Gift-giving is so fought with pit holes : we give and get so much stuff, that we don’t really want or need. Our planet is drowning in our plastic waste. SO what are the alternatives, if you want to show someone you appreciate them through a gift, but don’t want to buy yet another thing.
Give an experience!
An expereince is perfect
… for the unexpected friend or relative that turns up with loads of pressies, but you have none for them
… the person who has everything they need
… when you are totally stuck for ideas
… when you didn’t get a chance to do a quick run to the shops for a present
… when amazon or the courier hasn’t delivered the ordered presents
Over the years we have given quite a few experiences.
Experience presents don’t even have to be bought, but can be vouchers you make yourself. (Just pop on the computer and design something nifty. There are lots of graphic design apps or online sites, like Canva.com, if you don’t have the skills or the wish to do it yourself. )
1. A Pack of Small Joys
Couple of Christmases ago Dadonthebrink got a pack of vouchers for small things: a massage, an uninterrupted afternoon and evening watching football, a pub night out, and so on. He’s usually the sort of guy that puts family first and takes little for himself, so these little gestures meant a lot to him.
2. Babysitting vouchers
My friend got 5 babysitting vouchers from me that same year.
I asked blogging friends whether they gave expediences and what sort of experiences and got some great suggestions:
3. Glamping Nights
Jess gave her parents got a 2 night glamping experience gift card from Buy a gift!
“I know its something they would love to do but probably wouldn’t book for themselves. Its good because it isn’t tied to a particular place so although its for a glamping experience they can choose a variety of glamping “types” and there are also loads of places to choose to stay too!” (Jess, Tantrums to Smiles )
4. Spa Voucher
Jennifer bought a voucher for a spa day for her mum bought from Groupon.
” I’ve wrapped up the voucher along with a few little pampering goodies.” ( Jennifer, My Mummy’s Pennies )
“Traditionally, my MIL also always buys me experiences like spa treatments and also books herself to look after the children. Which is I think the most thoughtful presents of all 💜” (Eva, https://www.captainbobcat.com )
5. Luxury, Dog-friendly Hotel Stay
Lousie got her mum a two night stay voucher in a luxury, dog-friendly hotel from Buy A Gift.
“It worked out much cheaper then booking directly and she can choose her own dates to suit.” (Louise, https://pinkpearbear.com )
6. Eating out Voucher
Lucy got her brother and his wife a voucher for a meal out at Jamie’s Italian
” I also made them a handmade voucher for free babysitting when they go out.” (Lucy, Momma Mack )
7. An Animal Experience
Jennie bought a friend a walk with an Alpaca experience for a farm near to where she lives! (www.ricecakesandraisins.co.uk)
Carly bought her Dad and Step-mum a falconry experience
“It’s at a forestry centre near my house so they can tie it in with visiting us and it is something they have both always wanted to do.” (Carly www.mummyandthechunks.com)
8. An Experience Gift Card
Becca says, “I love giving experiences as gifts! I got my parents and in-laws a Virgin Experience gift card so they can choose what they would like to do from a range of activities and got my children (and us!) a dual season pass to Twin Lakes and Wheelgate adventure parks in the East Midlands. (Beccy www.raucousbynature.com )
9. Learning a New Skill
Alex is a big fan of experiences as gifts!
“I bought my husband a day bread baking class as he loves to bake. It’s with a local independent bakery too so also supports local businesses. My mother-in-law is getting a craft class voucher.” (Alex, www.bettertogetherhome.com)
and we have bought my little girl theatre tickets too – she loves the theatre and has been wanting to see Wicked for years!
10. Theatre Tickets
Éva has been a little cheeky this year: “I bought theatre tickets for hubby (and myself) plus booked Mother in Law for babysitting.” (Eva, Captain Bobcat )
11. Hot Air Balloon Flight
Jenny: “I had a hot air balloon voucher last year which I was ecstatic about. I had always wanted to go on one. Unfortunately every single time we booked and re-booked it was cancelled due to weather! 🙈 Hopefully it’s just bad luck and we’ll get to go this year, I love experiences as presents.” (Jenny, Monkey and Mouse)
12. Annual Cinema Pass
Angela was thinking of practicality as well as personal: “This year I bought my husband an annual pass for Cineworld. He will be able to watch any movies he wants for a whole year without it affecting our budget. I think it is a great present and it’s going to save us money in the long run as he loves the cinema.” (Angela www.theinspirationedit.com )
13. Culinary Experiences
Claire thought of what her dear ones loved: “We have bought my mother-in-law and her partner an experience of tea and scones on a steam train (they don’t drink or eat chocolate etc and we wanted to make sure we got them something really special as this is the first Christmas we’ve been able to properly give back.) My father in law and his girlfriend are getting a gin tasting experience as they are “gin-aholics” but we didn’t want to just get them a bottle as they will get loads from family and friends and, again, we wanted to treat them for how much they’ve helped us.” (Claire, Dear Mummy Bear)
14. Give Special Memories
Cathryn says ” I’m a big fan of gifting experiences. On my husband’s side of the family, my three children have four cousins and four out of the seven children have December birthdays. No one had any real ideas of what we could give them for Christmas presents so my husband and I have invited all the cousins to our house for a sleepover and we are taking them all to the cinema, out for food and to our local Winter Wonderland. They don’t get to see each other that often so I think this is a lovely way for them all to create special memories with each other.” (Cathryn, Cardiff Mummy Says)
15. Unlimited Reading
Finally, finishing off the list with one of the most popular experience gifts we’ve given: Last year Angelina, my 10 year old book worm got a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Since then she has devoured books at an alarming rate and we didn’t even need to worry about spending a fortune to quench her appetite or getting to the library on time.
Experiences are fantastic alternative to giving physical gifts! Hope you will consider these too.
Have you given or received any great experience gifts?
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