What to “buy” a Minimalist for Christmas

Welcome to the Christmas season! A beautiful time of summer warmth, community, love and connection. Although most of the time, it doesn’t feel like it!

Christmas television ads have been nosily blaring, Facebook ads will not stop bugging us and every shopping centre has been playing the same five Christmas carols on repeat since October.

The retail and media industries will have us all buy into the belief that the love in our hearts is measured buy the Australian Dollar value and a purchased physical possession. “Gift giving” is now obscenely defined as a “love language”.  I don’t know about you, but the times I have truly felt loved – real love and connection – no physical good was traded for it.

But after a few decades of cleverly targeted marketing and instant global media coverage Christmas now equals give-me-present time. So for those who have a Minimalist to buy for (or a friend who “doesn’t need anything”!) presenting…

The Get Started Guide to Minimalism Gift Giving

(spoiler alert: they are not what most people would call gifts!)

 

1. An Experience with You

The best “gift” you can purchase for a Minimalist is no physical item. Honestly, any physical possessions we don’t need stress us out! It takes up a mental pocket in our mind and we can’t stop thinking about it.

How we aren’t using it.

How we wished we liked it.

How we might offend or upset you when we inevitably donate it to the local Op Shop.

But, we do love you for you! We show our love by spending our most precious commodity on you. Our time. We’d love the gift of your time and undivided attention! A dinner date, movie night, balloon ride – the sky’s the limit! (Couldn’t help it – I’m a sucker for a bad pun!)

 

2. Make a donation & Share the love

Yes, I know initially when you first read the word “donation” it will trigger many eye rolls and disapproving grunts. Who wants a donation for Christmas?

Well, some of us Minimalists live a minimalist lifestyle because of the negative ecological effects over-consumerism has on our natural landscape, animal life, economy, mental health, financial wealth… (This list could continue for far too long so I’ll just stop now.)

When you really know your Minimalist recipient, you’ll know their purpose of why they live the lifestyle.

So say you remember your Minimalist saying they only own clothing owned by Fair-Trade companies. A donation to anti-fast fashion movements would be well valued and most importantly appreciated by your Minimalist. You listened and took the time to find a cause that truly matters to them. Your attention is all we want.

 

3. Just ask us what we would like!

I know as Minimalists we can come of as a bit intimidating in regards to physical goods. “They’re a Minimalist – they don’t want anything!” Just because we are Minimalists doesn’t mean we don’t want or need physical things. We are just very particular (and yes, picky) of what we let in.

Last Christmas I asked my Fiance to buy me a game I wanted to pre-order. Then I had my brother chip in so I could get the deluxe edition! Something I was going to buy for myself but now, is a gift my Fiance and Brother know I will truly love, enjoy and cherish.

 

4. Yummy things to eat & Chocolates

Now I know from first hand experience that some loved ones (my mother!) just love giving gifts at Christmas time. Seeing us unwrap the paper, shaking the box trying to discover it’s contents and our expression when we see the gift for the first time.

That is completely fine, but let’s limit it to some yummies that we can enjoy or share around. We can simply eat and enjoy without adding another un-used physical good to the pile.

 

3. Groceries!

Yes. Groceries. We are going to buy them anyway so why not take us on a food shopping date where we can buy all our expensive Chia Seeds, Protein powers and fancy snacks that we don’t have the budget for.

Something quirky and fun plus we get to spend the day with you too. So bonus!

 

But what we really want at Christmas…

Is you. Yes, just you.
Our most important Christmas memories are created from the people we are with. Decorating the tree with those kinder-garden handmade paper ornaments, eating Christmas dinner (even when mum over-cooked the chicken!), watching our favourite Christmas movie on the couch with the people we love.
It’s well and the truly time to connect with people, reflect and be thankful for all the achievements and the failures of the year. It’s time to distance ourselves from the gift giving tradition we have bought into. Make a new tradition of caring, love and community this Christmas.
Simply love, cherish and be kind. 

Finishing The Minimalism Game

Day X – Finishing The Minimalism Game

Items Discarded:

0 – Yes, Zero.

Okay, so clearly I’ve come back from a long writing break. A very long break. So apologies to those whole subscribed and had been waiting for the finish, and thanks to those lovely bloggers who commented their support.

In my Minimalism Challenge, I had hit a wall. I was beginning to suffer from my lack of possessions.

Before I elaborate, let’s define the term minimalism… Minimalism, as a lifestyle choice and personal practice, is to remove distracting clutter from our lives. When we do this we appreciate the people, possessions and hobbies in life that truly enhance our existence because we have removed the distractions.

So I was not suffering because I had too little, I was suffering because I had begun to deprive my self. My bedroom and study had become a bland, stark environment with the basic furnishings that you’d expect in those rooms, but with no life, personality, or expressions. My life had dulled to greyscale and my wardrobe had changed to match the black and white of it. Everything I had was fine, but it was flat. Two-dimensional. Boring.

At day 27 of the challenge, my minimalising had changed from a journey of self-discovery to a personal martyrdom. I had become obsessed with the objects, not the goal of Minimalism. Minimizing had become deprivation and an emptiness. So I stopped.

At the time, I labelled the entire experience a failure and repressed it. I had wanted to do a follow post explaining why I had stopped, but until recently, I didn’t even know why I did.

Throughout my challenge, I had learnt a lot about how I personally interact with my possessions and conscientiously justifying items I decided to keep and remove. I learnt that as a creative individual, I need colour. I learnt that as an outdoor eco-nut, I need greenery around me. Wallet in hand I was off to the garden store and spotlight and bought half a dozen indoor plants and two colourful bedsheets!

“What? You’re a Minimalist. You can’t buy things? Hypocrite!” Yes, I understand it is contradictory. But let’s challenge that statement. Remember, Minimalism is about removing the clutter to appreciate what truly enhance our existence. After those purchases, my personal environment immediately felt more like home. The only one who needs to justify keeping, donating, discarding, buying any item is yourself.

Minimalism is important to me. It is a huge value that enhances my life in so many aspects. Stress, finances (less house cleaning!). One thing it does consistently bring is a sense of freedom. Personal freedom to do, be, create anything I want.

Without the clutter, I can live life!

Moving forward, I’ll be working on a collection of Minimalist and simple living essays around living and inspired and simply life. Neither of which is easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Total Number of Items Discarded to date: 474

Challenge Finished