Are you looking for a thoughtful gift for someone who seemingly has everything they need? Or perhaps for a newly minted minimalist looking to de-clutter their home? My advice is to treat them with an experience gift that will be both useful and memorable.
With COVID likely to be around for the foreseeable future, the best experiential gifts are ones that can be enjoyed in the safety of your own home.
Here is a list of 5 gift ideas the minimalists in your life will truly appreciate.
Experience Gifts for the Curious Mind
With a variety of experts ranging from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, a subscription to Masterclass is the perfect experience gift for almost anyone with a curious mind. I have personally found the content to be both educational and deeply entertaining. Masterclass videos combine top-notch production quality with engaging story-telling.
The episodes are relaxing and soothing, yet still rich enough in their educational content
Watching MasterClass in the evening after a long stressful day is my “less guilty” version of Netflix binging! It allows me to unwind while learning on subjects that I am passionate about such as the creative process, entrepreneurship, or cooking. I find the episodes relaxing and soothing, yet still rich enough in their educational content to satisfy one’s intellectual curiosity.
I have offered this gift to my sister earlier this year. She has been spending time watching cooking MasterClasses with her 11-year-old daughter, who has since taken up cooking!
Particular favorites of my husband and I have been the ones by Chris Voss on the art of negotiation, Neil Gaiman on creative fictional writing and story-telling, and Jeff Goudby & Rich Silverstein on the intricate process behind the making of ads.
Cost of MasterClass Subscription
You can pay one month at a time, or gift a yearly subscription which goes for $180 USD.
I’ve recently discovered Skillshare and have to say that I am completely hooked!
Skillshare is a platform that allows professionals or domain experts in a certain topic to create their own online course.
The courses on Skillshare are aimed at entrepreneurs, artists and creative people, looking to learn and hone down on their skills in illustration, graphic design, web design, film editing, animation, creative writing, photography, SEO, branding, and much more.
So far I am loving the variety of subjects and the quality of the instructors.
Content creators get paid by the minute of paid users watching their class. They are thus incentivized to create high-quality content that brings value to their audience. Courses can range from brief hour-long instructional videos to more lengthy technical 10-12 hours classes. With a big variety of content, there are some for all levels (beginners to advanced).
The courses are quite interactive, with an accompanying discussion board to interact with other users. There is also a project section to upload your work and receive feedback from the teacher or other users. So far, I am loving the variety of subjects and the quality of the instructors. Given that I am working on building a beauty brand, I plan to watch classes on entrepreneurship, leadership & management, marketing, web development, and graphic design. I can think of quite a few people among my friends and family for whom this would be the perfect experience gift.
Cost of Skillshare Subscription
The first month is free and the Premium version is $1 for your first two months. After the trial, Premium is $19 billed monthly, or $99 upfront for the year ($8.25 per month).
Experience Gifts for the Mind & Body
Subscription to The Class by Taryn Toomey
Taryn Toomey is a celebrity fitness and wellness coach famous for her unique workout class simply called “The Class by Taryn Toomey”. It’s an hour-long session where you do simple moves such as squats, burpees, and jumping jacks, oftentimes for the duration of an entire song (the soundtrack is always amazing!). The Class is famous for guiding people into a trance-like state and encouraging you to practice mindfulness while you work-out. I would say it’s a bridge between a HIIT class and meditation.
the perfect physical and spiritual release
When I lived in New York I would attend The Class in person. The experience was quite magical and luxurious. There were Chanel skincare products in the bathroom, very expensive yoga mats, and candles burning all around the walls of the studio!
I have fond memories of the in-person classes, but at $40 per class, they are quite expensive. Since the start of COVID, Taryn Toomey and her instructors offer a digital version of the class which is $40 for an entire month!
The classes are streamed live several times per day. This gives you the flexibility to allocate time in your daily schedule to these workouts and get new content daily. I’ve been subscribing for 6 months now, and find it the perfect physical and spiritual release needed during these stressful and seemingly never-ending work-from-home days.
Cost of The Class Digital Studio
$40 per month after a free 14-day trial
Guided meditation app subscription
I am one of those people who know that meditation is great for you, but who has not fully converted to practicing it. There are now quite a few apps designed to gradually build the habit of meditating every day. A subscription to a mediation app is a great experience idea for nearly anyone: from those suffering from anxiety to those having trouble concentrating or focusing during the day, to finally those who have trouble falling asleep and require relaxation before bedtime.
I am currently trying out the Calm app, and am really enjoying it. It is very intuitive to use. It is also probably one of the prettiest apps I have seen on OS from a design perspective. The content is rich, with guided meditation classes for beginners, soothing bedtime stories for those wishing to relax to fall asleep, and sounds of nature and ambiance-type instrumental music for those looking to relax while reading or focus intensely while working.
A particular highlight for me has been the bedtime stories. For the past few weeks, I’ve been falling asleep to stories narrated by the mellow voices of Matthew McConaughey, Stephen Fry or Eva Green. They are so effective that after several nights of dozing off a few minutes-in, I’ve yet to finishing a story fully, or being able to tell you what they are about!
Cost of Calm App
$59.99/yearA subscription which provides access to the entire Calm catalog costs $12.99/month, $59.99/year and $299.99 for a lifetime subscription.
Experience Gift for the Home Organizer
Session(s) with a Certified Marie Kondo Consultant
My last experiential gift idea is more off the beaten path. It is particularly designed for those in need of help to declutter their home.
One can try and practice Marie Kondo’s method by themselves after reading the instructions in her book Tidying Up, or watching her show on Netflix, but it can be a daunting task. The decluttering marathon can easily take up 30 hours, and as with real life marathons, sometimes you need a coach to give you the right advice and keep abreast of your progress.
In that vein, Marie Kondo trained about 400 consultants worldwide in becoming experts in her method. Certified Marie Kondo Consultants help their clients go through their decluttering journeys. They provide the guidance, moral support, and accountability needed to complete the months-long task. The typical model is hiring a local consultant (you can search for ones working in your region) but you can also hire a consultant for a virtual session (especially during COVID).
I will shamelessly plug in the link to my own consultant website below if you are interested in working with me! I became certified in 2019, am currently based in Montreal, but I also offer my sessions virtually. In parallel, I would love to meet the readers of my blog and learn more about them. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Cost of hiring a Marie Kondo Consultant
Consultants will charge anywhere from $60-$200 / hour depending on their level of experience. Most will also offer packages making the hourly rate more affordable. Most consultants will offer a free first intro consultation to understand the needs of the customer.
We hope that this list of experience gifts gave you some good ideas for how to treat the special people in your life this holiday season. For more gift ideas for the minimalists in your life check out our Minimalist Gift Finds from ETSY at every pricepoint post.