Following on the success of last year’s “Thingless Christmas” my family will once again be forgoing giving each other things. We got the idea for thingless gift-giving from Connie Cox and Chris Evatt’s book, 30 Days to a Simpler Life. It is the thoughts and sentiments behind the gifts that we cherish the most. Meanwhile, the gift objects themselves are often unwanted and end up doing nothing more than taking up space, cluttering up our houses and our lives. So the idea of “thingless giving” is to give meaningful gifts that don’t come with the obligations bound up in objects.
Examples of thingless gifts include gifts of time (see for example the time gift certificates from the Center for a New American Dream), gifts of events (such as theatre tickets or gift certificates for restaurants), gift memberships, and consumables. The category of consumables encompasses everything that can be used up including comestibles (such as wine, chocolate, fancy olive oil), toiletries (such as soaps, bubble bath, essential oils), candles, fancy printer paper, cleaning products (luxury laundry detergent for example) etc.