It’s time to start thinking about gifting differently. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of just buying and receiving random STUFF. Unless it’s something that you truly truly want or need, the rest is just more THINGS to collect dust in your home or, in the case of many children, to be tossed aside and forgotten when a better gift comes along.
On that note – you may remember I recently teamed up with the online toy rental service, Pley.com. They let me test out their service for Jack and it got me thinking. THIS is the way to gift. He gets something he’s truly excited about (toys), and when he’s gotten all the joy he can out of it, we can send it back and get another. No clutter, less cost, and Jack gets to immerse himself in new experiences every time.
There’s something to this, you guys!! The gift of experience is one that everyone can appreciate, even down to a toddler. So, instead of another boring tie or random trinket, try giving these gifts of experience (or adding them to your own wish list!).
The experience of relaxation:
This could be anything that takes stress out of your life. Yes – a massage or trip to the spa is always great, but here are some other gift ideas that will take some major “to-dos” off their plate.
- How about gifting your babysitting services to someone who could totally use a date night out with their spouse. If they already have a trusted sitter, then contact him/her and set up a night out for the parents, on you!
- You could give the gift of cleaning. Hire a service to come do a deep clean of the recipient’s home. Wouldn’t you just LOVE to have someone else handle all the dusting, mopping and bathroom cleaning?! I know I would!
- On that note – how about the gift of car detailing? This is a great one for the guys, sure. BUT – how many of my fellow mamas are driving around in cars that are buried in kids’ toys, littered with crumbs and sand and covered in sticky who-knows-what? Or what about the teen in the family who would love to drive a clean car without having to actually clean it? This is a great gift for anyone!
- Grocery delivery is another unique idea. There are services that charge an annual or monthly fee – which you would purchase in the recipient’s name – and then they can order all their groceries online and have them delivered right to their door! This is perfect for any busy working family, college student, elderly neighbor, etc.
The experience of consumption:
These are gifts that will be consumed or used up. You can really tailor this idea to the specific person’s interests. You could also create some fun and unique personalized gift baskets with these types of items.
- Coffee – whether it’s K-cups or regular beans this makes a great present! It’s especially good for the person who has everything. Because who doesn’t love coffee?! You could pair some holiday flavors with a cute coffee mug and some homemade scones or cookies.
- Food is also a winner. For instance – my dad loves to cook. So one year I bought him some super nice salt and pepper grinders and a sampling of different salts and whole peppercorns. He loved it and still uses it now 2 years later! You could also try steaks, sweets (homemade or store bought), popcorn and more. The possibilities are endless.
- Now, the experience of consumption doesn’t have to mean food and drink. What are things the recipient really needs and will use up? Give a new mom a gift basket filled with diapers, wipes and other baby must haves. Grandma knits? Buy her some colorful yarn and new needles. Cousin loves music? Maybe he could use some new guitar strings and picks. Or the the athlete could use more tennis balls, golf gloves, etc. I’ll bet the artist in the fam would love new brushes, paint and canvas. You get the idea! Think about what they truly love and go from there.
The experience of subscription:
There is something so fun and exciting about getting a special delivery. Something in the mail that is NOT a bill or another set of junk mail. And if you gifted a subscription service – the recipient gets to experience the thrill and excitement of something new every month! Here are a few ideas.
- Toys: Of course, I have to include Pley.com here for the kiddos, it was the inspiration for this whole article! And Pley is the perfect holiday gift that keeps on giving. Members can rent from over 400+ toys. When they are done playing, they can simply switch their toy for another one. It’s so easy, it’s like Christmas all year around. It’s also a great solution for smarter families who want to save money, reduce clutter and waste, yet still have access to all the latest toys and LEGO sets at a fraction of the price.
- For adults there are so many options for subscription services. A quick Google search will turn up options for clothing, makeup and beauty products, shave clubs for men, shoes and more.
- Magazines: this is another fun gift idea that lasts all year and there are so many to choose from. Try to think of the recipient’s specific interests and then search titles based on that. I’ve gifted subscriptions for car lovers, crafts, decorating, baking, genealogy and holistic living interests.
The experience of travel
When you ask someone what they wish they could do more of, they’ll probably say “Travel.” Obviously a vacation would be an AH-mazing gift, but if you aren’t looking to spend that much cash there are other ways to gift someone with the experience of travel. The whole point is to get them out and about so they can make memories with friends and family or even solo! Purchase the tickets and then put them into a holiday card or even a brochure or booklet detailing their gift. Some ideas include:
- Concert tickets – look up their favorite bands and see who’s stopping in their town. Or find a nearby music festival. Even if a concert isn’t until a later date, it will give them something to look forward to!
- Museums/Fine Arts – maybe there is a specific art exhibit you know that person would enjoy. Or someone who would love to see a live theater production but wouldn’t dare spend the money on it for themselves. You could also gift annual passes to a local museum or science center for the whole family to enjoy together year round!
- Same idea goes for the recipient’s local zoo or aquarium. an annual pass would guarantee a fun family outing and they’ll think of you every time they get to use the passes.
- Theme park passes. This is a little more pricey, but a huge hit! I live in Orlando, so we have a plethora of theme parks to choose from. Look for something in or near the recipient’s town to make sure they get their money’s worth and don’t also have to shell out extra for hotels or airfare (unless it’s a place you know they would LOVE).
No matter what you decide to gift this year, try keeping experience at the forefront of your mind. Not only will your friends and family love it, but you’ll get to experience the joy that comes with giving something they’ll truly love and use! Happy Holidays