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Wonderfully Unexciting Gifts

Updated: Dec 26, 2018

These 'gifts' won't get dopamine going, or fulfilling any pre-existing desires. They are unsuited to wrapping paper and presentation ceremonies.

What they might do is get the infrastructure of life more invisible, less troublesome. They are things people are hesitant to pay for themselves, but the ratio of cost to delight means you just go buy them. They will end up loved, in a calm, non-spectacular way, for a long time.

Invisible Storage Containers

Give 50 of them, enough for the whole pantry and fridge. Then they can rid their lives of the stray, uncooperative and unlovely ones, and live in fresh-food bliss.

Choose oblong, shallow, and as featureless as possible. No colors, no clips. They should stack into towers in the fridge, and into each other in the pantry. Pyrex Glass will be loved forever. My favourites are Australian Decor Tellfresh Value pack.


Parasols not only protect your complexion, they make life leisurely. How do they do this? You can be a late achiever, and nobody will notice because you still look young.

Shiso Seeds

My #1 favourite most worth-while herb to grow. It self-seeds, and comes back every summer. You gather armfuls of it, and make magical fragrant shiso drink. See the recipe here, on Not Quite Nigellas adoreable blog.

Buy your edible Japanese garden seeds here.

40 Wooden coat hangers

A lifetime's worth. Get the most neutral ones, that they can add to from local shops, as the years go by. Mismatched hangers that just turned up like stray cats do not honour you or your clothes. If a garment isn't worth having on its own nice hanger, its not worthy of hanging on your body.

Lemon Zester

It takes up no room, needs almost no cleaning, and you can use it when almost asleep. The zest gets added to salad dressings, cakes, oatmeal, cereal. It makes so many normal things exotic and wonderful.

When I was an AirBnB host, my lemon zester was praised in the feedback as a relaxation.

If you actually give any of these gifts, I would be so, so grateful to hear back about how they were received.

I love Christmas, and its my Christmas wish that there was less squander, less puzzlement and burden, and more joy. Soft, humble joy is fine.


I now write a blogpost a day on useful, surprising ideas, for getting your life with less obstacles, more joy. I've been testing them out, and so far, so good. To get them in your inbox, subscribe at my lovely website: Ive also launched a project, doing hands-on home declutter sessions, at mates-rates, for creative communicators who will be collaborators, refining, writing up and shareing what I do, to make homes more lovely and loved. If you know any such people, send them my way.

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