This Christmas season, as you are making your lists and checking them twice, give some thought to NOT buying more STUFF. Instead, give your niece, your mother-in-law, your brother something different — give an EXPERIENCE. Not only would you not be cluttering your relative’s house with more junk, you would be doing Planet Earth a favor too.
Many years ago, Recycla’s mother-in-law took her to see the Nutcracker Ballet and it was wonderful. Another year, the same MIL gave Recycla and her husband a gift certificate to an amazing restaurant. Those were all terrific gifts.
And one of the best gifts Recycla has ever received was from former coworkers who pooled their resources for her baby shower and got her a gift certificate for a cleaning service so that she wouldn’t have to take clean toilets while getting the hang of motherhood. If they had gotten her the usual assortment of baby clothes, diapers, and toys, she would have been grateful, but the gifts would not have stayed in her memory. However, it’s been 14 years and Recycla still gets a little misty eyed when she remembers that gift certificate.
Over the years, Recycla and her husband have continued this trend and have given each other and their relatives and friends “experience gifts.” Recently, Recycla and a group of her girlfriends gave another girlfriend a gift of a hot air balloon ride — something the friend has long wanted to do.
What kinds of gifts of experiences could you give? Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- baking and cooking — either in a class or at home
- the arts — Do you have a little niece who would like to take ballet classes? Or maybe a nephew who wants to take an art class?
- one-time adventures, such as rock climbing, skydiving, bungee jumping, and other death-defying activities that make Recycla shudder
- pampering — spa weekends, massages, manicures and pedicures
- tickets to shows — plays, concerts, and more
- tickets to sporting events
- dinner and a movie
- a trip to the park with your godchild, followed by an ice cream cone
Really, the possibilities are endless! Your gift of an experience can cost as little or as much as your budget will allow. For larger gifts, you could go in with another person or a group of people to make it happen.
What are some of the great experiences you’ve given or received over the years?