Minimalism is not a fun-sounding word. It brings images of stark, white walls and concrete floors. Fortunately, this is not what most minimalism looks like, and our kids still enjoy toys, books, and colorful decor. Our living space only has room for the necessities, anything extra will create clutter and added weight. The purpose of this minimalist lifestyle is to say - hey - we don't need more STUFF that will break or collect dust, we want to spend money on memory-making adventures! Consumerism is addicting, anyone that has ever walked into a Target understands this, we get sucked into a vortex of spending and feeling like we NEED so many things. Living in an airstream has challenged us to figure out what we actually need and cut out all the stuff that distracts us from being present with our family.
Our oldest daughter, Georgi, has an upcoming 9th birthday and with it will come gifts galore! Minimalist gifting does not necessarily mean "less gifting" it simply means that we have switched the focus of our gifting from wrapped things to experiences. Experiences can be anything from a trip to Disneyland to a picnic on the beach, and it can also mean gifting an item that provides an experience - for us this generally means outdoor gear such as a bike or a snowboard with a pass for the season, or even a membership to a Children's Museum or Aquarium - these types of presents will stretch your money farther and provide more entertainment than a bunch of toys. This year we will be taking Georgi to the local Fair on her birthday and we have a trip planned to Canada to visit friends that will be a big part of the celebration!
Our lifestyle means that we rarely have a steady address for longer than one week, and we do not have storage for bulky gifts. Here are some of the online memberships that would not require storage or an address:
Only $12 for a year subscription! This year we created an email address for Georgi so that she could get Birthday Emails from friends and family. This will be a great addition to her mailbox, and fits into our homeschool lifestyle!
Band Together Rocks was created by a fellow full-time family with campfire singing in mind, it keeps families in mind and exposes kids to all sorts of genres from Reggae to Folk! This would be a fun gift paired with a ukulele, harmonica, or guitar.
Epic! is considered the Netflix for books and for good reason! Georgi loves to look at joke books and craft books, but having a consistent library is nearly impossible while traveling. This allows her to access all library books from a tablet at only $7.99 a month - and it is good for all ages!
Engaging and educational - and perfect for long road trips! This is a fun alternative to books and movies, open up your ears to different cultures with this fantastic membership!
Sparketh lets you choose the age level and interest of your child - afterschool lessons or homeschool curriculums are available. This is a really great program for a little art enthusiast and could be paired with a watercolor set, or some pencils and paper!
These online membership gifts are perfect gift ideas for grandparents!
Replacing necessities also falls under the category of minimalist gifting. Georgi needed a new bike, a few replacement clothes for her capsule wardrobe, and some new art supplies to replace her worn down set.
I love gifting minimal for so many reasons. Firstly, it takes the pressure off of finding the newest and greatest toys, browsing Amazon, or perusing the Walmart aisles. I also know that it can be done on a budget and we can spend as little or as much as we want, but still have a wonderful time as a family celebrating together. Lastly, I can rest easy knowing that we are not buying into the fast-fashion and wasteful consumerism that has plagued this nation, we are teaching our children that it is not all about unwrapping presents, it's about being present with each other.