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Gifts for People Who Say, 'Don't Get Me Anything'

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Gifts for Minimalists_cover

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There's been a cultural shift to declutter our homes, people are spending their hard-earned dollars on experiences instead of stuff — and some people just don't need a physical gift. So what do you buy for someone who says they don't want anything (and means it)? Don't waste money on a gift that will create unwanted clutter and be received with a groan. If you're searching for the perfect gift for the minimalist in your life, we've curated a variety of ideas from practical services to experiential gifts.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: Unusual Gifts They'll Never See Coming

The Light Phone
The Light Phone

A Design They'll Appreciate

$299 from The Light Phone

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The world is a busy, messy, and chaotic place, but there are still products out there that try to keep things as simple and uncomplicated as possible. The Light Phone II is an unlocked 4GLTE cell phone that eschews the app-happy madness that other phones embody. It will, however, call, text, set alarms, and provide hotspot functionality. The user can also opt to use it as a calculator and music/podcast player. Its interface is, of course, incredibly minimal.

Tone on Tone Pet Silhouette

Something That Honors Their Pet

Price: $38 and up from Minted

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If they won't accept a gift themselves, we're betting that a gift that alludes to the love they have for their dog or cat might be something they welcome with open arms. These Tone-on-Tone Pet Silhouettes from Minted are simple and chic — just the qualities they love — and come in a variety of sizes and framing options for different budgets.

Christina Vartanova/istockphoto

Sign Up for a Class

Price varies from Udemy

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If you know someone is interested in picking up a skill, consider investing in their creative or professional future by paying for a class or lessons. Even if they've already taken up a hobby, you can still help them progress with a gift certificate. Udemy offers online courses in tons of categories and, once paid for, you can gift it to someone.

Related: Gifts for Couples That'll Make Them Both Happy

Book an Adventure

Book an Adventure

Price varies from Viator

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Viator's experiential gifts including skydiving or skiing passes, horseback riding, helicopter rides, or guided tours such as food or drink walks, neighborhood bike rides, or architecture boat tours can be excellent gifts. They can even help a friend or family member uncover something new about their own city.

Related: Experiences Worth Giving as Gifts

Purchase a Website Domain

Buy a Website Domain

Price varies from LinkedIn Learning

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Do you have a minimalist friend who is trying to start a side business? Check out LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda), which offers a ton of website design and development courses that you can gift a loved one who's just getting started.

Related: Creative Gifts for Artists That Are Sure to Inspire

Uber Gift Card

Give Gift Cards

Price varies from Amazon

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For some, gift cards might feel too impersonal, but you can't underestimate their appeal for people keeping clutter at bay. Gift cards for music and games, local food co-ops or coffee roasters, fine dining at favorite restaurants, educational workshops, Airbnb getaways, and Amazon gift cards can be thoughtfully tailored for the recipient. Amazon's selection of third-party gift cards is huge — and even includes service cards like Uber that mean your minimalist won't have to buy any stuff.

Related: Perk 'Em Up with These Great Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Two girls with masks in the park during pandemic
lechatnoir / E+ / Getty Images CC

Give Your Time

Price varies from Groupon

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With so many people feeling time-crunched (and, during the pandemic, lonely), remember that time is a gift you can give to someone else. Schedule a "date" with a friend or relative who'd appreciate it more than a physical gift. Groupon has a "Things To Do" category that provides great inspiration for spending time with your loved one, and at a discounted price.

Related: What to Do If You're Feeling Alone This Holiday

Present Them With a Puzzle
Give Them a Peek Into Their Ancestry

Give Them a Peek Into Their Ancestry

$99 from Amazon

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Services offering ancestral DNA testing help find where in the world you came from. Gifting a test through a service such as AncestryDNA can reveal generations of history and a loved one's ancestral past and ethnic makeup — and offers a subscription to, where family trees can be identified from possible genetic matches.

Related: Thoughtful Gifts for Sisters


Give the Gift of Snack Delivery

$8 and up from Love With Food

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Have a friend who likes to nibble? A regular snack delivery ensures that special someone thinks of you whenever they grab a bag. Love With Food donates meals to families in need with every purchase.

