My husband, James gave me a challenge our first Christmas together almost 6 years ago. He told me his dad was really hard to shop for; he has everything he said. I quickly volunteered to take on this challenge and was eager to find the perfect gift. Anyone who knows me can attest that I love to put a lot of thought and heart into every gift I give. I like to double wrap and sometimes even triple wrap presents. I like to write heart felt messages and make those on my shopping list feel extra special. It’s kind of my super power; at least I considerate to be!
I got busy scouring the internet looking for the perfect gift for my father in law when it dawned on me. What would be an extra special for someone who already has everything? An experience! Time, yes, time with family doing something special. After some searching I figured it out and found what I believed to be the perfect gift. Dinner for the four of us followed by a comedy show at the Imperial Theater. My gifting super power came through and the gift, the experience was a huge hit. Since then this has become a tradition that has taken us to concerts, wine fairs, across the boarder, to exquisite dinners and small towns all while spending quality time together; creating memories. We even started gifting experiences to Braedon too from movies, to dinners, a magic show at Imperial Theater and we even brought him exploring small towns with us in Maine. This past Christmas we were lucky to find an event near home which meant we could include even more of our loved ones in this tradition. We were able to take my mother and father-in-law, my son Braedon, my brother in law and my dear friend Loretta who happens to be Braedon’s Godmother.
The seven of us made our way to a wonderful dinner at Lemon Grass in Saint John, NB then enjoyed an amazing night filled with laughter at James Mullinger‘s, Let’s do it Again Comedy show at Harbour Station. Why am I telling you this? Why do I want to encourage you to consider gifting experiences and time to your loved ones? This gift, this experience, it ended up being our very last family outing together. Even though Braedon had been sick we took him out; it was one of his Christmas gifts after all. We made it work oxygen tanks and all. We ate, enjoyed one another’s company, we laughed the night away and made memories that will last a lifetime. Braedon passed just 18 days later.
I say this often now as I wake each day with an ache in my soul that reminds me; life is fleeting. A single moment can change your life forever. This year I have an empty chair at my holiday table, gifts I don’t need to purchase and a child who didn’t make it to celebrate another year. As you go about your shopping, I hope that you’ll consider gifting an experience to someone special in your life; giving them the gift of your time and a memory that could last a lifetime. In the end it’s all that matters. Use this holiday season to take advantage of opportunity you can to spend time with the people you love. Give them an adventure, eat a great meal together, see a movie, a band, a game. Whatever it is, big or small I promise you the memories made will be priceless. You never know when it will be your last opportunity to laugh the night away with someone you love.
Gift Experience Ideas
- Family Trip
- Concert Tickets
- Paint Night
- Dinner together at their favorite restaurant
- Break out Room
- Dinner Theater
- Hockey Games or other Sporting Events
- Pottery Class
- Game for family game night
- Comedy Show
- Rock Climbing Gyms
- Trampoline Parks
***I want to apologize to Santa I just couldn’t figure out how to get more of you head in in this photo***