Minimalism is all the rave these days. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve jumped on that bandwagon, not because it’s cool and trendy, but because it’s created a life that is less stressful and more manageable.
While my minimalism journey is a conversation for another day, I think it’s an important topic to talk about in relation to gift-giving. I have come to realize that I would rather give my kids the gift of experiences and memories than another toy that is going to clutter our home. The reason behind this is simple: memories last forever (so cheesy, I know). But, hear me out. Anyone who knows kids, knows they will obsess over a toy for a maximum of about 1-2 weeks before they’re on to something new. The only exception to this in our home has been musical instruments. SG loves music. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy the kid an instrument, because he’ll obviously be over the moon about it. What I am saying is this: consider creating memories with the kids in your life rather than filling their space with well-intentioned clutter.
So, what does that look like in this season of giving?
It looks like a coupon book filled with fun activities that your kids can cash in on the weekends (examples include a campout in a giant blanket fort, breakfast in bed, a movie night with their favorite Dollar Store candy, a boys vs. girls game night, a sock puppet show contest, or a “pajamas all day” Saturday).
It looks like a YMCA tiny tumblers class.
It looks like tickets to a concert.
It looks like a McDonalds date where your kids can enjoy the play area.
It looks like signing your kids up for winter swim lessons.
It looks like a zoo pass.
It looks like tickets to a hockey game.
It looks like a LEGO set that you’ll build together.
It looks like a date night to Chucky Cheese.
It looks like enrolling in a learning and play class such as KinderMusik.
These are just a handful of ideas to get you started in this creative process. Have fun with it!! If your kids are young, this is the best time to start gifting experiences rather than toys, because they truly don’t know any better (and, let’s be honest, sometimes us mamas just need to get out. of. the. house!!). And if your kids are older, gifting them with an activity that they LOVE will put Christmas over the top. Yes, you may have to suffer through a One Direction concert or be surrounded by fifty wild and greasy-fingered toddlers running from one activity to the next, but it will be worth it. These are the gifts your kids will remember the most!!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1 (How to Spend Less for Christmas) and Part 2 (Fun Ways to Do Christmas on a Small Budget) of this series for some money-saving tips as well as more creative gifting ideas. Also, be sure to enter your email below for some free goodies in your inbox, including my Christmas Gift Budgeting worksheet!! I promise you won’t be disappointed.
So, what are your thoughts about experience based gifts? Is this a new concept or something your family has already been practicing? I’d love to hear your ideas on other types of activities to include!!