Freelance writer, Social Work & Arts student & traveller based in Perth, Western Australia. Check out my blog at https://thewildwellnessseries.com/
Published November 19th 2019
Simplify & connect this Christmas with a gifted experience
Christmas can be a magical time of year where friends, families and love ones come together to celebrate the festivities with food, and, of course, presents.
Present shopping can be a daunting experience. Fighting through hordes of fellow shoppers, going through the constant questioning of "will they like this?" and "what do they need?" when trying to choose gifts that will bring a smile to the dial of your loved ones. It is a tricky time and a time where it is important to be mindful of not buying things for people that will end up sitting on a dusty shelf or being plopped in the bin after a month or two.
I've had a bit of a revelation this year as I was brainstorming ways to reduce my Christmas waste footprint and decide that the most precious and wonderful gifts I have ever received were the gifts of time. Time I have been able to spend together with some of my favourite people, and times where I have been able to climb outside of my comfort zone to embrace a fun, new experience.
I challenge you to change up the gift-giving this year. If you have some stellar ideas about some physical items to give to someone as gifts, that's great, and bonus points if it's a practical thing, but I'm going to ask that you branch out this year, and give the gift of an experience.
Giving an experience doesn't have to be a big tricky thing. It can be as simple as writing in a Christmas card that you would love to take someone out for a special dinner, redeemable by them in the next 3 months. Or it can be a voucher for an experience from somewhere like Groupon, Scoopon or Red Balloon. It can be tickets to a local Cabernet and canvas class where you can sit together and paint with a glass of vino (lush!). It can be a voucher for a massage or a booking confirmation for a weekend away. The opportunity to give someone an experience is widely available and such a unique approach to gift-giving that reduces all of the 'stuff', and allows thoughtfulness and initiative to shine through.
Me on my way to a Dolphin Dive - a gifted experience!
Here are a few ideas for experience gift-giving that's local to Perth:
A lunch cruise along the Swan River with Captain Cook cruises.
A Cabernet & Canvas class. A sunrise hot air balloon ride in Northam. Voucher for a massage (there are always loads on Scoopon & Groupon!).
Book a weekend down south near a lovely winery.
- A twilight cruise on the ocean with bubbly.
- Hand-made voucher for a breakfast date in the Swan Valley.
- Dolphin swimming cruise with Rockingham Wild Encounters (so fun and unique- my friend took me to this for my birthday a few years back and I loved it!).
- Book tickets for a day trip (or overnighter) to Rottnest.
- A voucher for indoor rock climbing .
- Book a 'Boozy Brunch' at the Queens (included in the price is a main meal and 2 hours of free-flowing mimosa's, Aperol spritz and prosecco- so much fun!).
- Tickets to a funky Fringe World show
As you can see, there are loads of experiences sitting right at your doorstep that could be perfect gift ideas for people of any age (and for any occasion!). The experiences that I have been gifted through birthdays and Christmas's over the years have absolutely been my most cherished and most memorable.
In a world that is ever increasingly clogged with 'stuff', give the gift of time this Christmas, and make a date to reconnect with someone over coffee, a river cruise, on a hot air balloon or sitting in front of a canvas. Those memories are the things that will be held most dear to someone's heart, and will long outlive a pair of earrings or a bottle of cologne.
Reduce, simplify, and connect this Christmas, and make it the most thoughtful one yet.