When you look back upon your life, do you think about all of the stuff you’ve accumulated? Probably not. Instead, you likely reminisce about the people you’ve loved and the experiences you’ve had. So as we head into the Christmas season and you begin buying gifts for your loved ones (and writing your own Christmas list), consider giving (and requesting) the gift of experience. Not only will the gift be unexpected, but it could also create a valuable memory and help you bond with the recipient.
Giving the Gift of Experience
When most people think of gift giving, they picture big boxes wrapped in paper and topped with a bow. While a physical present can be great, some of the best gifts can’t be contained inside a box. Below we’ve listed a variety of experiential gift ideas to help you start brainstorming.
Experiential Gift Ideas
- Tickets to a movie, concert, or sporting event
- Membership to a museum, nature center, garden, fitness center, science center, etc.
- Donation to a charity
- Admission to a theme park
- A U.S. National Parks pass
- A visit to a bowling alley, miniature golf course, skating rink, etc.
- A coupon book for things like an ice cream date, a trip to the playground, etc.
- Gift card to a local spa or hair salon
- Tickets to an escape room
- Sign up for a class together (cooking class, yoga, pottery, photography, etc.)
- Family photo session with a talented photographer
- Dinner at the recipient’s favorite restaurant (or one they’ve been wanting to try)
- A ride on a boat, train, helicopter, etc.
While the true gift of these presents is the experience itself (which is intangible), you could always offer a small token present in a box along with a certificate explaining the experiential gift (or the actual ticket/gift certificate itself). For example, if you’re giving tickets to a baseball game, you could include a mitt or baseball hat as a part of the present. Or if you’re gifting a trip to the science center, you could include a book about the recipient’s favorite scientific subject. The options are endless.
Share Your Skills and Knowledge
Some of the best gifts of experience involve the giver teaching the recipient how to do something. These allow the giver and the recipient to bond, and they give the giver a chance to show off their skills and the recipient a chance to learn something new.
With their years of experience, seniors often have a wealth of knowledge and decades of time-honored skills on their favorite subjects, making them the perfect gift givers for these sorts of presents. You might consider teaching a gift recipient one of these skills:
- How to paint, draw, sew, etc.
- How to cook
- How to play a musical instrument
- How to play a game or sport
- How to speak a different language
- How to create origami
- How to juggle
- How to garden
Again, consider combining these experiential gifts with a physical gift. For example, you could give your daughter a personalized cookbook of your favorite recipes and then teach her how to make one of the more complicated dishes. Or, you could give your grandson a guitar and then show him how to play a few chords.
The most important thing to remember when giving the gift of experience is that it’s all about the recipient. You might love playing golf or knitting scarves, but if the recipient has no interest in these hobbies, don’t force them on them.
Happy holidays, everyone!
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to be able to enjoy your retirement in a healthy, lively, and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to shop at local farmers markets or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the activities, amenities, and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.