Dec 14, 2015 by


Gift giving/receiving season got you stressed? Not sure what to get people when you’re trying to promote simpler living? Not sure what to do about unwanted gifts that don’t fit with your less is more lifestyle? Francine Jay, aka Miss Minimalist, has a solution: It’s the “One Less Gift” Certificate.

Jay’s certificate (available to download as full-page PDF), promotes a “stuff-free holiday.” The certificate expresses appreciation for the receiver’s generous spirit, but says that the giver has everything she “could possibly want” and would prefer that both parties have one less thing to worry about, along with more time, money, stress and environmental responsibility.

The certificate is a two way proposition, saying both what the giver wants (no stuff) and what the receiver will get (no stuff). It then proposes to find other ways to enjoy this enjoy the wonderful season together. Jay gives examples of what that looks like: Volunteering, exchanging good deeds, protecting the environment and more.

Gift giving is a very touchy subject. For many, being told that they cannot give a gift is a grave offense. Who is anyone to say you can’t give what you want? Yet many of the gifts that are given–especially to people trying to simplify their lives–end up being immediately discarded. The gift is basically wasted time, money and resources. And yes, you can always donate, but that that seems like a quick fix, rather than a real behavioral shift.

How are you handling the upcoming gift season? And what do you think about Jay’s certificate? Would you give it to someone? What would you do if you received it? Let us know.

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