Gift Ideas to Support a Simple, Healthy, Creative Life

Hi my name is Courtney and I am a minimalist.

While I don’t like to get caught up in the labels, I do recognize that I have downsized my possessions considerably, paid off my consumer debt, sold my car and am ready to sell my house and live an even simpler, happy life with my husband and daughter. (and 2 cats and a dog)

Knowing that, it might surprise you that I do give and receive gifts. Our holiday giving and receiving has certainly changed over the years. We want less, give more to people who really need our gifts and live with the one in, one out philosophy so even after the presents are opened, we don’t have more than we did to begin with.

The gift ideas …


gift the gift of learning and growing with self study e-courses that your loved one can enjoy in the new year.


Books are a gift that continue to give long after the reading is finished.


Give experiences when you can, or buy nothing if that appeals to you, but be thoughtful about your gifts and how you give and receive them. The gift is rarely about what is inside the box.

I just delivered day 4 of 31 Days of Gifts You so Deserve. It’s not too late to sign up or give this program as a gift to someone you love. You’ll receive one gift a day through the end of December plus the gifts you missed and so deserve.



  1. says

    These are excellent ideas Courtney! Now, I work very hard to consider someone’s needs as a gift over something that they will never use. I especially love the idea of giving experiences. I would much rather give or receive an opportunity to do something fun versus something that gets forgotten a month later.

  2. says

    After downsizing this year I’m looking forward to a few new gifts but heed your advice on the one in one out philosophy. In the last two years I’ve received several of the simplicity books on your list as presents and they have have been so useful.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Claire, less is different than nothing and I think it’s great to give and receive thoughtful gifts, especially if you are mindful and grateful for what you have.

  3. says

    These are great ideas. I like to get things like a gift card for a pedicure or an amazon card to buy books for my kindle. Less stuff…

  4. Sharon says

    Great ideas :) I would also add things like tickets to the theatre, season tickets for a year’s admission to an art gallery. My partner and I have booked tickets to a dinner theatre and an overnight stay at a hotel. Great fun, great memories and it doesn’t have to be dusted, stored, wrapped or insured :)

  5. Jim says

    My wife has always given experiences for gifts, this year she’s taking the girls in my family to see the Broadway play “Cinderella”. I’m taking my Dad to a jazz concert in the city and my brother in law and nephew to a Jets football game. My wife grew up doing that and now my family is catching on, our first experience filled Christmas!!

  6. says

    Love the idea of gifting ecourses :) I wrote a blog post recently about giving gifts that are meaningful. I also love the idea of gifting “experiences”!

  7. Minimalist Wannabe says

    My family adopted a rule that you must be able to eat or drink gifts – nothing else! If you have time, baking a favourite cake, cookies, etc. If not, your favourite pastry shop or grocery store’s is fine. You get the picture… It’s now my rule all around, except for kids of course!

    The holidays are fun again. No silly/expensive shopping, low stress and just fun family reunions and watching kids’ joy. :o)