First, welcome to my first non-photography, non-wedding related blog post yaaaay!
Anyone who has known me for more than 5 minutes will tell you that, “Amanda has opinions… and random ideas… and weird dreams.” One of the things that I’ve started to have strong feelings about is gift giving. These feelings are a reflection of my feelings and opinions on consumerism, waste(fulness), child-rearing, social constructs, and family dynamics. Now, before you ask the answer is no I do not have children. My partner has a son that I’ve been so fortunate to watch grow into a young adult and who doesn’t rolls his eyes at my opinionated ramblings. Even if that weren’t the case I still believe that I’m perfectly justified in having opinions on child-rearing because I’m a human who interacts with other humans every. single. day.
Another foundational opinion that influences my feelings on gift giving is that it should be about the gesture. A gift is a gesture that someone cares about you, has paid attention to your wants and needs, and knows you well enough to know what your likes, interests, etc. What it is not/should not be is an obligation (of which there are varying degrees), a contest, or something that people max out their credit cards over.
For the last couple years my partner and I have been purging. We have too much stuff (more on that in another post), not enough space, and have developed our own tastes and styles. So, last year, when my Mom called to ask what we’d like for Christmas I said, “Consumables.” “Like what?” “I’m not sure, but we really don’t need or want any stuff.” She did a good job, but I think that when I gave the same answer this year it was frustrating so I started thinking about what would qualify as “not stuff”. I have also had so many conversations with friends about how there’s always that one person who’s soooooo impossible to shop for. Here’s another opinion I’ve taken on thanks to my partner-man: sometimes you have to know better and get them something that they want, but that they don’t want to want. I’m a perfect example: I don’t like “girly” stuff (yes I do), but more importantly I’m not going to buy it for myself. This can be as simple as when he got me a pair of purple handlebar grips for my bike instead of the black ones. He knows I was eye-balling the purple ones because they’re fun and colorful, but that I would play it safe and get the black ones instead.
So with all of that here are my gift ideas for people who don’t want “stuff”, who “have everything”, are minimalists, or are “impossible to shop for” (in no particular order, not all ideas were originally mine)…
- Date night gift cards or coupons – Also a good idea for kids!
- Dinner at a restaurant they like
- Tickets to a movie/concert
- Child/Pet care
- Self-care day gift cards
- Bottle of wine
- Child/Pet care
- Original Art! – Also a good idea for kids!
- Support artists that they like or know
- Commission a pet portrait
- Perhaps it’s of a place/thing they like
- Plants – Also a good idea for kids!
- Low-maintenance house plant(s) with container
- Seeds/Starts for garden
- Plant supplies
- Replace something “old” or “broken”
- Should legitimately need to be replaced
- Like… kitchen/bath towels, oven mits, utensils, door mats, etc
- Cover a month/year of an existing subscription
- Like… gym, magazine, CSA box, Blue Apron, domestic service, etc
- Class/Workshop & Supplies – Also a good idea for kids!
- Should be a topic that they’ve expressed interest in and/or that you can do together.
- Car Wash & Detail Gift Cards
- iTunes or Audio Book Gift Cards (commuters will LOVE this) – Also a good idea for kids!
- Fancy (or not) Consumables
- Like… spices, coffee, alcohol, oils, body care products, other non-perishables
- Activity that has tickets or cover charge – Also a good idea for kids!
- Like… Membership to local museum, seasonal events, concert, lecture, festivals, outdoor anything, etc.
- Did they recently get married, have a baby, or a family portrait session?
- Yes? Purchase prints/display items
- No? Gift card for session
- Acts of service coupon book
- “Good for one…”
- Make a charitable donation in their name… to a charity that THEY care about.
- Buy them an eff’ing star!
- Pool together for an AirBnb weekend
Also if there’s one thing that I appreciate as an adult that I hated as a kid… NICE SOCKS & UNDERWEAR.