Give the Gift of Experiences (Not Things)

Give the Gift of Experiences (Not Things)

So, as of late, we have been getting into a great habit of buying each other experiences instead of things.  We are buying what we need as we need ‘it’ or the ‘it’ isn’t a fun kind of gift anyway.  So, we are now getting in the habit of turning on our imagination for things we want to ‘do' instead of ‘have'.

I find the older I get the more ‘stuff’ I seem to have.  It’s not like I am an avid shopper.  As a matter of fact, unless I have something that I must pick up and can’t get somebody else to get it for me, you won't often find me in the mall.  

But, I still seem to have closets that are full.  My car is in the driveway because there is more room for it out there.  I am strategic with my kitchen cupboards and I even have rooms that I rarely use, but are full of stuff.  Why do I have so much stuff?

One of the reasons is, like my dad, I am not a fan of throwing away things that may have value or use for me in the future.  I am not quite a hoarder or anything like that, I just tend to see value in a lot of things so, I keep them, just in case…

Another reason is my age.  I am in my 50’s now and my kids are finally shopping for us instead of just us doing the shopping for each other.  So, I have a lifetime of gifts that I just don’t have the heart to give away or put up on ‘bidding wars’.  

It has become really fun.  We really love our kids.  I know, not that unique, but our kids like to spend time with us too.  So we have been getting into the habit of asking for time with them.  They are loving it too.  The whole thing doesn’t have to be expensive.  It doesn’t have to be scheduled way in advance.  It is just about spending time together.  Obviously, some things take a little planning, but we also just have coffee dates.  No biggie, just coffee.  Put it on your calendar and just do it.

Here are a few ideas we have used and that are not going to break the bank

  1. Go to the movies.  We still have a couple of cheap theaters nearby, so Tuesday nights work great.
  2. Bowling.  Silly, but fun.  Lots of giggles.
  3. Coffee dates.  Make a point of making the other person an actual appointment in your calendar.  
  4. Go for walk.  No big hikes, unless you want that, just walk and talk.
  5. Local ball game, hockey game, junior sporting event.  The best part of this is, it’s cheap and they love an audience.
  6. Local theater.  Up and coming thespians never get enough audience while they are learning.
  7. Go karting.  This is a fav of ours.  We have a couple of options near us.
  8. Batting cages or mini golf.  Whether you can hit a ball or not, it’s fun just the same.
  9. Comedy clubs.  Generally, these are cheap and worth it even if you only get a few laughs.  That would be more than you get staying home.
  10. Take a class.  You can take a painting, pottery, cooking class.


The most important thing is that you are spending time with someone.  The event sometimes is completely irrelevant.  At the end of the day, spend time with each other.  That is the only thing that you can’t really get too much of and will miss the most when that other person is not around to do this stuff with.


Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. – Margaret Mead

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