It’s a Minimalist Christmas! How to Give (what matters) This Holiday Season

November 24, 2009

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Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter

Uh oh, it’s almost Black Friday.

Hopefully the idea of running out to consume, after you’ve consumed all of that turkey, gives the shudders. It certainly gives them to me. The idea of people cramming half-off things into shopping cards actually makes me want to lock myself in the cellar and reemerge after the holidays are over.

Nothing is sadder than running around a store frantically trying to buy useless things at a discount, then pawning them off on some poor friend or family member who has to deal with that object until they can safely throw it away without you noticing.

Stop buying stupid stuff, especially for other people. Please!

The whole idea behind Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate is giving right? Let’s take a moment to think about what giving actually means.

You can give by:

  • Helping someone live a better life.
  • Making someone smile.
  • Helping someone achieve something.
  • Making someone feel good.
  • Giving someone an opportunity that they would otherwise have.

Nowhere that definition can I see ‘giving is another useless plastic object they can put in the closet.’

Most of us have everything that we will ever need already. I only have 97 things, and I still think that’s way too much. I don’t need anything else.

To be honest, if I received anything that I couldn’t immediately benefit me every single day of the year, I’d ask that the person who gave it to me to return it.

I challenge you to give a gift that actually means something to every person you know this Christmas.

Five minimalist Christmas gifts:

  1. Dinner. I love cooking for people, this is a great way to show to someone that you appreciate them. One way to do this is to give someone a small card inviting them to dinner. If you’re a terrible cook, take them out for dinner.
  2. Wine. You can share it and it makes you tipsy. Not Yellowtail or Two Buck Chuck. Good wine, the kind that comes in a bottle and costs a little more than average. A good place to start is a bottle that you’ve personally enjoyed.
  3. Knowledge. Buy someone a book that they may read, but MAKE SURE it’s a good one. There are a lot of crappy books out there, and no one wants a book from the sale rack. Stick with the bestseller lists, or books that you’ve personally learned a great deal from. If this confuses you, a gift card to a bookstore will do.
  4. Money. It’s usable for a lot of things, such as paying down student loan debt or buying groceries.
  5. Opportunities. Get someone an interview somewhere. Give them a recommendation. Expose a person to the right environment or ideas.

Think about it, and look at that list again. You want all of those things, don’t you? Maybe not the Wine, but you can supplement that with a fine beverage that suits you or chocolate.

If you give plastic crap you will get plastic crap.

If you give what you want, you will get what you want.

It’s really that simple.

If you want to, send this story to everyone on your Christmas card list. I promise you will get three more bottles of wine than you did last Christmas.

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