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2018 Gift Guide | Gifting Experiences That Last Throughout The Year

By Sarah Taggart, Team Skidmore—Project Manager
Part of our “2018 Gift Giving Guides”

Hi y’all! Sarah here from Team Skidmore! Don’t mind me, I’m just over here counting the days until it is socially acceptable to start playing Christmas music! Ahhh, Christmas!

Does it elicit visions of cozy nights by the fireplace and a beautifully decorated tree? Idyllic cookie decorating sessions with a chic apron and the perfectly iced sugar cookie? Or how about a soft snow falling outside the window while you cuddle up and read a classic Christmas story to your beautiful children?

I sure do hope at least one of those rings true for you!

It’s a magical season and a wonderful time of year!

But if you are a mother to any number of beautiful children, it may also elicit visions of another sort, too. Piles and piles of well-intentioned gifts with one million tiny pieces to assemble (and promptly lose). Lost direction booklets or *gasp!* not enough AA batteries for that remote control car or talking stuffed animal. Yep. Christmas can be messy and if you’re not careful, the stuff can overwhelm and overtake the real meaning of the holiday.

I am the mother to two beautiful children, ages 6 and 3. And they are incredibly lucky to have so many people in their lives who want to shower them with love and gifts during the holiday season.

Gratitude overflows in our home each and every holiday season. But you know what else overflows? STUFF. So.much.stuff.

The playroom looks like a bomb went off by the end of Christmas day. And it’s gotten me thinking lately—why does a gift have to be a thing that can be wrapped in a pretty box?

So many wonderful and memorable parts of life are based on experiences and not on anything tangible at all. Those things that can not be as easily wrapped as a gift but are still so valuable to us all. Is it possible to gift an experience in such a way that it still feels special, personal and exciting to the recipient?

Once I set my mind to it, the answer was most certainly YES! And ever since then, in my family we place a premium on the idea of gifting an experience rather than an item. And yes, the stack of unwrapped boxes and “pretty” presents might be much smaller at the close of Christmas morning, but the experiences that are gifted will last throughout the year.

Experiences that will encourage family time, exciting adventures, and the exploration of new interests and ideas.

It’s that time of year to start thinking about Christmas shopping! Here is a list of “Experience-based Gifts” to consider as you begin to put together your list. You can get a full list of our favorite our experience-based gifts by clicking here! | Shanna Skidmore #budget #giftguide #holidays

Here is a list of “Experience-based Gifts” to consider as you begin to put together your list this year!

1.

For the new mother in your life

A mommy & me music class. Wrap up a box filled with baby friendly instruments like maracas, egg shakers, and a small drum and the gift certificate to the class sessions.

2.

For the grandparents

A session with a local photographer for photos with their beloved grandchildren. Wrap up a frame, to eventually hold a printed photo from the session, and in the place of the photo included a blown up copy of the gift certificate.

3.

Give someone you love

An excuse (and a reason!) to play in the dirt and gift them all the items they need to start a garden in the Spring. Wrap it up in a basket with a beautiful flower book (like the lovely Cut Flower Garden by Floret Flower) a new set of gardening hand tools & gloves, and a gift certificate to a local nursery.  

4.

For the newlyweds

A series of cooking classes at a place like Sur La Table, where weekly cooking classes with a variety of subjects and tastes are offered on a seasonal basis. Wrap up a bottle of wine and a few fancy new wine glasses which they can drink with the meal they learn to make!

5.

Send mail to someone you love!

A “glossy” (magazine) that arrives in your mailbox is always WAY more fun than a stack of bills! This is true for children too! Wrap up a few recent copies of the magazine with the subscription notice.

6.

For the curious and smart-as-a-whip little boy or girl in your life

Teach them a skill that you have and they don’t! Maybe you know how to sew or scrapbook or watercolor or play the piano? Wrap up a coupon with a guaranteed “teach me” time slot each week and some of the tools you will may need for this new skill. Your time is valuable to the little people in your life!

7.

If your kids have been asking to go camping but…

…your style is more Marriott than dirt cot, put together a camping set for a slightly more comfortable camping adventure in your very own backyard. Wrap up a sleeping bag, lantern, flashlight, and smores fixins and a coupon to force you to make good on the promise over the summer!

8.

For the young artist in your life

Create a box of misc. craft supplies with nothing more than creativity and curiosity as the theme of the projects! Think of all those aisles in your local craft store full of really unique creative things like various types of glitter, paint, felt, beads, yarn, glue, etc. Open ended creative play is so important (and so underrated!) Give a creative child a box full of textures, shapes, and colors and let them go wild!

9.

For the car enthusiast and adrenaline junkie in your life

Rent a fancy sports car for the day and go for a ride along the coast or countryside and feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. Wrap it up with a mini hot wheel version of the car you will rent!

10.

For the adventurer

Create a scavenger hunt and/or treasure hunt along a local hiking trail or nature walk trail. Maybe you’ve got a little girl who dreams of fairy houses in the woods or a little boy who wants to encounter ghouls and goblins in the woods? Wrap up a map of the trail with hints to the adventures along the way along with a set of binoculars for the hunt!

I hope you may have found a bit of inspiration among this list and the encouragement to think outside of the {toy} box this holiday season!

SEE ALL OF TEAM SKIDMORE’S HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING TIPS IN THE 2018 GIFT GUIDE SERIES.

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Hey! I’m Shanna, business strategist & financial coach. I'm here to help you make money doing what you love!

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