Day 6: Think Experience, Not Stuff {Finding the Perfect Gift Series} + Free Printable

If you’re disgusted with Christmas consumerism, and can’t even think about buying (or receiving) another toy that takes up coveted living space, then this post is for you.

We’re switching up the $10-$20 never-used gift with an experience.

Yes, sometimes it does cost more than the average Christmas purchase, but those memories stick around for a pretty long time. Plus, you can make these gifts really affordable by making a few calls to family members and getting them to chip in as well.

1. A getaway

Go in with your siblings and buy your parents a 2-night stay at a quaint B&B, or buy them a gift card so they can choose their own destination.

If you can’t swing the whole cost, and said parents have a trip on the docket anyway, opt to provide one night’s dinner with a nice gift card, or passes for a tourist activity nearby.

White Oak Inn, Dansville, OH

2. Concerts

I’m not too big a fan of these personally, but I have friends who would die to see a pop or country music star on stage.

If you’re looking for a less well-known genre, like, lets say the Christian one, you’ll be able to find tickets for a lot less. Just check your local radio station to see who’s stopping by in your area and when.

Just a side note: If you happen to know a person in the media, or volunteer at one of these events, you could get free tickets!

3. Season passes

Families that live near big attractions, generally don’t get to go all that often because it’s too darn expensive. Buy them a one-time ticket, or go for the year-round. They make great date nights and weekend activities!

You can choose from:

  • Museums
  • Amusement Parks
  • Aquariums
  • Zoos
  • National Parks
  • Local attractions

4. Cross an item off their Bucket List

If you don’t have a bucket list, you should. More on this in the New Year, but for now, don’t you think it’d be awfully nice to gift someone that experience?

Over the summer, my husband took me to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. I was stoked! That had been on my list for years, and we finally did it. I even had the music in my wedding, people. Yes, it’s true.

5. Conference tickets

After attending the Allume conference, I know how valuable (and expensive) these things are! I would happily give up a weekend or two just to soak in the knowledge of the speakers/experts.

There are conferences for just about anything:

  • Blogging (Woot!)
  • Crafting
  • Writing
  • Ministry
  • Business

6. Consumable goods

Yes, these are an experience in themselves, especially if you have a friend with Martha Stewart like qualities. The cooking kind, anyway.

Elizabeth from DogFur and Dandelions has a really cute idea:

7. Favorite author meetups

Take your book loving friend to an author signing of one of her favorite writers. Make it a girl’s outing with a light lunch and she will love you forever.

Most author sites have tour dates, so check those out and see if there’s one close to you. Make sure you bring a camera to capture the moment.

8. Babysitting vouchers

Moms of any age would love a chance to go on a date night and not have to spend money for babysitting too. Print up some pretty coupons and you will make a mom (and dad) extremely happy.

By the way, I really wanted to link to a cute printable of these in case you’re not the crafty sort and didn’t want to make your own, but my Google search proved fruitless. They were either took me to a dead link, or were ugly.

So, I created one for you. You can download the Babysitting Coupon Sheet here.

Moms, you may want to not-so-obviously share this post so you’ll get a few of these.

9. Classes of the “mad skills” kind

If you’re sister-in-law always wanted to learn how to decorate cakes, take a dance class, or start knitting, now’s the time to make it happen.

There are a ton of classes you can take through an online site called Bluprint. There’s artisan bread making, quilting, wool dying, and more. You can also buy a gift card if you’re not sure which class they’d like to take.

Sometimes it’s more fun to gift an experience, because the person isn’t necessarily expecting one. Go in with a friend or family member, or choose a gift on the more frugal side. Either way, you’ll definitely start making some memories.

Would you rather have an experience gift over a tangible one?

If you missed any of the other posts, you can catch up on the series landing page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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  1. I just love this series! And I love the idea of giving ‘time’ especially as I’m married to a man whose love language is quality time. This year I’m giving him the ‘experience’ of smoores with a table top smoore kit at home, since the kids and I aren’t able to join him at the ski lodge as often as we like (where we usually enjoy this treat).
    Another way I’ve given ‘time’ is to scrapbook the memories of an event or special vacation. This is one my ‘quality time-loving’ man really appreciates. I try to add a few more pages to our ‘adventures’ album each year, so we can be sure to remember the fun stuff we’ve done.

  2. Love this! This is true for kids, too. My daughter, Emily, wants so badly to take gymnastic but we don’t have the money for that. A great gift for her would be a GC for the local gymnastics place.

    1. Aww, I really wanted ice skating lessons when I was younger. A couple of my friends were doing it, and my family didn’t have the money either. Who knows? Maybe I would have become a professional figure skater one day……. πŸ™‚

  3. Hey look, I’m on your blog! πŸ™‚ Great ideas, Kalyn. I always ask for “experience” things for my birthday… especially if it’s an experience with friends or family. A special date, or a day trip somewhere fun. The class idea is great too!

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