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Beyond The Box: Top Picks for Experienced- Based Christmas Gifts

Two friends, a white girl and a black girl, smiling and holding wine glasses in a frost-covered vineyard in Yakima, WA, showcasing the beauty of winter wine tasting adventures.

It's that time of year again! Our living rooms turn into a battlefield of wrapping paper, and our wallets start to feel the pinch. Which makes this the perfect year to consider switching thins up. Forget about adding more stuff to your already packed shelves. Let's talk about gifts that'll leave you with belly laughs instead of buyer's remorse. I'm talking about experience gifts – the kind that turns into awesome stories.

Last year, our family de-prioritize material gifts and gave the gift of experiences and it made all the difference. Christmas lasted beyond the day, and it gave us something to look forward to, created opportunities to spend time together and create a NEW memory. Sometimes, it can be difficult to come up with the perfect gift idea, so I took the liberty of doing some brainstorming and came up with some options for all the special people in your life.

For Your Better Half: Fun Dates That Aren't Just Dinner and a Movie

1. Stargazing at an Observatory: Picture this – you and your love, snuggled up under a blanket, staring at the stars. Some observatories have special nights for couples around Christmas. You might even catch a shooting star!

2. Dance Classes: Whether it's salsa or swing, why not gift a bunch of dance lessons? It's a blast and it will be hilarious when you're both trying not to step on each other's toes. Plus, you'll be ready to hit the dance floor at any wedding or party.

3. Cooking Class Adventure: Book a class where you can whip up something exotic or fancy. Cooking together is more than just making food – it's about teamwork and laughing at the mess-ups. AND, you get to eat what you make!

For the Parents or In-Laws: Cool Stuff to Do Together

1. Wine Tasting & Vineyard Tour: Treat them to a day out at a vineyard. Tasting wine, walking among the vines, and enjoying a nice lunch – sounds like a pretty sweet day.

2. Theater or Concert Night: Whether they're into musicals, classical music, or rock, tickets to a live show can be a real treat.

3. Trip Down Memory Lane: Plan a trip to a place they love. Maybe where they first met, their old college town, or a favorite holiday spot from back in the day.

Sibling Fun: Experiences That Beat Just Hanging Out

1. Escape Room Challenge: See who's the brainiac in the family. It's a fun, heart-pumping hour, and whoever gets you out first gets bragging rights.

2. Day at an Adventure Park: Zip-lining, high ropes, or paintball – it's a great way to have some laughs and maybe a little friendly competition.

3. Craft Workshop: Whether it's pottery or painting, doing a workshop together is chill and you get a cool memento to take home.

A joyful little black girl creating art by tie-dyeing a t-shirt, her hands carefully working with vibrant colors on the fabric

For the Kids: Gifts That Keep Them Busy (and Learning)

For the babies: consider music and movement classes. It's a cute way for them to start loving music and a fun thing for parents to join in.

For toddler aged kids: why not look into animal farms or children's museums are perfect for those little explorers. A lot of aquariums, zoos and museums have annual passes that make the perfect gift for rainy weekends or afternoons with no plans.

For the Pre-Teens in your life: check out science or coding workshops, camps, online courses or workshops that teach them in areas of interest, language lessons, sewing or art classes - in this digital age, you can gift almost any master class to sow into their interests.

Teenagers: aren't always easy to shop for, but everyone loves music. Why not consider concert tickets or a theme park day pass. Another great idea, is giving stock in companies that peek their interest. It's all about giving them a bit of freedom and a lot of fun.

For the young adults in your life, a budget road trip, a spa day, a quick weekend getaway or even skydiving. It's about adventure and stories they'll talk about forever.

A group of diverse girls engaged in candle-making, working together to pour wax and add scents, showcasing creativity and teamwork in a fun, hands-on activity.

Why Experience Gifts Are the Way to Go

There are so many reasons why experiences are such a great idea. Think No More Clutter: These gifts don't end up forgotten in a drawer. They become part of who we are. Creating opportunities for Quality Time Over Everything: In our crazy busy lives, hanging out together is priceless. And doing cool stuff together? Even better. You get to Grow While Having Fun: Trying new stuff, getting over fears, picking up skills – that's what experiences are all about.

The Joy of Looking Forward and Back: It's not just about the experience itself. It's also about getting excited beforehand and then having those "Remember when we..." moments. And imagine all of the Epic Stories you will get to tell. The best stories at family gatherings usually start with "This one time, we...". Experiences give you those stories.

So, this Christmas, how about gifting some adventures, laughs, and memories? After all, the best things in life aren't things. They're the moments we share with one another.

I hope this quick list starts the brainstorm for ways you can love on your people and create memories. What else would you add to this list? Let me know below.

With wisdom and courage, for His glory,


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