2007 Gift Giving Guide: Experience giving

My father is tough to crack. My wife and I constantly ask my mother what to get him for his birthday, or in this case, the holidays. She never gives us anything to go on, so we generally fall back on some kind of golf gadget or a fashionable golf shirt.

My father golfs a lot and he has his fair share of golf equipment, so this year we are not going to add to his golf clutter. Instead, we are going to give the gift of an experience. The gift could be anything from a gift certificate for his favorite restaurant or a bunch of passes to the local movie theater.

Preferred experiences may vary from person to person. Here is a list of ideas that will not add clutter to their post-holiday lives:

Pampering: Purchase a gift certificate for a facial, massage, pedicure or manicure. Or, go for broke, and get an all inclusive spa treatment package.

Events: Give the gift of the performing arts. Purchase tickets for a play, a concert, or a musical. If the person isn’t into the performing arts they may really enjoy some tickets to a sporting event.

Food: Either go the restaurant gift certificate route or purchase some gourmet food from any number of gourmet food sellers.

Adventures: If the person you are buying for is adventurous, try to set up a river rafting trip or a hiking trip. Consider giving them the unforgettable experience of a skydiving lesson!

Obviously, these suggestions are limited by your budget, but you can be creative and give something that won’t add clutter. Your gift also will supply them with memories to cherish.

11 Comments for “2007 Gift Giving Guide: Experience giving”

  1. posted by Kate Saltfleet on

    These are great ideas for memorable gifts. Anything that is consumable as opposed to a “thingumy” type of present gets the thumbs up from me.

    A selection of gourmet food wrapped up in hamper would make a fantastic gift. I’m sure that anyone who has a dietary requirement such as coeliac or is vegan would really appreciate the thought behind such a collection of suitable delicious food.

  2. posted by mary on

    I like to do the gift certificate for a dinner or lunch. (for the older people)

    Honestly, though….I don’t want Christmas presents. My husband and I don’t exchange at all. For me Christmas is for the children. (Santa and all that)

    Every year I HAVE to buy a gift for an 80 year old aunt. If you don’t give her something you are in trouble. Hence the dinner. Then I get chemical cookies from her that go directly into the trash.

  3. posted by Tameson O'Brien on

    My Mom gives my husband a gift certificate to the golf course every year to pay for some of his greens fees – perhaps your Dad would like that.

  4. posted by jamie on

    I have a great idea for gifts for my parents. Especially on this website, people KNOW that many of us don’t need anything. We are so blessed in the country with more than we even need. But in some parts of the world, this is not at all the case. That’s why I’m giving my parents GOATS. Through a program from my church, I can buy goats, oxen, animals, other supplies and services, and then give my parents a gift card that has a picture of that gift, explaining where their gift will be put to use. The goats, for example, will be given in Tanzania, where a goat is apparently a really good thing to have! I think this is so much in the spirit of what Christmas is truly about, and at the same time it doesn’t contribute to more clutter, junk, or useless gifts in my life or my loved ones. Check it out!


  5. posted by Prairie Gal on

    Foodtv.ca has some great suggestions for make your own gift baskets of consumables for foodies.


  6. posted by Cyndi on

    If anyone else is interested in giving animals in someone’s name, look up Heifer International. It is a great organization, and has a wide variety of animals you can “gift” – cows, sheep, pigs, ducks, rabbits, etc.

    Another option is to check out the store at the Hunger Site. You can buy shoes for school children or pay a teacher’s salary for a year in rural Pakistan (only 40$).

  7. posted by Marie on

    “Fashionable golf shirt”? 🙂

  8. posted by Helen South on

    I love the charity idea – I got a grove of trees in Scotland for my 40th (part of a reforestation project). The best present ever!

    Consumable gifts are great too, especially if you take the time to find out the recipient’s needs – I always hate it when I have to give away or throw out a too-perfumed product that I’m unable to use. I think my perfect small-budget gift would be organic home-baked brownies, or a bar of organic chocolate wrapped in the newspaper comics pages and tied with a re-useable ribbon.

  9. posted by Nancy on

    I have to say, a GC for a massage is one of the best gifts I ever received. I’d gladly accept gift certificates for any spa services from a manicure to a full day at the spa…or a trip to Miraval.

  10. posted by Suzyn on

    May I suggest another category? Classes – anything from a 1hr workshop on wine appreciation to a continuing ed class at your local college… I just got my husband a gift certificate for a half day digital photography class – he’s so excited!!

  11. posted by Dori on

    We started giving flowers to our grandmothers (88/90) about five years ago. All of the grandchildren pitch in and we have a bouquet of whatever flowers are in season sent to them each month – cut flowers/no vases. We tell them how much we want the bouquet to cost (we go with $15 + delivery). Once we split it out it’s very reasonable and Grandma gets a gift she can enjoy all year long.

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