If you ask someone their favorite part of the holiday season, giving or receiving gifts will likely be their response nine times out of ten. Gift-giving is a huge part of the holidays—it’s why there are entire days dedicated to shopping leading up to the season. However, it’s no secret that the “stuff” we buy to showcase our love often ends up sitting unused in homes or, even worse, in a landfill.
This year, instead of spending all your hard-earned money on gifts your friends and family may not even use, give them something more meaningful and memorable: an experience.
Experience gifts for: CREATIVES
Do you have a significant other with a knack for interior design? Or a brother who loves to cook? One of these gifts will be just what they’re looking for.
Home-design app subscription
Sure, sites like Pinterest and Instagram have changed the game when it comes to free interior design inspiration. However, there’s no substitution for a professional armed with the right advice and tools. A month-to-month or yearly subscription to an interior design app, such as Modsy or Havenly, is the perfect gift for an artistic person looking to transform their home. Both apps offer different packages depending on the level of renovation needed and allow users to be fully present in the process—experimenting with colors, textures, and aesthetics best suited for them while working side by side with a professional designer.
Any home chef could benefit from a refresh of their kitchen skills, making a cooking class a truly valuable gift. The lessons they’ll learn in a culinary tutorial can be taken with them and applied to their dishes for years to come. Plus, they may even pick up a few delicious recipes they can make for you as a special thanks. Retailers like Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table typically offer classes throughout the year, and some even come with discounts on items in the store.
Membership to an art museum
The cost of museum visits can add up, especially if you go multiple times a year. If you have a loved one who frequents a local art museum, consider gifting them an annual membership. They’ll love the opportunity to visit their favorite place for free, and museum memberships often have a host of other benefits, including discounted tickets for special events.
Experience gifts for: ADVENTURERS
No one is better suited for an experience gift than an adventure-seeker! They are bound to love any gift that allows them the opportunity to get out and explore.
US National Park pass
The gift of an America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass will give your loved one a year’s worth of access to over 2,000 government recreational sites across the country. The best part? One pass is good for admittance for your loved one and up to four other adults, while children fifteen and under can enter the parks for free. Just think of the natural wonders they’ll be able to explore, and they’ll have you to thank for the memories they make.
Don’t underestimate a Groupon gift. Groupon has so much more to offer than just discounted massage packages and oil changes. You can browse the site for a gift best suited to your recipient’s interests, including skydiving packages, Spartan races, and drag-racing experiences. There are often thousands of deals available per location, so you’re bound to find the perfect match for your loved one.
Airbnb gift card
The popularity of home rentals has skyrocketed in recent years, partly because of the privacy afforded to vacationers compared to hotels and resorts. If your loved one is an avid traveler, they are guaranteed to appreciate a gift card they can put toward their next vacation experience.
Experience gifts for: WELLNESS ENTHUSIASTS
Someone who is focused on their health and wellness may not want a pile of gifts adding clutter to their home. Instead, gift them a memorable health-focused experience they can cherish.
It’s hard to beat the gift of peace and tranquility, and that’s exactly what a spa retreat will provide for your loved one. If your friend or relative could benefit from a day or weekend filled with massages, yoga, meditation, or other forms of pampering, consider gifting them a package to a local spa retreat. Many places offer discounted packages and gift cards at this time of year.
Exercising regularly can be a challenge, especially with the cost associated with a gym membership. So, if it’s in your budget, consider gifting your loved one a trial or annual membership to a local facility. If they’ve never been a gym member before, a trial can be a great opportunity for them to test the waters. Alternatively, if they’re a workout warrior, they’ll be grateful for the ability to work out for free when you renew their membership. Consider a local gym that offers classes so they can really make the most of it!
Genetic testing kit
These days, there’s a DNA testing kit to tell you virtually anything you want to know about yourself. But genetic testing can be particularly helpful in determining sensitivities to certain foods and predispositions to health conditions. Companies like 23andMe and SelfDecode offer kits that can help your loved one uncover hidden clues in their DNA that can help them improve their health.
Instead of loading up on more things on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, consider gifting the people on your list an experience that will make memories.