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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Ask For Better Christmas Presents


We’re getting down to the wire. Just a few weeks left until the big day when everyone unwraps their presents, drinks their eggnog, and complains about what they did and didn’t get for Christmas.

We at The Minimalists have already written extensively about the gifts we like to get: experiences, love, and time. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the gift of giving: the gift of contribution.

You see, the old apothegm ends up being true: ’tis better to give than to receive. Yes, we get so much more by giving.

A few months ago, Ryan gave his birthday to charity and raised more than $5,000. Instead of accepting material birthday gifts, Ryan was able to gift clean water to more than 250 people who didn’t previously have access to it.

Perhaps you can do the same this Christmas. Instead of requesting gifts, you can ask people to donate to your favorite charity in your name. Don’t have a favorite charity? Consider asking people to donate to Charity Water; they make it easy for you to set up your own page, and 100% of all donations goes toward bringing clean water to people who need it—people who might die without it.

Wouldn’t that feel better than a new neck tie, a new pair of shoes, or a new piece of jewelry?

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