With the holiday season upon us, and the joy of gift giving (and receiving), give the gift of an experience.
The memories experiences provide.
I recall some of the experiences I have received as gifts. The cross-country train trip when I was in 8th grade; the show my parents took my future in-laws and us to after we announced our engagement; the Rockettes performance I took my children to since my mother had told stories of her going with her parents in NY; the now annual dinner out in Boston with our children once they are all home for the holidays. I can even tell you who I sat next to and specifics of each event. The gift of the experience lasts long after the event. The memories bring joy.
There is a reason why many say their photographs are their most treasured belonging – it’s because that picture sparks a memory about an event. It’s all perfectly captured in one photo. The ski trips, the school plays, the camping trips – the experiences.
The social aspect of an experience.
We’ve all heard that social interactions have an impact on longevity so be involved in the gift. Give your family members tickets to a show with you!
Can I honestly remember what material gifts my mother and father gave me when I was younger? No. Yet, I remember the events surrounding the holidays – even if they weren’t a gift per se. I fondly recall tasting the Christmas cookie batter (before we knew we weren’t probably supposed to); picking out the perfect tree no matter what size or shape it really was; decorating the tree with carols playing loudly and a roaring fire right out of a Norman Rockwell painting; purchasing gifts for the giving tree at school (because after all it is about giving not receiving); participating in the church and sometimes extended family pageants; going to the candlelight Christmas ceremony; and eating chipped beef Christmas morning. The hustle, bustle, smells and excitement of the season were cherished. Whether I even really like chipped beef is questionable, but it is a tradition and one that no doubt will be carried on through my children’s generation.
Sometimes it’s the little things.
Don’t want to spend the big bucks on theatre tickets? How about a family calendar with photos from the year. Think of it as a gift of memories.
Some of the homemade gifts are the best from jams and candied nuts to a personally decorated holiday card. I still have cards that my nieces and nephews have made for me. My father still wears what I think could win the ugliest hat award that I knit him when I was probably 13 or so. It’s green on the right side for starboard and red on the left for port, and I cringe when he still wears it in public.
On a budget, maybe it’s time for the practical.
Consider gifting a practical gift so the recipient won’t stuff it in a closet for that sweater to never see the light of day. Think of something that may be related to an experience or the practical side of a gift: Sleeve of golf balls, tennis racquet, beach chair, fruit of the month club.
Gift of services.
How about a gift of organizing for the person overwhelmed with clutter and life.
Or, maybe I should give my business partner the gift of a plow during the next snow storm! Had to share this photo of her last year (this may be the only time she’s ever been out of control – ha)
Some ideas to help you get started.
• Pandora or Spotify subscription
• For the busy couple, Hello Fresh or Blue Apron are just a few of the meal prep delivery options out there.
• Lessons: dance, painting, piano lessons to name a few. I’m sure you could even find belly dancing lessons if you want to really be adventurous.
• Check out spafinder for a luxurious gift for the person who isn’t used to pampering themselves.
• Fandango for movie tickets
• Gift card to their food shopping store, cheese/wine basket, fruit of the month, a box filled with gluten free products or health food snacks or maybe your favorite snacks that you want them to enjoy.
• For the person who has everything and needs nothing: a gift to their favorite charity on their behalf
Experiences don’t add to the clutter.
We all know, many are bogged down by excess clutter. Giving the gift of an experience doesn’t add to the tchotchkes one already has around their home.
So, when making your holiday list, ignore the temptation, the media, and don’t succumb to the Buy, Buy, Buy Merchandise trap;, try an experience instead that will last a lifetime.
Happy Holidays from us here at ShipShape Organize!