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If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you will realise that my mantra will always be “Collect Moments – not things”. I really am on a huge clutter clearing time. We buy too many things, and end up throwing so much away. This year, having spoken to my family, we have definitely decided that for us adults it should involve less ‘giving of things’ just for the sake of it. Let’s face it, all we really want to do is to see each other, rather than buy each other clutter. It’s good for the planet, good for our pockets, better for our stress levels and just much more zero waste. So, this year I intend giving Christmas Gift Experiences rather than material presents.
*This post has been updated – it was originally published in November 2018
Christmas Gift Experiences
Now, I would be daft to include what I really intend to get my family in this post. Some of them do actually take the time to read my blog. Needless to say Bro, I again haven’t got you the yacht that you’ve always desired, nor an experience of a week away on one. Sorry.
I actually love gifts that can be used again and again – such as a English Heritage Membership. Visit so many places around England, and also get money off other attractions around the world. Also, in this post covid world, a lot of their sites are so good for social distancing, as we found out when we visited Bolton Abbey in summer.
Short Of Cash? Do Not Panic!
Christmas gift experiences needn’t be expensive businesses either. Sometimes the best presents are a promise of your time. Do you know a couple with a small child who would really like a night off to go for a meal or just out in general? Then why not give a gift of a night babysitting, or longer if you like? (Hint, hint). These Box of Favours are a lovely way to give a selection of non material gifts to those you love.
Even more strapped for cash yourself? Why not give them this gift in the form of an alternative Gift Voucher? Print this one out, and add your gift of time. Maybe you know someone who needs an hour of gardening doing? Or some trousers taking up? etc etc…
But it also got me thinking about unique gift experiences that I’d love to give to people that I don’t normally buy for. I don’t buy for my closest friends. Over the years we have decided that this is almost tantamount to just swapping £££, so instead we usually go out to celebrate.
One of the best gifts I was given in recent years was a visit to a falconry centre from my gorgeous OH. We went hawking, met all the owls, and I watched as various birds of prey (even a vulture) flew from about 200 feet away to land on my arm! Beats a budgie, I’ll tell you. In fact I’d probably really bore you with the video footage.
So, What Would I Buy For My Friends?
If I did buy for them, I’d love to treat them to a day of their favourite activities.
One friend is a really glamorous lady, fond of the finer things in life. She loves great clothes, make-up, and all things beauty. But she also hides a daredevil side of flying in biplanes, swimming Windermere and trekking up the 3 peaks. For her experience I would choose a tank drive. Honestly babe, it will so suit you!
Another mate loves the outdoors life, and is into walking. She has climbed Snowden not once but TWICE in the last year. I’d treat her to a glamping stay. Like camping, but you can still plug in your hairdryer. Nice one.
There are websites that specialise in the perfect gift experiences – like this one where you can do anything from hand gliding to trying out a recording studio session. You could book a course in sushi making or even try some ghost hunting!
I do love a personalised gift. And this year I have been sent a lot of these to review from companies to try out. Some of my favourites have been the Wonderbly book that Elizabeth was sent that featured herself, and the football book that I received for my other half on father’s day. We were also sent some brilliant socks with Elizabeth’s face on for her Dad for father’s day, and a lovely pillow of us as a family.
In these times when we cannot get together on Christmas day, it is good to know that there are companies out there that can get personalised presents made to remind our loved ones that we are thinking of them.
I am going to buy my little girl and my niece some gifts. Not many, as they both have everything they need. But we will be clearing out a lot of old toys to make room for the new. Some will go to charity, some will be sold.
My little one is actually getting a wooden play house for outside. I am so excited for this. Hopefully we can make some memories there next summer, and I look forward to showing you all the decorations that I plan to make for her new play place! So really that is more of an experience than a thing, isn’t it?
So, are you going to give Christmas gift experiences instead of material things this year? What ideas do you have? I would love to hear. Do comment below, or contact me on social media.
And why not pin this post for later?