your own research as well.

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Declutter Your Life

3 years ago I was overwhelmed with my life, while growing more underwhelmed with it’s direction by the second. It felt as though all of my time and energy was going toward the accumulation and management of STUFF. What little time I had left over went toward overbooking and overcommitting my family to all.the.thing! 

When introduced to the concept of minimalism and everything changed!

Living with less will gift you the time, space and much needed perspective to put the things that truly matter most first. If you’d like some help getting started download my FREE Beginner’s Guidebook to: Declutter Like a Minimalist. It takes a deep dive into the 7 important steps to getting started as highlighted in my popular post, Declutter Like a Minimalist.

It’s time to stop managing our families and start leading them!

Declutter Like a Minimalist Guidebook

100 Minimalist Holiday Gift Ideas
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