Give the Gift of Experience

This holiday season, let’s try to move away from a material overload to cherishing the gift of experiences. After all, if we parents look back at our collective childhoods, the moments that stand out most are the ones where we learned, looked and loved. It’s easy to get caught up in the hottest toys of the season but once we move over from the gift list, there are so many options to give the gift of experience. Here are some ideas:

Introduce the Arts: Get tickets to a musical performance or a live show. Bonus points if you get one that’s based on a favourite book or movie that your kids have shared with you, like The Lion King or Harry Potter. Introducing a love for music and theatre at a young age will open up their worlds and imaginations.

A Christmas lights tour: This one won’t cost you anything except gas and some hot chocolate if you stay local. Bundle up the family together in a minivan and go for a ride to see the best decorated homes, or the streets with the most holiday lights. If you want to make a vacation out of it, book tickets to destinations that have famous holiday light displays, like the Festival of Lights in Riverside, California or the Trail of Lights in Austin, Texas.

Tickets to a game: Few things are quite as memorable as wearing jerseys and cheering for a team. Pick a sport the entire family enjoys, be it hockey or basketball, and gift tickets as a Christmas present. The shared family time will do wonders for your child’s well-being.

Pottery painting: Get a gift certificate to a local pottery painting studio, which you can visit together and create your own masterpieces. Those mugs or vases you create will hold more memories than you could create with a store-bought gift!

The Gift of a Hobby: Maybe your child likes action, or sewing. Get a gift voucher for a karate class or a sewing class and watch the gift go a long way in helping your child develop additional skills. Also, the gift will last way past the season! It’s a win-win.

Magazine subscriptions: With so many children’s magazines to choose from, a subscription might please your little reader more than anything else. From science and space, to poetry and nature, there are plenty of options for a magazine that will stimulate a child’s brain.