Related: 25 Snack Box Subscriptions for Every Type of Eater

Give a Subscription to Pop Culture
Hello Fresh, 2021
Hello Fresh

Gift Meal Kit Delivery

$63 and up from Hello Fresh

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Meal kit delivery services make meal prep simple and can be a fun way to get budding chefs started or kick a newly health-conscious friend into gear by helping them plan healthier meals. Treat friends and family to HelloFresh's one-time meal-kit delivery. The service offers options for vegetarians, meat-eaters, and families.

Barnetts Chocolate
Unicef Gift

Donate to Their Favorite Charity

Price varies from UNICEF Market

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If your minimalist is philanthropic or passionate about a certain cause, make a donation to a favorite charity in their name. Go a step further and volunteer for a project that means something to them — even better if you volunteer together. Use sites such as GiveWell and Charity Navigator for ideas and to determine which charities trustworthy. UNICEF offers a marketplace of charitable gifts. After purchase, you can create a custom e-greeting or printed card to let your loved one know the humanitarian gift was inspired by him or her.

Related: Meaningful and Unique Gifts That Give Back

Treat a Friend to a Delicious Meal

Treat a Friend to a Delicious Meal

$125 and up per lesson from Cuiline

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Bonding over a shared activity and good food will help you connect with those you love, and make a thoughtful gift for the person who already has everything. Cuiline offers cooking classes with accomplished chefs specializing in the cuisine of almost any region you can imagine via Zoom, and ingredients are sent to you in advance.

Related: The Bucket List Restaurant in Your State

Send Them on a Food or Drink Tour
Hershey's Chocolate World

Send Them on a Food or Drink Tour

Price varies from Virgin Experience Gifts

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Need a gift for a foodie but don't want to buy food? Send them on a food or drink adventure. Whether it's a brewery, distillery, or chocolate factory tour, a cheese and wine tasting, or a city-specific tasting such as deep dish pizzas in Chicago, you're bound to find something delicious and even educational for your minimalist friend. Virgin Experience Gifts offers experiential gifts in several locations around the U.S. in a number of categories, including food and drink.

Related: 25 Gifts Under $25 for Food Lovers


Let Your Friends Drink at Home

Price varies from Flaviar

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Flaviar offers both budding and seasoned spirits enthusiasts a unique sampling experience, with tasting vials of rare and exclusive finds in addition to premium bottles. You can send a 6-month or year-long subscription, giving giftees a solid introduction to a variety of new flavors.

Related: Raise a Glass to These Gifts for Beer Lovers

Let Them Read

Let Them Read

$80 from Amazon

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With a range of topics at your fingertips, ebooks and audiobooks make great gifts for minimalists. But digital books mean nothing if your recipient doesn't have a great device to read it on. Slimmer, slighter, and waterproof, the new Kindle Paperwhite takes up little space and is purposeful enough that even a minimalist will appreciate it.

Related: Clever and Creative Gifts for Book Lovers

Take a Dog for a Walk

Give a Service

Price varies from TaskRabbit

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Treat a friend to some well-deserved pampering with a mani/pedi or a massage. Alternatively, offer to run someone's errands for them, fix their toilet, walk their dog during the day, or babysit their kids for an evening or even a whole weekend, New parents will consider even a few hours to catch up on sleep a tremendous gift.

Related: 75 Gifts That Are Made in America

Phoozy Apollo II insulated phone case

Help Them Stay Virus-Free

$40 from Phoozy

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This Phoozy Apollo II insulated phone case features antimicrobial technology that reduces microbes by up to 99.99%, plus the case protects a phone against extreme temperatures, extends battery life, provides 8 feet of drop protection, and even floats. It's available in sizes for most phones and other devices.

Related: Useful Gifts for All the Practical People On Your List

Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillow

Improve Their Sleep

$40 and up from Amazon

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Most minimalists understand the need for structure in life, so of course they're going to also comprehend the importance of a good night's sleep. These Beckham Hotel Collection Gel Pillows are going to get plenty of use. They are hypoallergenic and loved by Amazon buyers — more than 135,000 reviewers have given them 4-plus stars.

Related: The Best Gifts for Night Owls of Every Possible Persuasion