We are all familiar with how easy it is to get lost in the gift giving traditions of the holiday season. While it can feel really good to find that perfect gift for someone you care for, this year I am reminded, once again, that loved ones should be at the forefront of your holiday season. Being away from home for so long, I can’t wait to get home to spend time with the people in my life that I miss the most. So, in the spirit of Christmas and spending time with family and friends, I thought I would share a few gift ideas centered around gifting experiences that y’all can enjoy together! I’ve always loved gifts like this! It gives you both (or all) something to look forward to. Let me know what you think!
“Everybody seems to kerbabbled. Isn’t this just a little superfluous?” – Cindy Lou Who
- Amusement Park – For those of you who enjoy a good adrenaline rush every now and again, this one is for you! Here is a list of the 10 best amusement parks in North Carolina. I’m not much of a theme park gal myself, but my parents always enjoy visiting their favorite amusement park, Busch Gardens! This would be fun as a date to a theme park, or going with a group of friends!
- Concerts – I love receiving concert tickets as a gift, because who doesn’t love music!? And a good reason to find a cute outfit for the occasion + you’ll get to experience your gift together. It’s a win win for everyone. You can check out upcoming concert dates in your area by genre here!
- Cooking Class – Some of you might already know but during my time studying in Italy I have taken a cooking class. It is my absolute favorite class! I have learned so much about Italian food, ingredients, and the regions they come from. After each class I find myself telling anyone I can get to listen about what we made, how much I loved the recipe, and what I learned about where the dish originated! However, it seems to be one of those you had to be there topics. Everyone always responds with “sounds yummy” or “you’ll have to make it for me when you get home.” You simply cannot fully understand without trying it yourself!
I think it would be much more fun to share the experience with a loved one! Plus, if it’s your significant other it might be a gift that keeps giving when they make it again and again post-cooking class. Sur la Table has several locations across the United States! If you live in the Raleigh, NC, area there is a location at North Hills. You can find the list of locations here. Honestly, this is a perfect event for GNO, date night, and even a fun holiday get together!
- Dance Class – This would be a DREAM for me! I’ve always wanted to learn a social dance like salsa, swing, or tango. I have no preference really. I think it would be an impressive skill to have. Plus, it would make for a super fun date night (at least in my opinion 😉 hehe Sorry Will! I’m sure it’s a good way to learn a few things about each other. i.e. level of patience, athletic ability, how seriously you take yourself, and how well you work together.
I’ve found a few places that offer dance classes near Raleigh, NC, here, here, or here. If you’re a student at North Carolina State University (like me!) then you have access to free dance lessons! To find out more click here.
- Painting – I’m sure we have all had a friend or two that has participated in one of these events. Whether it be Wine & Design, Paint Nite, or another company, I have only heard good recounts of the fun and creative events! Personally, I’m not sure I would drag my boyfriend to one of these, but perhaps your mom & sister, or best girlfriends. Here’s a list of other crafty social events you might be interested in bringing a loved one to as a Christmas gift!
- Game Tickets – I’m sure the men in your life will appreciate this one! (Boyfriend, brother, dad, friend etc.) I know my boyfriend would love tickets to a sporting event for any kind of gift. He says the best gift I ever gave him was a gift card to a golf course! You can find various sporting tickets here.
- Food Tasting – Another experience I am taking home with me from Italy is food tastings! Festivals and food sampling alike are abundant in Italy. My friends and I love going to markets or festivals to try new and delicious food. It really doesn’t take much convincing for this one, it really is a great idea! I found a list of food tasting events in the Raleigh area here.
- Comedy Show – I’ve never seen a comedian live, but I think it would be so fun! Of course, this depends on whether the comedian you like is touring in your area, but it’s an idea to keep in mind for the future. Here is a link to get your search started.
P.S. I think Trevor Noah is hilarious. If you haven’t heard of him you can watch his stand up comedy on Netflix!
P.S.S. He’ll be in Charlotte, NC, on February 24!
- Light Show – One of my favorite things about the holiday season is seeing the lights strung everywhere. It makes things look so much more beautiful. A Christmas light show is the perfect seasonal event to get excited about as it only comes around once every year. Any friend or family member of mine would love to know I planned an evening to spend quality time with them.
The idea of sharing experiences rather than material gifts is to create something that will last. To take a little focus off of the gifting of an object and place a little more focus on giving your time. Perhaps the most important aspect is to create a thoughtful experience you’ll both remember always. So, create a save the date, print those tickets and place a bow on ’em! Show a loved one you cherish their time! I can attest, all the way from Italy, it is the most important thing you can give!