Gift Ideas for People Who Don’t Want More Stuff

what to get someone for christmas who has everything

I love opening gifts, especially if there’s no bacon inside!

What do you give someone who doesn’t have everything and yet wants nothing? These gift ideas are for people who don’t want more stuff to clutter up their homes.

Like me.

I know there’s a lot of stuff in this world that is interesting, beautiful, or even striking – but I don’t necessarily need to look at it every day. Or dust it annually (like the plastic brown Buddha I got as a wedding gift).

I love the idea of giving gifts to show love and have fun at Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays. I love ripping presents open and being surprised (sometimes shocked, like when I saw the plastic brown Buddha statue). It reminds me of being a kid, all naïve and innocent and fresh.

But I don’t love the boxes of junk in my basement at home, full of stuff I don’t know what to do with.

So I finally got around to writing an article that describes a few gift ideas for people who have everything…

Gifts for People Who Don’t Want Stuff

Cows, goats, llamas, ducks, chickens, honeybees, and clean water

According to Heifer International, 79% of Americans polled would rather have a donation made in their name rather than a gift they know they’ll never use.

“The Holidays are for giving. This season give the gift of joy to a loved one while helping families around the world receive training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant. Whether it’s for your husband or wife, children, grandparents, coworker or even a Secret Santa present, a gift from Heifer keeps on giving this holiday season. Select one of the unique gifts below and create an honor card for the special people in your life.”

I’m amazed at the variety of ways to help people around the world by gifting animals, clean water, basic necessities, and food. This is a thoughtful, creative gift idea for someone who doesn’t want more stuff. To learn more, go to Heifer International’s Gift Catalogue.


One of my favourite lines is, “I love tickets!” (Cameron Diaz in the first Charlie’s Angels movie).

I think I’ll give my Little Sister two tickets to something like Disney on Ice or Cirque du Soleil. We can go see the performance together in January or February, and it’ll be something fun that we experience together.

Gift someone you love with your time and attention, and add a little culture! Take him or her to a concert, live performance, or even a studio tour of CBC (don’t ask why that popped into my head. It just did).

Gourment food and beverages (not Kraft Dinner)

Me, I prefer cans of Tim Horton’s coffee and bagged flavoured teas that I can serve to guests (not the loose tea, because I don’t know how to make a pot of tea). I love coffee and tea gifts because they’re practical and usable, but still fun to open on Christmas morning.

I’ve heard that bacon-flavoured foods are popular, such as Bacon-Flavoured Coffee or Baconnaise. I think almost any gourmet or different type of food would be a great gift idea for people who don’t want more stuff, because it’s an adventure! I hate bacon, but I would try bacon-flavoured coffee in a heartbeat. Just to see. I could always give it to my husband if I don’t like it. He loves bacon.

An interesting idea is a Syrup 6 Pack — Chai, Cinnamon, Eggnog, Gingerbread, Nutmeg, Pumpkin Spice. This is especially useful for people who are big into pancakes or waffles for breakfast, or who like going to other people’s places for pancake breakfasts :-)

An adventurous dinner or destination

Here’s a suggestion from Karen, over at how about coupons/tickets/gift certificates for travel destinations,activities, or restaurants in their area? A lot of people don’t ever see the marquis destinations and restaurants they live near because of the expense or because they figure they’ll get to it later (and later never comes).

I’ll take a trip to Peru, thank you very much! Or a dinner at the Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant.

A gift that directly relates to their hobbies or lifestyle

Here’s a list of articles for specific interests and people:

The best gift ideas for people who don’t want more stuff are things that support their hobbies or interests. Maybe it bores the heck out of you to listen to them talk about their dog’s bowel movements and sleep habits, but they obviously love their dog! So give them something that they and their dog can do together, like an agility class.

Earthquake Preparedness Kit

I have to admit that this is not my first choice of a gift, but one of the women in my book club is giving every one of her family members one of these!  I don’t know where she bought hers, but 72Hours Emergency Preparedness sells a wide variety of earthquake preparedness kits.

To my husband and family members: do not buy me this. I think the neighbours have enough kits to go around.

I want slippers for Christmas, because the ones I got two years ago are all worn out. I also want a 2 year subscription to Oprah Magazine, and perhaps a…

Kobo or Kindle

I know this counts as “stuff”, but it’ll actually reduce the books-and-magazines clutter around the house! With a Kobo Wireless e-Book Reader, you can borrow books from the library.

A Kindle e-Reader doesn’t permit borrowing books from the library, but it’s much more popular than a Kobo. I don’t know why – it may just be because Amazon made the Kindle and can advertise and market and sell far more than the Kobo people can.

Today, I’m picking up my Kobo from the library. I want to take it for a test run before I commit to buying one. Smart, huh? :-)

Okay, I’ve run out of time. I haven’t run out of gift ideas for people who don’t want more stuff, but I have to take my dog to the vet.

If you have any tips or suggestions, please comment below!

Before You Go...

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Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
I live in Vancouver, BC; my degrees are in Education, Psychology, and Social Work. Most importantly, I am a Christian! I love God, Jesus, Spirit. Your comments are welcome below, but I can't give advice. Are you lost, hurt, scared? Take a deep breath, and remember the reason you exist. "The eternal God is your refuge; His everlasting arms are under you." - Deut 33:27. Feel free to share your prayers and experiences here.

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3 Responses

  1. Laurie says:

    Thanks for your tips and comments! I think I want a Kobo, or a phone. Can you believe I don’t have a cell phone? Well, I have a 10 year old flip phone with a battery that lasts for about 20 minutes.

    Maybe I should ask for a smartphone for Christmas — and for someone else to cover the phone bill for a year.

    Bruce, are you listening? xoxo

  2. Laurie,

    These are all good ideas (although I don’t get the obsession with bacon-flavoured everything).

    And, with so many people downsizing to smaller houses or apartments/condos, who needs more junk? A ticket to Cirque du Soleil would be an amazing gift for anyone. Wonder if my husband will see this if I leave your webpage open…

    Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

  3. MissDazey says:

    If you have elderly people on your list or know of a nursing home near by, consider these. Just a start, hundreds of more ideas will come once you think about it.

    1) homemade gift certificates for things like: a drive thru a park in the summer time with a stop for lunch or a trip to loved ones grave on Memorial day.
    2) sewing needles threaded with several colors of thread. (or offer to mend something.)
    3) audio books and a player
    4) lessons on how to do email

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