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Best Christmas Gifts Ideas That Aren’t Things and Clutter-Free

Best Christmas Gift Ideas that aren't things - Nigermany
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Christmas is quickly approaching, and this means the start of the holiday shopping season. While it’s probably easy to find outstanding gifts for some people on your list. But what about friends and family that seem to have everything? Maybe you have a minimalist on your gift list. I think we all know someone who is a little tricky to gift because they seemingly already have it all.

So, what do you get someone who has everything or doesn’t want any more clutter in their home or isn’t a fan of our consumable economy?

What about giving an experience instead of a gift-wrapped item? Sometimes, the best Christmas gifts aren’t things. Here are a few clutter-free ideas to help you check everyone off your shopping list.

Top Christmas Gifts Ideas That Aren’t Things

Tickets to Events

Gifting tickets to events like a concert, play, or sporting event gives the recipient the opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime. In fact, many actually prefer experiences over material possessions these days.

You can also give tickets to a museum or gallery show. Look for upcoming events that are happening locally and are in line with the recipient’s interests and you may even be able to find gift certificates that are easy to buy for flexibility. Having trouble finding an upcoming local event? No worries, what about finding an online event? From Master Classes to live-streaming concerts, you can find plenty of online options.


When you think of subscriptions, the first thing that probably comes to mind is magazines. However, the goal is to give Christmas gifts that aren’t things. Even if the magazines are passed around to various family and friends, someone still ends up with the clutter.

What about a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime, to name a few? The annual subscription doesn’t produce clutter and will provide hours of entertainment throughout the year.

Subscriptions to monthly tea, cookies, or other edible treats are another great gift idea for the minimalists on your holiday shopping list. Do you have someone on your list who hates cooking or grocery shopping? A subscription to a food delivery service is another idea that is sure to be a perfect gift and genuinely appreciated.


Giving someone an annual membership can be pricey, but it’s a gift they won’t soon forget.

Some membership ideas include golf and country clubs. What about giving the designated family or friend driver a membership to a road service assistance group like AAA?

Costco memberships are great for people on your list with large families. Caffeine lovers will appreciate a membership in a coffee club.  

Seasonal and Annual Passes

Passes, either seasonal or annual, are often a little easier on your budget than memberships.

Museums and zoos often offer passes for a surprisingly affordable price. Some museum passes may even cover entry fees to multiple buildings. For example, the pass may be good for the area’s art, history, and science museums.

If there is a theme or amusement park nearby, consider gifting solo or family passes. Sometimes, you can take advantage of deep discounts when you purchase passes in bulk.

You may also want to consider a one-time entry pass if you are on a tight budget. This is also a great idea to give to a frequent traveler.

Gift an Experience

When it comes to gifting an experience, your options are almost endless. A good idea is to check what’s available in the recipient’s area.

Some ideas include a hot air balloon ride, or you can go a little more extreme with a skydiving experience.

Whale watching, local tours, river cruises, and wine tasting are a few examples to help you choose the perfect experience for your loved one.

Dinner on You

Gift cards often seem impersonal, but not when it’s a free meal at the recipient’s favorite restaurant.

You can plan the meal for two or solo, depending on the recipient. Don’t forget to include the cost of drinks and dessert in the gift card amount.

Checking Groupon and other similar websites can significantly lower prices, making it an affordable gift for those on tight budgets.


Gift cards may also be involved in this gift idea, but their personal nature will add the right thoughtful touch.

Some services that make great gifts include haircuts, massages, and manicures. Why stop at just a manicure? Go ahead and add a pedicure to the gift.

You may even want to treat a loved one to a day at their favorite spa. After all the stress that typically comes with getting ready for the holidays, you may want to join them on their spa trip.

Classes and Lessons

Chances are, you’ve heard at least one person on your Christmas list mention they wished they knew how to do something. You can make their wish come true this holiday season with classes or lessons.

Maybe someone wants to learn how to cook or make a specific recipe. You can give them the gift of cooking classes or lessons.

Photography courses and music lessons are other great ideas.

Don’t forget about online courses. Along with Master Classes, many colleges and universities offer online classes for non-students to participate in.

Before you start enrolling people in various classes, it’s a good idea to ensure the subject is something they are interested in.

Gift Your Time

Sometimes, the best Christmas gift that isn’t a thing is your time. However, you want your gift to be meaningful. This means offering more than spending an hour or so with the gift recipient.

You may even want to combine this gift with another one. For example, if your gift includes dinner, you add in babysitting.

Babysitting for an evening also makes a great gift by itself.

Consider offering free snow removal or lawn mowing. Does someone have an extensive garden? You can offer to spend your time tackling weeds.

Washing and detailing vehicles or cleaning their house are other ways you can gift your time.

The Best Christmas Gifts Aren’t Always Things

Instead of giving clutter, think outside of the box. Sometimes, the best Christmas gifts aren’t things. Experiences, passes, memberships, and even your time make thoughtful gifts that will be remembered. Not only are you giving people something they will enjoy, but you may also save money on your holiday shopping list.


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