Non-Material Gifts (That May Keep Giving)

Whether you’re a minimalist or not, the topic of gift-giving and gift-receiving can seem like a difficult one to broach at first.

As the one receiving the present, you may have to hope that you can avoid physical gifts that will add to your material possessions, and therefore increasing the amount of clutter in your life. It can, sometimes, be a stressful time, particularly if people don’t always understand your wishes to be more mindful of your physical possessions.

And for the one giving the gift, the frustration to find a gift that doesn’t feel like too little or too much can be tricky, as well as the adjustment of focusing away from material presents to something less so can make this job a real learning curve in understanding your recipient a lot better.

So what are some gifts that you could consider gifting instead that leads away from the traditional bulky size and large amounts of wrapping you would normally have to do?


The gift of culinary delight can often be… well a delight! We are generally programmed to enjoy food, so the idea of treating someone to the finest foods can be a great way to give a gift that takes up no material room in their lives.

There are a few ways you could do this, one of which is being taken out for a meal to a nice restaurant that serves the kind of food that the lucky gift receiver enjoys. Eating great food can definitely boost your sense of satisfaction which makes it a great present for the senses. A good atmosphere can also do wonders in creating the perfect kind of eating-out experience.

Another way to give food a more personal touch is to cook up a meal yourself. If you’re well versed in the kitchen environment, then this might be a breeze for you, but for the rest of us we might not feel up to scratch with our cooking abilities. But don’t worry, that’s fine! Like any art form, cooking takes a bit of practice, and as long as you put in the work from your heart to give someone the gift of your time and efforts, it’s sure to be appreciated nonetheless.

And of course, you could go simpler by purchasing an edible gift. Sweet treats like chocolate often go down well, and you could always look at finding something personalized such as having the person’s name written on the gift.

One of my favorite places to get personalized chocolates is Thornton’s, a British chocolatier company that do a good selection of quality gifts. You can choose to put the recipient’s name on one of their products, followed by a message of your choice. If you’re looking for a vegan alternative, try Hotel Chocolat’s range of gifts, which are suitable for anyone looking to avoid certain ingredients.


Giving someone the gift of learning via a class in something can offer some much needed help in many areas of life.

The most common one includes driving lessons, which once completed gives the freedom of traveling to almost anywhere, a gift that can keep giving for a lifetime.

There might even be interest in changing careers, and starting on the path to shifting jobs that might require some classes in a particular field. Or it could be a hobby that would benefit from some motivation or a tutor, such as learning an instrument. Whatever the reason, learning provides limitless rewards to help you enrich your life.

Digital Gifts

With the digital world prevailing now more than ever, downloadable or streamable content such as films or games are great things to consider.

For the video game enthusiasts, this is a great alternative to buying a physical disc. Though some games still require you to have a physical copy, most have now moved to the digital platform, where you can not only choose to download new games to your console, you can even purchase classic games through remakes or versions adapted to your current console.

The same can be said for movies and music, where streaming sites such as Netflix, Prime and Disney+ are great for movies, and Spotify, iTunes or Amazon Music are popular for music, so long as you have a subscription to these. By choosing digital over a physical version of the same products, you can save yourself so much space that could be filled with boxes of discs or cartridges than need to be maintained and organized.


I can’t vouch more for this present, as you can get so much more out of it compared to a gift that is with you on demand.

An experience is something that you do get to keep, but in your heart. For anyone that loves to do anything that is different from their daily lives, an experience is a fantastic way to get a taste of any kind of activity.

Contrary to what you might think, it doesn’t have to be some wild, adrenaline-filled activity, you can do experiences in something calmer too, like a cake-making session, pottery making, a luxury dinner at a beautiful location, or even sight-seeing.

This doesn’t stop you from choosing something more exciting though, and theme parks, outdoor sports, camping or even traveling abroad are just some to name a few.

And for something exciting but not involving physical endurance, you could consider a football match, a concert gig, or even a festival such as a music or food festival.

The choices out there are so broad, but the main thing is finding something that fits yours or someone else’s preferences. Our lives are made up of experiences, so why not create some great memories with them?


This can be the best gift to opt for when you have an idea of the things someone likes, but you don’t know or you’re not exactly sure what they want.

You can get a voucher for virtually anything these days, and in fact all the things listed above would also work as a voucher.

This has so many advantages, as you can avoid being too specific, which could cause some disappointment. A gift voucher for a particular retailer gives the recipient so many choices as to what they can get with the voucher.

You can also put in as much money as desired, and there are a range of different values meaning you can be quite specific as to how much you want to contribute.

It’s also somewhat safer than giving cash, and a lot more thoughtful as you’re showing that you are keeping someone’s interests at heart, and not just throwing them some money.

However, for kids in particular, you can be sure they are only buying items that the vouchers allows for, maybe something like a musical instrument they want to learn, or for driving lessons they want to take. This can help avoid potentially irresponsible spending, especially if can’t be fully trusted with it yet, and may take the money to spending on clothes or games instead.

What I wanted to demonstrate is that there are plenty of ways to create gifts for someone that might not necessarily want to accumulate too many physical possessions at the moment, and you can find something just as fulfilling, if not even more enriching than the classic material gifts you might normally give or receive. Happy gifting!

21 thoughts on “Non-Material Gifts (That May Keep Giving)

  1. Very good tips. Nowadays almost everyone has lot of things both essential and non essential. It is difficult and sometime stressful to choose what to gift. I know some of our friends are donating money for some good cause and the certificate is received by the gift recipient. Their logic is very simple instead of increasing clutter in one’s life it should go where needed.

    1. Yes that’s true, and donating to charity is a brilliant idea, especially at this time. It’s definitely important to see to others that need more help than ourselves, as it’s sadly always the case. Thank you for commenting!

  2. great ideas but also asking for a preloved gift is ok too! Meaning something from the thrift shop and frankly if the gift is not you then gift it on. Nobody is obliged to keep all their gifts …

    Nice to meet you!

Leave a Reply