What do you get for someone who has everything? Nothing! (Nothing, that is, but the gift of time and love.)

This season, we’re starting a new tradition. On December 30, 2017 (and annually on the first Saturday after Christmas), we’re celebrating The Gift of Nothing Day — a day to spend time with loved ones who already have “everything” or want “nothing” for the holidays.

The occasion is inspired by Patrick McDonnell’s bestselling children’s book The Gift of Nothing, which features beloved MUTTS duo Mooch and Earl. In the book, Mooch wonders what to get Earl on a special day. Finally, he discovers the perfect gift — a box filled nothing! “Nothing,” he explains, “… but me and you.”

(As members of the MUTTS community may already know, in 2014, this story was transformed into a children’s play commissioned by The Kennedy Center. Then in 2016, Patrick released a board book adaptation titled The Little Gift of Nothing.)

How to Celebrate The Gift of Nothing Day

This year, for a special holiday present, Patrick and the rest of us at Team MUTTS are encouraging gift-givers to create their own boxes filled with “nothing” for friends or loved ones. Each box should contain a personal promise — a coupon or certificate of sorts — to spend quality time with the recipient on December 30. Activities for The Gift of Nothing Day can include volunteering at an animal shelter or enjoying a home-cooked meal, going on a long drive, dancing in your living room, having a slumber party, or even turning off the TV and enjoying a quiet evening together (doing nothing)!

To honor the story’s poignant simplicity, we encourage you to find, decorate, and/or construct a box by hand. (This is a terrific activity for kiddos, by the way!)

However, if you wish to buy your gift, that’s OK, too! We have a keepsake The Gift of Nothing Box — inspired by the one in the book — available for purchase at the MUTTS Shop.

Want to learn more? Check out TheGiftOfNothingDay.com for ideas and inspiration, or “like” the holiday on Facebook to stay updated about The Gift of Nothing Day news. And on December 30, tag your pictures with #TheGiftOfNothingDay to share your special moments with others around the world!

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