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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, CBC, and NPR.

Podcast 038 | Giftgiving

In this episode of The Minimalists Podcast, Joshua & Ryan discuss giftgiving, the holiday shopping season, Black Friday, and the commodification of love, and they answer the following questions:

  • What gifts are appropriate for minimalists to gift on special occasions where gifts are the expectation, such as weddings, baby showers, bachelorette parties, and the like?
  • What gifts have you given on Christmas?
  • How do you tactfully part with gifts from loved ones without offending the gift giver?
  • How do I explain minimalism to family members with regard to giving gifts and receiving gifts?
  • What is the difference between a thoughtful gift and asking someone what they want for Christmas?

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Minimal Maxims

Joshua & Ryan’s pithy, sharable, less-than-140-character answers to the lightning-round questions:

  • Ryan on gift limits: “Try to compromise—can you ask your family to give consumables or experiences?”
  • Joshua on gift limits: “Don’t set expectations without first attempting to understand why someone is upset.”
  • Ryan on gifts for fathers: “Gift him an experience. How about preparing his favorite meal?”
  • Joshua on gifts for fathers: “Most dads I know—including myself—prefer presence over presents. After all, presence is the best present.”
  • Ryan on charities: “Charity Water is my favorite charity, and World Vision is a close second.”
  • Joshua on charities: “GiveWell.org provides evidence-based, thoroughly vetted analysis of the best charities to donate in your name, or as a gift.”

Mentioned in This Episode

This episode was produced by Shawn Harding. Our theme music was written and performed by Peter Doran. Our podcasts are completely free, so if you found value in this episode, and you’d like to help us produce more, please consider donating a dollar to The Minimalists. Your donations help keep this podcast 100% advertisement-free (because advertisements suck).

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