I love giving gifts as much as the next person during the holiday season because there is just something so magical about seeing that person open up their gift and their eyes lighting up at the sight of something they truly wanted. Something they may have never been able to bring themselves to get themselves or something maybe that is just special to your relationship with that person. But, more and more I’ve realized that gifts can sometimes be empty. They came from a place of love but it just feels empty.
I noticed this mainly with my kids! We would go all crazy finding them whatever it is they wanted that year only to watch them play with it for 2.5 seconds before tossing it into their bin and just moving on to the next thing. I remember doing that as a child as well. I can’t tell you what I got for Christmas when I was 7, 8 or 9. I just can’t remember! But what I can tell you are the memories created around those Christmas’. That’s why I think gifting experiences can sometimes mean so much more than a true gift.
We tend to do all the things during Christmastime and really fill up our calendar. From going to Disney Springs to heading to every tree lighting and Christmas celebration within a 100 mile radius from us, we make sure to create those special memories with our children. This year, we didn’t do experiences but as the kids get older Robert and I discussed doing more experiences and less gifts. Those experiences can be anything! I’m listing a few below for you that we have tossed around as ideas for our family and even a couple that I think would work great year round too.
- Disney World – grab a few Disney gift cards each month and you’ll eventually have enough to pay for your entire trip. The memories created here are forever lasting. I still remember my Disney trips with my family.
- Sports games – our family is specifically soccer as that’s Robert’s favorite sport but you can do anything. A local baseball team, spring training, football, the options are endless.
- Family vacation – there is seriously NOTHING like creating those memories on a family vacation. Take one to an all inclusive resort like Great Wolf Lodge or Wilderness at the Smokies or just go to your nearest big city and stay for a weekend. The kids will love it!
- Bake – simple right? Bake some cookies with your kids. I realized this past weekend after doing Gingerbread cookies with the kids and also my mother in law cooking with our kids, that this is simply a core memory. The amount of time and love you can pour into them just by baking together is infinite.
- Craft – you’re probably thinking how in the world do I gift crafting together? Well, you can get a basket together with some craft supplies and tell the kids that you are going to do a bunch of crafts together to give to family members. Or you can sign them up for a local crafting class at Home Depot or Joann’s. They love to make things and see how proud mommy and daddy are.
- Concert – have an older child? Concerts are the best experience for them. Find out if their favorite artist is coming to a town near you and book the tickets. They will be so thankful and if you can, have them bring a friend along!
- Monster Jam/Disney on Ice – these two are for my younger babes. Giovanni loves Monster Jam and the girls obviously love Disney on Ice. Who doesn’t love ice skating and watching their favorite characters come to life? What boy doesn’t love loud trucks and getting dirty? There are TONS of shows all throughout the year in various cities.
Truly, these things can not only make their year but also shape their entire futures! Just by spending time with your kids you are giving them the best gift.