06 May 2011

The Perfect Gift for your Minimalist Mom

Image Credit: Creative Tools on Flickr
If you've ever attended an estate sale for an elderly woman, you should know better than to purchase knick-knacks for your mother! I look back now at how many little tschotskes we bought for Gramma Christmas after Christmas after Birthday after Mother's Day. Every nook and cranny of her house was stuffed with junk she was "saving for the nursing home" when in reality I sometimes wonder if she just didn't know what to do with it all.

My poor husband now has this dilemma every holiday... what to do for the woman who honestly doesn't want anything? So, my Dearest, this is for you, and all the others out there who have to figure out a no-gift gift.

Clean Something ~
Wash her car, and I don't mean just taking it by the drive through. I'm talking Shop-Vac until all signs of baby snacks and curdled milk drippings disappear. If you can't get her car for the day (and that's how long it'll take if you have small children), do something around the house that she despises ~ scrub the shower floor or clean the oven (after you make her a nice meal perhaps).

Take her on a Date ~
I hesitate with this one. Your mother does not want to spend her special day in line at the local family diner to eat a piece of over priced pie because you forgot to plan ahead. Trust me on this. If you have reservations, fine, take her out to eat. Otherwise, pack a nice picnic and go for a family outing. Maybe take her to the movies and buy her a popcorn and a big box of Milk Duds. But don't take her to a waiting room.

Tickets for a future date ~
How about tickets to a play, the ballet, the zoo, the museum, a rodeo, a ball game (if SHE is into that), a concert, or some little island off the coast of Italy ~ whatever she enjoys (that happens to match the depth of your pockets). Check your local Chamber of Commerce page for events and venues in your area.

Membership Has it's Privileges ~
Nothing makes you feel more special than jumping to the front of the line because you have a special membership pass. What's in your area that your mom loves to do: is there a museum, a theatre, an amusement park, a gym (careful with that one)? Maybe a two-for-one deal so you can enjoy regular time together.

Make it Personal ~
Think about what makes her tick, and go with it...

  • For the chef: substitute flowers with a bouquet of her favourite fresh herbs
  • For the nature lover: plant something in her garden ~ my preference would be a red bud tree. 
  • For the sweets lover: a dozen cookies or a loaf of homemade zucchini bread 
  • For life's student: sign her up for a fru-fru class (like a sewing, painting, writing or cooking) at the local community college  ... heck, go all out and get her horseback riding lessons
  • If she's a techy, or just "with the times": an iTunes gift card, a case for her Kindle, or upgrade her phone to an iPhone ~ got that for Christmas one year!! loved it! 
  • For the not-so-techy: upload all her old CDs so she can listen on her mp3 player
  • For the digitizer: a big-gig jump drive to back up her computer
  • For the adventurist: take her bungee jumping! 
  • For the practical mom : AAA membership
  • For the addict: Starbucks or Sonic giftcards. 
  • For the philanthropist: Make a donation to her favorite charity
  • For the newbie Minimalist: Haul off something she's been wanting removed ~ a old computer from the 90s or a piece of furniture taking up space in the garage. 
  • For the homebody: paint a room she's been wanting to dedecorate (not a typo.. a minimalist dedecorates while others redecorate). Add some crown molding to her living room or replace the tile in her bathroom. 
I know this is a long post, but I was trying to be inclusive. Hopefully, you'll can find something here for that certain special Minimalist in your life. ~ Plain & Simple As That.

Share your gift ideas in the comments! 


  1. I found this from Ginny's post - I love it! Great list! :)

  2. Thanks for stopping by Caneel! I checked out your profile and I need to read more of your blog. I also write for Oh Baby! Baby Foods and I work at my church's preschool. That combination has inspired me to want to write a post for parents dealing with allergies. Specifically, how to share information with caretakers.

  3. This is so great! I'm a 26 year old mom to 2, and I really don't want to start the tradition of getting/giving 'stuff' for every holiday. Unless there's something I specifically WANT, (Vitamix anyone?!) I would much rather get something from your list! I love your suggestions! I personally would LOVE getting a massage, gift certificates to a spa for mani/pedis, facials, etc, a fun workout class like Zumba or hot yoga that I've been wanting to try...even a nice kid-free sushi dinner or a box of specialty chocolates would be awesome! For Christmas, the 'big' present I got my hubby was Scuba Certification classes. We just moved to Florida, and he's been wanting to get re-certified. That's a gift that will serve him well for a long time! We didn't even get my 2 year old any presents for his bday this year. We went to Chuck-E-Cheese instead and had a super fun time with family! Much more fun and memorable than some junk that will be forgotten in a week!

  4. Scuba classes - how fun! My birthday was last Friday and my husband got me a really nice jacket and a beautiful wool sweater. But I probably wouldn't wear either one very often, so he said it wouldn't hurt his feelings if I returned them. I'd really like to take a creative writing class or some other online classes that I've been eyeballing for a few years, but haven't felt free to pay for them... you may have just inspired my new endeavor!
    Experiences always outweigh tangible gifts in my book. My kids both have birthdays in November - I'm thinking we may start a new tradition and go to the beach every year instead of giving them forgettable gifts.