The Minimalist’s Gift Guide

Before our consumer-sensibilities get whisked away by holiday advertisements, let’s stop, take a look around our houses, and ask ourselves if we really need more stuff? Or is what we really need more joy, time with family, and relaxation?

With a focus on the things that help manifest joy, could you see yourself practicing minimalism this holiday season? Along with gifting less stuff, perhaps we should mentally declutter to make room to receive more joy and peace?

Practicing minimalism can yield powerful results with a simple effort to shift value from stuff to experience. As a minimalist, it isn’t that you’re not going to purchase nothing — it’s that you’re going to purchase with intention. When we align with what we perceive ourselves to need, identifying what we don’t need becomes easier. And then the stuff you do buy will have more purpose.

The Script for Family

It’s tricky to convince family and friends that you really don’t want anything for the holidays. Try a version of the following when breaking your minimalism news:

“Your gifts are always so thoughtful and I appreciate them. However, this year, I’m practicing minimalism and ask that in lieu of giving a gift, consider a meaningful experience, something that benefits others or the earth, or give a donation to a favorite cause. I love and appreciate your generosity and wish you an abundant holiday season.”

Use this Checklist to Prioritize Holiday Buying

Instead of going crazy with all the end-of-the-year sales on something your loved ones don’t need and won’t use, if you are going to buy a gift, ask yourself these questions before choosing…

Is it single-use or is there a multi-use option of this gift? If it is single-use, does its use create multiple benefits?

Is this product eco-safe to animals, people, and the environment?

Does this gift give back in some way?

Am I purchasing local goods by local artisans? Does this gift benefit the seller, buyer, and recipient?

Could I buy this second-hand instead of new?

How can I use what I already have to wrap gifts instead of buying more?

Give the Gift of…

Some great gifting ideas can include: health and wellness consultations, tickets to the theatre, a concert or lecture, season passes to national parks, donating to a cause in someone’s honor, meal delivery, yoga lessons, meditation classes, museum memberships, or a day membership at a wellness spa.

Gifts that keep on giving include: cultural and wellness magazine subscriptions that you can share with others after reading, a water filter for drinking, house plants, EMF protectors for the house, and pet adoption.

Do you self-describe as a minimalist? What advice can you share with The Fullest community for practicing minimalism at the holidays? Parents, please chime in!

Christine Dionese, co-founder of flavor ID is an integrative health and food therapy specialist, as well as a wellness, lifestyle, and food journalist. She has dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health by harnessing the power of the epigenetic landscape. Christine lives, works, and plays in Southern California with her daughter and husband.

Illustration credit: Juliet Romano.

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