16 Gifts For The Person In Your Life Who Doesn’t Want Anything
by Katie Mitchell
Happy couple in love enjoying during Christmas Eve on the street.
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Millennials ruin everything, apparently. Millennials have been accused of killing J.Crew, napkins, and sex (just to name a few). In recent years, my age cohort has killed yet another American hallmark — conspicuous consumption (R.I.P.). That’s right. More and more people are identifying as minimalists, and purporting to not really want anything for the holidays — even though you'll probably get them something anyway.

Minimalists often live with fewer material possessions and value experiences over things. While minimalism has gained traction in the United States over the past few years, it’s not just an Instagram trend. Some folks have made huge lifestyle changes in the name of minimalism. Folks who choose to downsize inspired an entire Tiny House Movement, and fashionistas from coast to coast swear by the capsule wardrobe.

There’s definitely nothing wrong with owning material possessions. But what do you get for a minimalist who keeps their consumption to, well, a minimum? During the holidays, it’s natural to want to buy gifts for family and friends to show your love and appreciation. Not everyone wants a bunch of things cluttering their space just because it’s the holidays. Shopping for a minimalists takes a little more effort, but it’s not impossible. In that spirit, we've put together this gift guide for the person in your life who really, truly, doesn't want anything. I mean, the gift guide itself isn’t minimalist because it has 16 items, but you get the point. Ahead, find gift suggestions for your favorite minimalists.


Words of Affirmation

Affirmators!, $12, Amazon

Everyone needs a pick me up every now and again. These words of affirmation will do the trick.


A Donation In Their Name

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Donation, Your Chosen Amount, Your Chosen Charity

Giving to others is the best gift. Consider donating in someone else’s name to a charity or organization they support.


A Coloring Book

Avie's Dreams: An Afro-Feminist Coloring Book, $10, Amazon

Adults like to color, too, if the mindfulness coloring book trend of last year is any indication. A coloring book is a relaxing way to make beautiful art.


A Heartfelt Message

Merry and Bright Christmas Card, $4, Cypress Card Co.

When was the last time you told someone why they mean so much to you? A heartfelt message written in a card is a timeless gift.


A Library Card

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Library Card, Free, Your Local Library

Libraries fit into the minimalist lifestyle. Sign your favorite minimalist up for their local library, if they're not already signed up.


A Framed Photo

Ikea Fiskbo Frame, $6, Amazon

If you have a picture with your friend, a framed photo will be a nice reminder of a fun time.



Homemade Recipe Subscription, $45, The Homemade Shop

Everyone needs food. Not having to spend money on groceries for a week can really help out the recipient, and they’ll think nice thoughts of you every time they take a bite.


Card Game

Black Card Revoked - Third Edition, $20, Cards For All People

Games are a great way to bring folks together. If the minimalist you know likes to entertain guests, a game would be a great gift. Black Card Revoked is the perfect game for a family or group of friends that loves to celebrate Black culture.


Podcast suggestions

Another Round, Free, iTunes

Podcasts are a great source of entertainment and information, but sometimes the good ones are hard to find. Save your friend the trouble and make them a playlist of your faves.


Movie Tickets

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Movie Ticket, $17, AMC Theaters

Experiences are often more cherished than things. Buy the minimalist you know a ticket to a movie, concert, or sporting event.


Independent Magazine

Issue 003, $20, Banana Mag

Independent media is seeing a resurgence. An independent, print magazine will keep the minimalist in your life informed, and they can recycle or give the magazine to a friend when they’re done reading. Banana Mag is a bi-annual magazine that's geared towards first-generation Asian-Americans.


Fresh Flowers Subscription

Bloomsy S, $40, BloomsyBox

Fresh flowers can brighten any room. Add some color and life to your minimalist friend’s living space with this monthly subscription.


Home DNA Kit

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Ancestry reports, $100, 23andMe

The results from home DNA kits don’t take up that much space, and they give so much insight about your ancestry.


A Gift Box

The Frida Box, $60, The Homegirl Box

Themed gift boxes are curated to feature the very best items. Get the minimalist in your life a gift box that fits their interests. This box includes a Frida-themed t-shirt, candle, pair of earrings, and more.



I Can and I Will, $15, INPRNT

Art adds character to any space. Give your minimalist friend a piece of art that will enjoy for a long time.


A Gym Membership

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Monthly Membership, $30, LA Fitness

Most folks start resolving to exercise more around this time of year. Give your buddy a gym membership to help them stay fit.

Minimalists usually don’t like a bunch of material items, but that doesn’t mean they won’t want anything this holiday season. There are plenty tangible and intangible gifts you can share with the minimalist in your life.