While Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, I always feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that comes in our home via gifts. Large families do receive a lot of gifts thanks to the sheer numbers. One way to keep the gifts more in keeping with our values and storage space is to ask for experiences. I also think of giving experiences as a frugal gift since a museum membership can be used multiple times over a year, not just for one time.
Ask for Experiences
When I sat down with the kids this year to talk about wish lists, I suggested they think about experiences they would love to do along with ideas for toys and other stuff. I mentioned a few ideas to get them thinking. Over the summer my daughter asked endlessly about going to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia which wasn’t in our budget this year. I suggested she add that to her wish list.
Some kids already have places in mind. They’re the ones that love to be doing stuff, and always welcome an opportunity to do with it someone else. Other kids may need some prompting before they start spewing out tons and tons of ideas.
Adapt the experience to fit your child’s comfort level. If your child is quiet and doesn’t like crowds, maybe a quiet morning spent reading books with a grandparent followed by a one-on-one lunch is more her speed.
Also focus on the age of your child. For a young one, a special lunch at a restaurant can be almost overwhelming; this type of activity would be better suited to an older child. They would do better with a lunch at a grandparent’s home followed by a craft activity, a walk, or reading books together.
This spring I took the older boys to see the Spy Exhibit as a special day out.
Suggestions for Experiences for Kids
- trip to a museum
- trip to the zoo
- lunch with the grandparents
- an afternoon movie
- tickets to a children’s show at a local theatre
- ice skating
- going to a minor league baseball game
- sleepover at grandparent’s home
- trip to the city to see a Broadway Show
- train ride
- trip to the beach