Gifting Experiences

I consider myself fortunate, my Christmas shopping list doesn’t have very many people on it, in total I shop for about 10 people (and 4 are kids so they are easy). This is because as my siblings and my husband’s siblings have gotten older we have decided to pick a name so you only need to buy for 1 person rather than 12. I am a very efficient shopper. I usually have some idea of what type of gift I want to give, I go to a store that will offer me options and 90% of the time when I leave that store I am done. Check the box. And more and more I shop online so it is even easier (I hate stores, but that is another post).  This is true for all except one person – my husband.

I never know what to buy for my husband. He has very particular, specific hobbies which are not easy to shop for.  For instance I have no idea what camera equipment would be good.  I don’t know anything about R/C cars or airplanes. And I hate asking him for a list- he only gives a few ideas and they take the fun out of trying to surprise him with something. So these past few years I have decided to try something different. I am now gifting him with experiences.  Yes, you could say that it means I am giving gift certificates, but without these gift certificates he would not have tried these things. 

For example, one year I gave him a certificate for a free flying lesson.  He loved it!  Another year I gave him a certificate to drive a race car at the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience (highly recommend this for any race fans). Again he loved it and he has a new story to share with family and friends.  This year I was stumped and I wasn’t seeing any good Groupons that caught my interest for him.  So I had to really think hard this year.  Then it came me- we haven’t had a vacation with just the two of us in over 6 years.  Where could we go that we could drive to, enjoy for a day or two and then drive home?  I didn’t want to be gone too long from the kids. I wanted to go someplace we haven’t been, and I wanted it to be fun and interesting.  Then it came to me.

I bought him Elvis Bucks.  If you haven’t heard of these, they are basically gift certificates to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley.  I am excited beyond words to see my husband open this up!! I packaged it up nicely with brochures of the area.  He has always said he wanted to see Graceland.  He always says he wants to take a short trip, just the two of us.  I don’t know how many people can say this, but I am honestly looking forward to spending 11 hours in the car (one way) alone with my husband on our drive to Graceland. I can’t wait to schedule this!!

It’s not that we are die-hard Elvis fans (we’re not).  I’ve only seen one of his movies-Blue Hawaii, but his music is fun and iconic. I like historical things and my husband enjoys music.  This seems like something we both can enjoy and it’s something that we’ve talked about doing for a few years now.  I want to reconnect, really talk the way we did when diapers, formula and potty training weren’t the primary topic of conversation.  I want to eat adult meals, and laugh, and act like tourists taking pictures of everything.  I want to walk around without a backpack full of pull-ups, wipes, clean clothes and snacks hanging off my shoulder.  And more than anything else I want to see my husband smile and create some new memories that are just between us. 

The anticipation of giving this gift is making me a tad crazy!!  I truly believe that the spirit of Christmas is in the giving not the receiving.  It wasn’t until I started gifting experiences that I have really felt the magnitude of the benefit of gifting. It is better than giving something that will be thrown away, not worn or only used once.  When chosen correctly it brings a lifetime of memories.

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