The Gifts of Adventure, Experience and Giving Back
I know, it’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again! It goes by so fast! And with the holidays comes the chore of coming up with gift ideas. Five years ago I started a gift-shift because I wanted to give more meaningful gifts. I wanted to change the mindset surrounding gift-giving for myself and my family.
Growing up, I was the girl who asked for gifts that were useful and utilitarian. I requested things that I needed – a coat, some socks. I know…I’m strange. I was never a collector, and I was always the impossible person to buy for. At a very young age the experience, the moment and the people in my life were always more important to me than possessions. I think that is partially why I love organizing and helping people let go of the unimportant things in their lives. Over the years my family and I chose to not give each other gifts for our birthdays, and we had a minimal limit to our Christmas gifts. We chose to enjoy each other – not stress out trying to find the “perfect gift.” We started having a nice dinner out, enjoying conversations and spending time with each other. This choice has improved our quality time and strengthened our bonds. I love to suggest alternative gift ideas to family, friends and to anyone who will listen.
We’ve become a society built on consumerism, but I have seen a shift lately. People are giving more meaningful gifts and wanting to share special moments, opposed to buying too much. Three great non-consumer gift ideas are the gift of adventure, the gift of experience and the gift of giving back.
The gift of an Adventure – Maybe you have always wanted to try zip-lining. Maybe you would love a bonding moment at a mystery event. Another idea is a weekend family getaway with no set plan in mind – fly by the seat of your pants!
The gift of an Experience – Maybe a nice, quiet dinner somewhere off the beaten path is more your speed. Enjoy the contentment of sharing a book that you loved to read (if they love the same genre). Share the experience of playing a game, such as putt-putt golf, paintball, or Go-Kart racing. Other great ideas include a winery trip, lessons for their
The gift of Giving Back – There are so many ways to give back to your community and the world. Whether you volunteer at a food pantry, give gently used toys to families in need or help the elderly with yard work, every moment spent helping others is worthwhile. It is so rewarding and fulfils the need to give that all of us have ingrained in us. Giving back also builds a sense of community for both your family and your city, which I find incredibly powerful to show my child. We are not alone, and we are not the only people in this world that matter. If we give back and help others, we help ourselves. It’s an awesome growth opportunity for us and our children, and a great gift to give!
Experiences and memories are priceless! I hope this helps you in your search for that impossible person to buy for and/or give you new ideas for those you cherish in your life. Happy Gift-Hunting!
For those of you in the St. Louis area, here is a list of places that offer you an opportunity to give without giving clutter.
Choose your experience – https://www.cloud9living.com
Ziplining – https://goape.com/Locations/Missouri/St-Louis
Stone Soup Cottage – http://www.stonesoupcottage.com/
Dance classes – COCA is great, but I suggest also checking with your local YMCA, dance academies or community colleges for non-credit classes.
Food pantries – http://www.startherestl.org/food-programs–pantries.html
Ideas for teaching children about charity – http://www.parents.com/parenting/money/donate-to-charity/9-ways-to-teach-your-child-about-charity-/
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