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Making memories: Christmas gifts that keep giving
By Tammy May

Doing stuff together is better than just giving stuffAs you’re planning your Christmas gift list this year, keep in mind that the most memorable gifts are not things, but experiences. Gifts of stuff get lost among the stuff we already have. On the other hand, we're far more likely to remember shared experiences. Stuff is easily forgotten; experiences are long-remembered.

What are some ways you can give the gift of experience without breaking the bank? Think back to some of your own favourite memories. I’m sure that many of them involve simple, unrushed moments—good times with good people.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Children love helping and making things. A cake tin or cupcake decorations could come with your gift of a shared baking session. A pair of safety glasses could include an invitation to build a wooden toy together. Art supplies could come with an afternoon craft session. A paintbrush and colour chart could represent the gift of repainting your child’s bedroom together.

Shared experiences in the great outdoors. Does someone you love need help in the garden? A pair of gardening gloves could accompany the promise of a weekend gardening or building a vegetable box. A map could represent an afternoon spent bike riding, hiking or driving together. A postcard could display a special place where you’ll take your loved one for a picnic, coffee or special meal.

An evening of entertainment. A bag of popcorn could include shouting your friend to an evening at the cinema. A selection of recipes could come with an invitation to choose a meal that you’ll cook for them. A bottle of massage oil could signify a special date night. A board game or deck of cards could come with an invitation to a games night.

There are lots of cheap and loving ways to give the gift of special experiences to the people you cherish. Keep it simple and focus on the things they enjoy!

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