Minimalist Christmas gift ideas – simple, purposeful gifting

This post may contain affiliate links.

Minimalist Christmas presents are gifts that focus on quality, use and thoughtfulness rather than excess or materialism. Research shows that in the UK alone we are spending 5 million pounds each Christmas on unwanted or unused Christmas gifts! And, nearly 80% of us go over budget on our Christmas shopping – you don’t have to look far to notice that we have lost the real meaning of Christmas.

So, let’s get back to a more simple, purposeful way of gifting – to have a more eco-friendly Christmas – here are some minimalist Christmas present ideas:


A great way to promote making memories, and reduce how much ‘stuff’ we give and receive during the festive season, is to focus on experiences instead. (Buyagift is great for gifting interesting things to do!) This could be…

    • Tickets to a concert, theatre show, sports event or a movie.
    • A spa day, massage or beauty treatment.
    • A cooking or art class.
    • Tickets to an escape room.
    • An annual pass to a museum, zoo, attraction or something like the English Heritage.
    • For kids, vouchers for activities like: laser tag, trampoline parks and soft-play always go down a treat.


Homemade Gifts:

If you’ve got a skill, why not make something personal to give this Christmas? You could get the kids involved, and with the amount of rain we have here in the UK it could be a good way to keep busy in the warm too. Consider…

    • Hand-knitted scarves, blankets or throws.
    • Homemade candles or soaps.
    • Custom artwork or crafts.
    • Jars of homemade jams, preserves or sauces.
    • Personalised photo albums or scrapbooks.
    • Home-cooked baked items.
    • Christmas ornaments.
    • Scrap wood planters for a keen gardener – making use of free pallet wood.
    • For children, you could make a puppet theatre, castle or dolls’ house.

frugal mum children, christmas craft



Edible gifts are also brilliant – they serve a purpose, are a great treat, and when they’ve been devoured there’s no evidence left! Shop bought or homemade, I’m sure these yummy things would go down well…

      • High-quality coffee, tea or specialty foods.
      • A basket of fresh, seasonal fruits.
      • A bottle of wine or a craft beer selection.
      • Chocolates and sweets.
      • A selection of cheeses and chutney (you could even make your own).
      • A collection of spices or exotic cooking ingredients.
      • Festive foods – Christmas cake / pudding, mince-pies, gingerbread cookies or shortbread – homemade if you’ve got the time!
      • Food mix jars – things like cookie ingredients, or hot chocolate kits.



I love receiving books – there’s nothing like getting lost in a good one on a cold, wintery day. They’re easily found second-hand from charity shops or online second-hand websites, so they make perfect budget-friendly stocking fillers. Think about…

    • A useful book based on the recipient’s interests – like cooking, gardening or crafting.
    • Something from their favourite genre, or by a particular author.
    • A classic novel or a literary collector’s item.
    • A travel scrap-book.
    • A personalised journal or planner.
    • A diary for the new year.
    • Colouring or activity books for kids.
    • A photo book or calendar – always a hit with the grandparents!
    • A recipe notebook – you could add a few of your favourites too.

frugal mum child opening boxset on christmas morning, second-hand gift, budget giving



Plants are usually very well received – a calming gift for the house, or something more useful like herbs or seeds for a keen cook or gardener. You could choose…

    • A potted plant or succulent – perhaps something seasonal.
    • A planter filled with herbs for a keen chef.
    • An indoor bonsai tree.
    • A selection of air-purifying houseplants.
    • A festive flower arrangement.
    • Packets of seeds – perhaps for a veg garden.
    • Or use cuttings from your own garden, for a budget-friendly option.


Gift Cards:

Gift cards allow someone the freedom to choose their own present, which takes the pressure off a little. They’re perfect for older kids too, who are no longer into toys – my little lady loves a shopping spree!

    • A gift card to the recipient’s favourite restaurant or cafe.
    • A gift card for a particular shop, or a High Street Voucher for more options.
    • Gaming gift cards – Roblox, Xbox, Fortnite etc – all big hits with my two!
    • An Amazon, iTunes or Google Play gift card.
    • Or print my free personalised coupons – perhaps offering to help in the garden, wash the car, cook a meal, babysit or give some DIY, printable christmas coupon from frugal mum


Digital Gifts:

For relatives who live far away, or for someone who isn’t a fan of too much ‘stuff’, why not take gifting online, and opt for something digital like…

    • A gift card for a favourite online store.
    • A digital magazine subscription.
    • A collection of e-books.
    • A personalised playlist of music.
    • A subscription to a streaming service – perhaps something like Disney+ for family with kiddies.


Support charities:

Another option is to suggest a charity donation or collection instead. This will stop your hard-earned cash being put towards novelty or unwanted gifts, which just clutter up our homes, whilst helping those in need at a difficult time of year.

Donating to a cause you care about can make the holiday season more meaningful. We are fortunate to have so many things, so donating to a food bank, or purchasing a gift for a child who may not otherwise receive one, can be a more positive way to give. Check out my article: Where to donate (or receive) children’s charity Christmas gifts in the UK.


Desperate to have a more low key Christmas this year? Read my article: How to have a simple, minimalist Christmas (to maximise your happiness!)


Searching for some more ways to have an eco-friendly Christmas? You’ll want to look at: 25 ways to have an eco Christmas – and save money too!


Or trying to stick to a low budget Christmas? Check out: Christmas without money – 30 tips for a DIY family Christmas on a small budget

christmas on a budget, frugal mum article title image


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like