Minimalist Way of Gift Giving

I am happy to say that this X-mas season once again, I am so far from the consumption oriented cities, far far off in a quiet town with about 15 shops in downtown with population of 6000 people in El Gouna, Egypt.  Not much Christmas decorations, and I kept forgetting that it was the actual X-mas day, especially with this summery weather.  Last year at this time, I was working at a ski school in Japan in the mountains, so did not do too much shopping either.  Love it.  Is it weird that a girl does not like shopping?

Don’t get me wrong, I love food, I love friends and family gatherings.  But I am just not happy about exchanging unnecessary gifts.  I think Secret Santa is great, as it reduces gift buying to one person instead of being responsible to buy many tiny insignificant gifts.

Better yet why not buy experiences for others or yourself, to keep as memories?

  • Travel for a weekend getaway
    Book hotel and nice dinner, and just go!
  • Spa treatments
  • Create personalized coupons that never expire
  • Couple
  • 30 min massages, cooking a romantic dinner, anytime cuddle time, ice cream date.
  • For Mom or Wife
    Chore tackle.  Doing laundry, cleaning bathroom and toilet, mowing the lawn, or making the best breakfast.
  • Lessons: salsa, cooking, boxing, music, kiteboarding, surfing, etc
    (Make sure the person really wants to do the activity.  From my experience of teaching kiteboarding to people who received lessons from family or significant other as gifts because the payer wants them to learn, there is no real motivation.)

These are just a few alternatives to buying gifts.  I personally would love some cultural cooking lessons anytime whether friends or family teach me, or professional cooking lessons!

I moved to a new country 20 days before Xmas.  My holidays were going to be celebrating with strangers.  As time passed by, Xmas celebration was organized by coworkers,  three guys I work with as kiteboard instructors put together a super simple, yet rich and delicious meal.  On top of that with homemade cocktail.  Each prepared two or three dishes and we simply had a slow dinner in the Egyptian desert.  Not too shabby.  In return on the following day we cooked the next dinner.  Food and company always melts my heart.

So what minimalistic way did you do your gift giving this year?