Love Aesthetics

November 30, 2014



love aesthetics the minimalist gift guide 0


more functional and finishable items up on Selected
image by me

There is an immense pressure on all of use to express how much we love each other through finding and buying the perfect stuff. Magazine pages are filled with all kinds of gift guides and wish list edits, every store is pushing to hit their sale targets before the year ends. Christmas is all about shopping, grabbing and buying.

All I’ve been doing is trying to avoid the madness and not to participate by telling everyone that I really don’t want any gifts. But my mother is one that never listens and always shows up with something. Last year though, after my pleading to not buy me anything, she brought me a box with luxe, organic, vegan foods. It was so lovely to taste all the delicacies, open a jar of artichoke dip and eat it up together. After a few days it was all finished and I had no extra clutter or stuff in my home. Thanks mom for the non-gift.

So here’a a little antidote for all the gift guides that will only fill our homes with clutter, a list of ideas for your minimalist friends, for your friends who already have everything (isn’t that most of us?) and for those who are sick of the holiday-stress. The key is to find things that can be finished up, consumed or experienced and are not permanent material objects that we have to keep.

01/ F O O D
A consumable that you can enjoy together. Give an edible delicacy, or if you have cooking skills a home baked cake.


02/ D R I N K S
Although cliché, an exclusive bottle of booze is always a good idea. Sooner or later it will be finished up and there will be no clutter in your home.
03/ S U B S C R I P T I O N
With so much free information online, we tend to forget about all the beautiful publications that are out there. A subscription to a design/art/fashion magazine or if you want to save a tree and be completely clutter free; a digital subscription.
04/ E X P E R I E N C E
Give an experience instead of stuff. Go on a city trip, a weekend getaway, a spa visit together.
05/ W R I T I N G G E A R
For me personally, notebooks are like consumables. I fill up quite a pile each year. They help me keep my thoughts organized, I have one for every separate project I’m working on. A fresh new notebook or sketchbook always comes in useful, specially with all the new 2015 projects just around the corner.
06/ M U S E U M P A S S
Fits right in your wallet, and will generate much more memories than an object.
07/ T I C K E T S
Same as number 6, get your hands on upcoming concert tickets or festival tickets.
08/ F L O W E R S
A temporary decorative item, which will make room for the new within a week.
09/ C A N D L E S
Find a lovely scented candle to burn through and finish up. Some of my personal favorites are the jasmine candle from A.P.C or Byredo’s ‘Bibliotheque’.
10/ S K I L L
Acquiring a skill is much better than acquiring a thing. Take a workshop or course together.
11/ S C E N T
A perfume is probably the most common and cliche gift, but that’s probably because it is usually a welcome one. A scent or a cosmetic product is something that can be used up, be absolutely sure it is their signature or favorite brand though, otherwise it will only fill up their beauty cabinet
12/ D O N A T E
For those who already have everything, donate the cash otherwise spend on presents to support a good cause.

13/ N O T H I N G
The most liberating, minimalist thing would be to gift nothing at all and with that take away all the worrying and stress of finding the impossible perfect gift. You can put all your focus on just having a great time.



  1. Rachel says:

    I always find that experiences or trips are one of the best presents to receive as you can’t really put a value on memories 🙂

    Rachel // Style Soup

  2. K A R L says:

    omy this is a lovely advice.. i love tip #13 the most.. but yeah drinks, notebooks , and food are great ideas too

  3. Olga says:

    Yep, “nothing” would work for me. Or a bottle of Cuir de Russie by Chanel. 😉 My husband and me usually go the “activity/experience” way for the family gifts. Works like a charm and makes everyone happy. 🙂

  4. Ellen says:

    best gift guide ever.

  5. mimi says:

    love this gift guide! i usually get everyone on my list something from the thrift store – not exactly clutter free, but definitely more unique!

  6. yp says:

    agreed. great gift guide

  7. Marimorena says:

    Great ideas!! Love the last one!! 😉

  8. Lucy says:

    Great ideas Ivania! I always design and make sweets for everyone. the process is quite a lot more expensive than buying quality chocolate but i enjoy it so much, tailoring flavours and designs to suit the individuals, plus i get to test out the merchandise for quality checks of course…… Hehehe! 🙂 It would be strange to make you a chocolate box as i don’t know you irl, but your style and aesthetic would definately make such a beatiful box i can see it already, dark and white chocolate coverings with silver and gold leaf, tiny black dots, lines, or maybe wagashi, wow it would look so great in a plain white or grey box. Just out of curiosity what would your flavours be?
    Hope you and your family have a great Christmas and lots of lovely non gifts! ❤️

    • ivaniacarpio says:

      That sounds like an incredible skill! It sounds both beautiful and delicious, your friends are so lucky. I would love a dairy free option dark chocolate + mint 🙂
      Hope you have a lovely christmas too

  9. T. says:

    Love this gift guide!

  10. Lucy says:

    Thanks Ivania for answering. I’m not sure i can take much credit for the recipes as it is all of the internet, but i just love the creative side of it. Here is the recipe for your mint chocolates, hope you make them and enjoy!
    Icing sugar mixed with a few drops of water, pure pepermint oil start with 7 drops and taste ( i like it quite strong so i use double that amount (or more) for 200 gm of icing sugar and you make a dough out of it, Then just cut your dark chocolate into chunks or smaller pieces and sandwich them in the dough. Then cut into squares with a wet sharp knife and put it out to dry fo a day. To decorate just use a wet small brush to glue anything edible you like on top. Really quick to make should take about 5 mins minus decorating time. These are also an amazing digestive aid and so yum!!!
    Thanks you so much! You too! ❤️

  11. crystal says:

    this is an inspired idea for a gift guide. I am always pleased to read your more lengthy posts, because there are no superfluous words. it’s confident and efficient and honest to everything your blog says about minimalism and reducing waste.

  12. Millie says:

    These are great!! 🙂 xx

  13. Angie Wilson says:

    love these ideas, so thoughtful and refreshing!
    xx Angie |

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  15. Jay says:

    Great post. I totally love the ideas and share your opinion about gifting something that will bring memories. Very useful post. I would be very happy to receive a subscription to a fashion magazine.

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  20. Lovely gift guide where all of the gifts come straight from the heart to the receiver.

  21. Neens Bea says:

    What a great gift guide! Last week, one of my friends gave me a trip to the Harry Potter studio tour in London for my birthday – it was an amazing experience and the memories will last a lifetime! When it comes to gifts for others, in addition to your ideas I also like to give handmade, organic soaps – they’re the kind of little luxury that most people don’t buy for themselves, but they’re consumables that won’t last too long and, in some cases, better for the recipient’s skin and for Mama Earth than what they’re currently using… ;o)

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