The message we receive from advertisers at this time of year is loud and clear: gifts are how we show the people in our lives that we love them. But most of us are already drowning in too much stuff, so is giving them another physical item really showing them you care? I advise taking a different approach and giving experiences, not things. A gift that allows them to try something new or create a lasting memory is much more meaningful. Here are some creative ideas for experience gifts they will love.
Online class - The internet has made it so easy to learn something new from the comfort of your own home. Check out sites like CreativeLive or MasterClass for classes that match their passions.
Auto services - This is a super practical gift that they will really appreciate when they need it. Gift certificates for oil changes, car washes, or membership to a roadside assistance service are perfect for anyone who drives a car!
Meal subscription service - Give them a few weeks off from planning dinners and grocery shopping with a meal subscription service that delivers all the ingredients and instructions to their front door. Options are now available for pretty much every dietary need.
Boudoir photography session - This is a unique, empowering experience that will make her feel beautiful. Search for boudoir photographers in your area who offer a full experience with wardrobe, hair, and makeup.
Family photography session - Even though we’re constantly taking photos with our phones, nothing captures your family at this moment in time like a session with a professional photographer. Check their websites and select a pro with a style you love.
Date night - Plan a fun night out with your sweetie with dinner to a favorite restaurant and tickets to a movie, comedy show, or paint and sip.
Day trip to a nearby city or attraction - A vacation doesn’t need to be expensive! Look for museums, attractions, or restaurants within an easy drive and plan a day of it for you and you loved one.
Sponsor an animal at a local zoo or aquarium - This is a great gift for kids! Contact your local zoo or aquarium to find out if they have a donation program to sponsor an animal. Most will provide a certificate, and you can add a small plush toy for them to open. Then, plan a trip to visit their adopted friend!
Family movie or game night - Put together a box or basket with a new board game or gift certificate for an online movie rental, and don't forget to include everyone’s favorite snacks.
Tourist in your own town - When is the last time you and your significant other explored your hometown? Include a night in a hotel, tickets to a museum or attraction, and a gift certificate to that new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try.
Spa services - Everybody could use some pampering. A gift certificate for a massage or facial is perfect for that person who would never splurge to treat themselves to a massage or facial.
Theater tickets - Is that show they’ve been dying to see coming to your area? Gift them tickets for a memorable night out!
Yoga / fitness classes - Gift them some classes to that new yoga studio or gym they’ve been wanting to check out.
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Make it fab!