As you read this, know that one of my love languages is gifting! I love curating a thoughtful gift that really makes the recipient feel loved. That's easiest for me when I spontaneously give; when I see a need and can give in the moment. Holidays are harder for me. When I need to come up with the perfect gift, on the spot, while also considering what the person might receive from others, that feels like disappointment waiting to happen. The mounting pressure coupled with the time it takes to curate gifts is intense. So this year, our family is shifting toward doing more experiences.
The joy of watching my kids open their gifts doesn't last nearly as long as doing an activity together as a family. Memories made as a family with multiple generations are much more special than items that will lose their sparkle. Plus honestly, at this age my kids love the first box they open. They want to stay with that and not be pulled away to open more boxes. All of it is overwhelming!
Experience ideas for young children:
Going to the library to read new books
Spending the night in a hotel to swim & order pizza
A new board game
Day date with grandparents
New game to play together
Go to the park
Try a trampoline park
Have a yes day
Play in the mud
Create an obstacle course with chalk on the garage floor
Ask your kids what they want to do, then join with enthusiasm!
Create a new tradition
Experience ideas for adults:
Family photography session
State Park membership pass
Car wash vouchers
House cleaning service
House of Colour Appointment
Monthly subscription for new wines, cheese, or meals
Day date ideas:
Find a fancy recipe, buy the groceries, and figure out how to cook it together
Casino to play the penny machines
Lunch & a movie
Drive around like the good 'ol days or have a plan and take a road trip
Go for a hike, or around here go for a walk
Picnic on the living room floor, it's much warmer than outside right now!
Book a hotel room to enjoy the clean and quiet
Finish a puzzle
Stay home and be alone
If Kyle got me any of these, let's say I would not turn them down:
All added up into one spa day ;)
TIME is such an underrated gift. Giving the gift of uninterrupted, fully attentive time is what lasting memories are made of. Think back on your fondest memories, what stands out to you? What scenes do you remember with the people you love the most?
As the holiday prep mounts and the keeping up with the Joneses feelings creep in, I will ground myself in the relationships I can cultivate with my family and the joy I can spread with the Christmas spirit. I will remind myself that this magical season is for giving, indeed, giving of time, love, and cheer.