I plan on giving experiences, to replace much of my traditional shopping this Christmas. I would like to give experiences and memories that last much longer than “stuff”.
I’m determined to simplify gift giving. I will not just talk about doing things differently. This year I will do it – and writing this post will provide me with extra accountability to make it happen.
My kids’ birthdays are in October, November, December and January so if we’re not careful, the fall and winter can become a gift frenzy.
Giving the gift of an experience could be for grandparents, aunts and uncles that are looking for gift ideas, or in lieu of other wrapped gifts from parents.
Giving Experiences, Not “Stuff” This Christmas
This would be especially meaningful if the children would be really excited about a particular class, and know that it wouldn’t be something mom and dad would ordinarily be able to provide.
This is not the time to give piano lessons if your children hate playing the piano (just saying…).
- Lego Robotics
One of my sisters has begun a neat tradition with my children. For their birthday, she has them over for a sleepover, a meal of their choice and a fun activity. It doesn’t have to be elaborate to be a highlight for them.
They start asking her a month before their birthdays when it’s time for their “birthday sleepover”. The event has included:
- An hour at Playdium
- Baking chocolate-covered anything
- Renting a fun DVD
Is there a particular show that’s in town that your children would like to see? What a perfect opportunity to spend time together and make a memory.
Depending on their age and stage, it could be Disney on Ice, a sophisticated venue like Stratford Theatre or a concert.
If you start early, you can watch for reduced-cost outings and adventures that would be unique gifts. A few favourite sites include Groupon and Living Social.
You could find deals on:
- Paintball for a small group
- Rental of a play place
- Rock climbing (a huge hit with my older boys)
Our extended family is considering cancelling gift exchanges this year and going somewhere special together. Trading wrapping paper for lifetime memories.
Great Wolf Lodge looks like a great option for all the cousins ranging from 1 to 11. If we can convince the more traditional relatives, it will simplify gift purchasing – and if we decide this soon, we can watch for good deals all fall.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Gift
If I were to give in to my husband and my persuasive children, I would surprise them with a Christmas puppy! I am pretty certain that would be the only gift they would need for that year.
If your child wants a pet, and you are okay with that responsibility, this would be a fantastic gift idea!
As your family feels lighter by simplifying gift giving, what a perfect opportunity to help others during the season. You could visit a hospital, help organize a food bank or invite over people for tea.
Giving experiences instead of stuff could revolutionize the way we celebrate.
Now is the perfect time to begin to plan for Christmas giving. I want to purchase one experience gift each month for my children so the budget does not take a major hit in December. Starting early also allows me to watch for deals and avoid panicked shopping.
Making a radical switch in the gift giving traditions here will be difficult, but our family will discuss it and transition over the next few seasons. We will strike a balance between experiences and physical presents to see what works best for us.