Looking to delight your friends and family this year without adding more clutter to their homes? I’ve rounded up my favorite creative consumable and experience-based gifts so you can treat the ones you love – minus the side of clutter (because who really needs another scarf or bath bomb set?).
Food and beverage based gifts are delightful to receive, and they are a great way to support small and/or local businesses. There are so many incredible gifting options when it comes to meals, snacks, treats, and beverages. Most local eateries have some sort of gift certificate option, so if you have a favorite place, or better yet, if you know your loved one’s favorite, you can sponsor their next visit. For the sweet tooth bunch (my hand is raised!), favorites include a delivery of Tony’s rainbow wrapped chocolate bars, a bundle of handcrafted peanut butter cups from Jessies Nutty Cups, a pint club subscription from Jenni’s ice cream, a cookie gift box bundle from the iconic Levain bakery in NYC, or a gummy candy box from Kimchee Avocado. I’ve also been curious for years about these famous pears – anyone tried them?
For the coffee lover try a coffee subscription bundle from Misto Box, and for the wine lover you can’t go wrong with Helen’s wine club (and for Bay Area folks, some local love to Redfield Cider Bar & Bottle Shop in Oakland, who have a monthly subscription that is the perfect mix of affordable and enjoyable). In super dangerous for someone with my lack of self control news: my good friend Stacy just told me about Goldbelly which delivers cult foodie favorites like deep dish pizza and the perfect New York bagel nationwide – my life is forever changed.
Everyone (and I mean everyone!) has a unique skill to share with their loved ones. A few fun ideas to consider depending on your talents: an afternoon of home organizing or design help, a few hours of gardening, home repair or house painting, a home cooked meal or breakfast in bed, a yoga or meditation class, an art or craft tutorial, a cooking class, graphic design or web help. If numbers are your thing, help a loved one with their taxes (looking at you, loved ones – help!). Think outside the box and offer up the things that come easily to you that are sure to make someone else’s day.
The Gift of Time
Who among us couldn’t benefit from more hours in the day. Especially for the new parents in your life, or someone who is navigating a challenging life transition, consider the gift of a meal delivery (or grocery subscription), a day of housecleaning, a laundry service, or even a few hours of childcare. The best part is you can jump in and offer these services yourself or splurge on a gift card or subscription. Options!
A Class, Workshop, or Membership
In addition to museum memberships, or tickets to a concert or event, there are so many in person and virtual classes, workshops, and courses available on any topic you can dream of! Jordan has gifted me yoga packages, soul cycle classes, and even a memoir writing class, and they are my favorite and most memorable gifts to date! Wine tastings or food tours make a great gift that you can share with the recipient, and I’ve also loved taking virtual cooking classes from Truffle Shuffle which start at just $25. I’ve also had my eye on some in-person and virtual AirBnB experiences which range from taco tasting to mountain climbing to visiting the Louvre with an art historian!
A Day at The Spa
Treat someone to a massage, facial, or mani-pedi at your favorite local spa, or you can purchase a spafinder gift card so friends can locate their own local spot and redeem at their leisure.
Read All About It
For the bookworm in your life who wants to lighten their load, consider an Audible subscription or a Kindle credit. Audio and e-books reduce waste and clutter, and you can purchase a single book or a monthly subscription package.
OK, couldn’t resist a shameless plug for my book Minimalista. Pair it with fresh flowers or some eco-friendly finds like a wooden dish brush, or wool dryer balls. Package everything together in a chic reusable french market bag for the ultimate home improvement bundle.
Unique Experiential Gifts
Think outside the box and get creative with your experience-based gifts. A DNA kit, an Enneagram test, a tarot reading, a self curated (perhaps with support form your local indie wine shop) wine tasting, boogie board lessons or a backyard camping trip complete with s’mores all make unique gifts that are sure to be remembered. For a gift that will get more meaningful over time, I recently learned of Family Love Letters, a unique company based here in the Bay Area. They have designed a supportive and collaborative process that captures the life stories of elder adults and turns them into one-of-a-kind, highly personalized letters to be shared with family members. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving!