Experience Gifts and How to Wrap Them

My Amazon cart is always overflowing, but why? Is it the high that I get on clicking the purchase button? Is it the boxes that are delivered to my door? Is it the hours of wrapping the way too many gifts that makes me feel excited about the holidays? Is it the expectation that our generation can provide more than our parents' generation did? Is it all just to show off on social media? Or do my children actually love (and appreciate) the excessive gift giving? I'd be willing to bet the answer is 'no' to that last one. I'd bet my life on it. Too much stuff. There's just stuff everywhere. If you are lucky and there is not stuff everywhere, why start putting stuff everywhere? Experience gifts are all the rage right now, and it's easy to understand why. Our society is drowning in stuff; my family not excluded. My husband basically jumped for joy when I explained my idea for our holiday this year. Instead of the ridiculous amount of gifts, I pitched the idea of limiting the packages and opting for a destination holiday experience. I thought the kids would be a harder sell, but to my happy surprise, they were stoked to hear about my brilliant plan! Now, I have to completely change my mindset this season. I am so used to ordering too much, that it has become my norm. I hate to admit that, but it is beyond true. I'm sure you can relate. I'm worried that the kids will be disappointed that there is not an entire room full of wrapped crap to tear through. This, of course, is all my own issue. Because we have decided on a house rental with our extended family, it limits what everyone can bring gift wise, and with five kids, we won't have the room to bring much home with us. Sticking with my overall 'Experience' theme, we are asking everyone to give only a few things, but to consider gifting things our children can DO! Don't get me wrong, every kid needs a play kitchen, dolls, puzzles, and books. There should be dress up and board games, too. But at some point, it becomes too much. If you have not hit this point yet, then consider starting to balance gifts with experiences! Trust me, it'll be easier (for you) to transition into this mindset than just axing the gifts.

Stuck on ideas for gifts that involve experiences? The ideas are endless, but here are a few to get your mind rolling:

  • Memberships to museums, parks, theme parks, exhibits, etc.
Chucago, IL, USA April 7, 2008 Sue, the most complete T Rex ever Discovered is on Display at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois
  • Seasonal passes to waterparks, lift tickets, etc.
  • Classes such as ballet, music, gymnastics, art, ski lessons etc.
  • Sports Tickets
Ice hockey player on the ice, outdoors
  • Theater Tickets
  • Disney on Ice
  • Indoor Trampoline Park (or other similar energy expending adventure)
  • Movie Tickets
Two preschool children, twin brothers, watching movie in the cinema, eating popcorn
  • Gift cards for hot cocoa, frozen yogurt, new books, etc.
  • Yes, even a gift card for a new toy. Then spend the day shopping together!
  • If a child is going to become a big sibling, gifting a heartbeat stuff animal is a great idea. They get to experience the fun of recording the baby's heartbeat, helping to create a strong bond, and they get to keep it forever in an adorable stuffed animal that becomes a lifelong friend!
pinkbear8 But how do you give these experiences? Kids NEED to unwrap, right? (Wrong. Again, that's completely our issue... BUT, I can't let go of that either!)

Here are a few ideas on how to wrap these 'gifts':

  • Print a picture of the activity and stick it in a box.
  • Hide envelopes in the tree full of the experiences.
  • You may be able to find a small trinket to wrap that describes the experience. You can wrap new socks for the trampoline park, a mug for hot cocoa, candy for the movies, a towel for the waterpark.
No matter how you choose to gift these experiences, the kids are going to love them! 
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