This Christmas my family has decided not to by the typical round of gifts of previous years. I have actually been recommending this for years now because as it may be, I am a bit of a Scrooge. I don’t understand why we should buy each other things we don’t need, why everything has to be wrapped – it is an enormous waste of paper- and finally why giving a gift on a specific day where everyone gives gifts is more valuable that impromptu gift giving for just the simple reason of “I saw this, and thought of you”. Those are my favorite gifts, the ones that come out of nowhere with no obligatory date, but from a purely heartfelt place and an actual need. Laura, my roommate did that two days ago, she walked in and gave me socks! I have been stealing hers for a while. lol My cup overflowed with love and gratefulness!
I know, I know, gift giving is a tradition that gets people excited and happy. Sometimes you can even get a gift that someone really needs and it will be used a lot and they will experience great moments with it. To me, for the most part, most gifts are wasteful and the excitement is ephemeral. Why not try to approach this season in a way that can leave an imprint on the experience our loved ones have in the next year/ s!
I have created an alternative, sans wrapping paper, gift giving exemplar to help you with gifts for those you love this year. What I like the most about it is that you have to know be in tune with the person’s interests, you have to at some point have a conversation with them, be fully present and listen to what they are saying, what they like, what their favorite activities, places, people, and situations are. To be present is the best gift you can give anyone. The second part of the gift is to help them delve deeper into that space of joy with the gift itself.
Let me know what you think about it! If you have other ideas please let me know and I will add them!
10 Experience Gifts
- Membership fee at a local performing arts theater/ Museum/ Gym/ Dance Studio/ Yoga Studio/Sports Team.
- Tickets to a Comedy Show/Movie/Game/Concert
- Buy them a class (voice lessons, guitar, self-defense, a foreign language, acting class)
- Personalize a coupon with activities you can do for, and with, your loved one.
- Buy them a house service – cleaning, steaming, yard work, dinner or a repair.
- Give them a food delivery membership from an organic, locally grown farm.
- Find out what is on their bucket list and make it happen.
- TRAVEL: Plan a weekend get-a-way or buy tickets to an unexplored city!
- City Tour: This can be a winery, distillery, brewery or a factory!
- Sign them and you up for a race or an event that has training involved!
In the end, I am choosing to make this season’s gift giving one that provides an abundance of experiences.
Please share any ideas you might have!