9 Experience Gifts For Minimalists In 2022
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Small, unique, experiential. Those are the gifts that come to mind when we think about shopping for loved ones who’d rather not receive more “stuff” for the holidays. Plus, there’s no shortage of meaningful experiences for our family and friends—from creative workshops and museum memberships to immersive artwork and practical (yes, practical) home goods that any minimalist will love.
Looking for more ethically made and sustainable gifts for the holiday season? Check out our guide to the best sustainable gifts (and best gifts for him, too). Happy giving! ✨
1. Framable Puzzles & Recycled Playing Cards
The best gift is one that you can share with others, which is why we love these games from some of our favorite small businesses and sustainable brands. For example, Jiggy’s framable puzzles ($29+) are one of our favorite unique gifts for minimalists young and old—the collection includes puzzles for adults and juniors alike. Designed by global illustrators (a percentage of the sale goes back to the artist), each Jiggy puzzle comes in a reusable glass jar with a tube of glue—so that after your loved one completes the piece, they can frame it in their home. Jiggy is also a woman-owned company and ships carbon-neutral.
For a gift your loved one can use for years (and camping trips) to come, the Tree Playing Cards ($20) from certified B Corp Happy Earth are perfect for those who enjoy nature and being outside. The woodlands-themed deck features 54 unique, hand-drawn designs, printed on FSC-certified cardstock.
2. Avocado Yoga Bundle (& Virtual Classes)
A punch card or monthly membership to a local yoga studio, rock climbing gym, or dance center is perfect for the active minimalist. We especially look to these online yoga classes to help us stay grounded throughout the year.
In addition to gifting our loved ones a gift certificate to their favorite studio or an online fitness platform, we love the meditation pillows and yoga bolsters from the sustainable brand Avocado ($79+). Crafted with 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and filled with vegan buckwheat hulls, these pillows offer firm yet comfortable support. Also to note: Avocado is a Certified B Corp and Climate Neutral Certified brand. Its pillows are made locally in Los Angeles at a GOTS certified factory—powered entirely with renewable energy—and the company gives back to 1% For The Planet.
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3. Writing Classes & Learning Opportunities
For the minimalist longing to get back in the classroom (even if it’s a virtual one), you can support their endeavor by gifting a membership to an online educational platform. Try a gift certificate to Catapult or GrubStreet, where today’s top writers teach online workshops in craft writing.
MasterClass ($180/year) offers courses in writing, cooking, photography, and more—we particularly enjoy Dr. Jane Goodall’s class on conservation and Ron Finley’s class on gardening.
And for something really fun, this Skype class with New Zealander Alice Bulmer is fantastic for learning Ukelele ($40 per lesson or $160 for six lessons). For even more online learning options, check out our favorite educational platforms.
4. Uashmama Organizer Bags (& Other Home Goods)
A minimal home doesn’t have to be a bare one. Consider gifting your loved one simple and lasting home essentials to complement their thoughtful space while cultivating a warm ambiance. Nontoxic candles, artisan soaps, organic cooking oils and spices—these consumable goods are all useful and create little waste. Neither do they take up much space in a loved one’s home.
We also love these organizer bags from Uashmama ($10+), made from reusable, highly versatile, washable paper. The collection comes in 20+ colors and nine different sizes, and each bag is handmade in Italy with the utmost care. Snag a bag for all the minimalists on your list, or better yet, use the paper bag to create a minimalist gift basket!
Use code GOODTRADEGIFT for 10% off your first Uashmama purchase through 1/31/2023
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5. Museum & Botanical Garden Memberships
For a gift that can be used all year long, The North American Reciprocal Museum Association has a nationwide museum membership that works with over 1,000 institutions in the U.S., Bermuda, Canada, and Mexico. Members receive free visits, museum coupons, and discounts on tours and lectures for weekends filled with art and culture. And if your loved one lives in a metro area, consider gifting a membership to local botanical gardens, like the ones in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Denver. Annual memberships for individual botanical gardens usually start at around $100, and many include unlimited visits, discounts, and free year-round parking.
Finally—a team favorite—an America the Beautiful annual pass ($80) is great for nature-loving minimalists who want to spend 2023 exploring national parks and forests.
6. Ancestry & Genetic Testing Kits
While a more personal gift and likely most appropriate for a partner, parent, or sibling, ancestry and genetic testing kits are perfect for anyone who is looking to learn more about their genetic makeup or heritage. One example of a company we love: Dynamic DNA—a CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified laboratory located in Springfield, Missouri. The brand offers a range of personalized health, fitness, and nutrition tests ($99+) you can take at home, as well family and ancestry tests. The Skin DNA Test is one of our personal favorites, as it includes 25 genetic traits that will help you develop and maintain a healthier skincare routine. These tests are simple: simply swab, seal, and mail the kit back to the lab and receive personalized results in your email. We, of course, recommend everyone discuss any at-home testing results with their doctor.
7. DIY Artwork & Craft Kits
Analog gifts are what’s in this season, and DIY is the perfect alternative to store-bought items. We love these air-dry pottery kits from Sculpd ($65) and hand-knitting sweater and beanie patterns from Mild Woman ($8—heads up! The beanie pattern is currently free!). With DIY options for all abilities, these make for an ideal winter craft.
Uncommon Goods also has a range of craft kits starting at $10—gift your minimalist friend a springtime paint-by-numbers ($35) to lift their mood during winter. This site is great for finding a tactile gift specific to your loved one.
8. Give In Your Loved One’s Name
Giving to a charitable or social cause in honor of someone you care about is one of the most thoughtful ways to celebrate the season. There is no shortage of impactful organizations, including IFundWomen, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to women entrepreneurs, the Sierra Club to defend wild places, or the Loveland Foundation for providing therapy to Black women and girls. We highly suggest looking into local organizations as well, or even asking your loved one which local organization they prefer you donate to.
If a monetary donation isn’t possible, you can also volunteer your time in someone’s name.
9. Colorful Cookware & Organic Consumables
Whether your loved one is an aspiring chef or a professional in the kitchen, cookware invites them to try new flavors and recreate their favorite recipes. Tried and trusted cookware from Great Jones ($20+) will last for many years and meals to come. It doesn’t hurt that every single pot, pan, and baking sheet from this brand is gorgeous. I mean just look at the mixing bowls. Minimalists everywhere are swooning.
In addition to cooking supplies, consider some spices or organic sauces and oils for a consumable gift. Our pick is the organic olive oil from Olivo Amigo ($76). It’s made from early harvest Picual olives (Joy) and Nevadillo olives (Vitality) at an organic-certified family farm in Jaen, Spain. Yum.