Give Less Stuff at Christmas and Enjoy More!

It is crunch time now. The holidays and gift exchanges are just a couple of weeks away. This year, give memories not gifts. They leave a lasting impression and won’t clutter up your home.

Think outside the “spa” gift card (not that we don’t all love a massage). What are some unusual things that will be treasured by the recipient? Here are a few ideas that have worked well in our family.

1. Kiwi Crates – this is a monthly subscription service providing craft projects for kids (Koala Crate, Kiwi Crate and Tinker Crates customized by age). My kids are thrilled when they see the distinctive box in the mail. Given to them by their grandparents from afar, they also get the chance to think about family every month. If crafts and science aren’t right for your kids, try Little Passports, Kidstir or Bitsbox.

2. Photo books – Each year, I go through all my digital photos, choose the best ones and create a digital file to upload to a photo gifting site like Shutterfly or Blurb. Once uploaded, I create my annual family album (makes a great gift for grandparents and spouses) and photo gifts for that are unique and personalized. A notepad with a photo of you and your best friend, a phone case with your family or even candles with a photo of your hometown or Aunt Sally’s cat. The possibilities are endless.

3. Event Tickets – Local sporting events, concerts, comedy, dinner theater, plays, orchestra. The only challenge is deciding what will be enjoyed the most. Don’t feel the event must take place during the holidays. What better gift than to have something to look forward to after the New Year.

4. Lessons – perhaps something they already do but want to master or the opportunity to try something new. Tennis, golf, cooking, cards, crafting, language, DIY; there are lesson options for any activity.

5. Plan a vacation or a staycation for the family – leave on Christmas day or give small gifts that will be used at the location. Whether simple or extravagant, we all enjoy time away from the grind to escape with family or good friends. Really want to bond? Leave the technology at home!

6. Girls/Boys Night Out or Date Night – Plan a night out for your loved one from reservations to transportation. Make it a night they will remember and don’t have to plan themselves!

If you need help finding experiences that are perfect for your family and friends, visit, or for more ideas and one stop shopping.

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