As we wound down our time in Vancouver we crammed a lot of activities in – mostly beach days. On our last beach day my friend and host of epic proportions said; “I wanted to get you guys something great, then I thought of how light you travel so then I didn’t”. I told him the memories he helped create are the best gift he could have given us.
And it’s true, we do travel light, we live with less stuff so we can do more stuff. And the many memories we created with him will last longer than any t-shirt, mug, or key-chain. So that begs the question…
What’s a good gift for a minimalist?
If you have a family member that likes to live with less, try one of these foolproof, money-back guarantee minimalist gifts. They’ll love any one of them!
This is probably the best gift ANYONE can get, minimalist or otherwise. Just look at how precious time was for Marty McFly in Back to the Future. And how grateful he was that he was given time back by Doc Brown. He was so grateful that he reciprocated and wrote a note to Doc Brown of his impending death, thus giving Doc Brown more time.
But if you lack a time machine (or plutonium) try to simply spend time with someone. Go for a coffee or beer or something to eat. Maybe just take a stroll with them, or run, or bike ride, a country drive, short canoe trip, paddle-boat or something else you dig on. Whatever. We’re here for a good time, not a long time, so have a good time – the sun can’t shine every day! *
You’d be surprised at how we “minimalists” just enjoy hanging out and talking with friends.
#2. Give them Something your Kids Made
True story alert: My nephew painted something when he was about six years old. It was a baseball-ish painting of a ball diamond with players “playing” and it was terrible. It didn’t look like much more than a few turd-like bases splattered on green paint with a completely misshaped baseball “diamond”. The players were so big it would take them two steps to go from first to third – clearly not even close to scale. And the foul lines were so askew that the even more crappily painted umpires wouldn’t be able to decipher a fair ball from a foul one. But I fricken LOVE that painting. It used to hang in my brother in laws front hall, and I’d love to hang it in my own front hall one day. It just captures what he (my nephew) was (and is still) passionate about.
That being said, don’t overdo it on the kid-made gifts. I don’t want a macaroni necklace – I’ll just boil it with my macaroni and cheese for some extra food when I’m hungover. Oh, and anything made in kindergarten through grade one that involves glitter or cotton balls is an automatic garbage toss.
No, seriously, when I say I don’t want anything, I mean I don’t want anything. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Not some crappy dollar store gift. Nor something you ordered from some $hitty catalog that came in the mail that you then perused on the toilet and somewhere along the way found a crappy gift you thought I might like as you were dropping a deuce. And certainly not some gag-toy made in a Chinese sweat-shop where the workers wonder “what is this piece of $hit thing I’m getting paid 10 cents to make? What’s with these people? ”. And definitely no cotton-ball laden bunny that looks absolutely nothing like a bunny and more like a pillow that shat itself. I don’t need stuff. If I do, I’ll likely go out and buy it myself at a thrift shop.
#4. Give the Gift of an Experience and/or Memories
Memories tend to be created from experiences – be it enjoyable or a less enjoyable experience. I’ll never forget my first ballgame experience – what a memory. My dad died when I was five, so I never got to enjoy even a game of catch with him let alone a ball game. But another neighbourhood dad knew that I loved baseball – he even nicknamed me “white shoes” (I guess because I wore white cleats while all the other kids wore black ones). His son was on my ball team and the three of us, along with my brother, enjoyed not just the game but the dude in front of us who devoured an entire bag of peanuts with his plumber butt giving us a half-smile the entire game (seeing gluteal clefts are funny at any age). In the end the Blue Jays edged the Orioles. Or was it the Brewers. See, I’ll ever forget my first ball game!
What’s your first memorable experience? Did it involve nuts and bum cracks too?
Stuff just doesn’t make a good gift anymore. I’ll take any of the above gifts over the gift of stuff any day. No ifs, ands, or butts about it!
Now go sell all your stuff and give the gift of cotton-ball bunnies on glitter-laden construction paper!
*song lyrics from the Canadian band Trooper’s hit song; We’re here for a good time.