Your Presence is Your Present :: Giving the Gift of Togetherness


Think Outside the (gift)Box

Brace yourselves for a pragmatic angle on the most wonderful time of the year. It’s no secret that the season of mass gifting is nearly upon us. I personally find shopping for the kids really fun because I usually don’t have to even guess what they want! The giddy anticipation and the eventual delight on Christmas morning is a total payoff for all the shopping and wrapping. Then . . . there are the adults. It doesn’t matter how loved your loved ones are, shopping for gift upon gift can get tedious in the middle of such a hectic time of year. Enter: the gift of the experience!

So Happy Together

Experience Gifts - Siblings take on the Escape Room!
Siblings out on the town

You could call it giving the gift of togetherness. It will take some planning to get on the same page and schedule, but it’s totally worth it! Ideally, you will take the money you would have spent on a gift and use it to go and do something together! From mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, fathers and sons, to large cousin groups . . . the arrangements are as endless as the possibilities.

Go Big or Little . . . Just Don’t Stay Home

The first year our family tried this, the siblings and spouses on my husband’s side did an escape room and went to dinner afterwards. It wasn’t extravagant, but it certainly was special. We loved our kid-free evening spending time with people we grew up with but didn’t get to see as often as we would like. The great thing about experience gifts are that they can fit any budget! Think about a girls’ lunch followed by mani/pedis, seeing that big holiday blockbuster, trying escape rooms, sporting activities, concerts, or holiday home tours . . . the list could go on and on.

While you’re at it, implement this idea for the children in your life, too. I know I could use a break from the clutter that comes from all the well-intentioned toys that arrive during the holidays. What about dropping hints to swap the toys for togetherness with shared experience gifts? There are some fantastic ideas featured in this BMB article on non-toy gift-giving. Don’t forget about Groupon too. They are always offering deals on group packages for concerts, jump parks, and the like. Additionally, you can check out the BMB list of Christmas traditions in Birmingham that will be sure to foster some togetherness for all ages.

Start A New Tradition

The tradition of gift-giving during this time of year is a special one, and here’s a way to skip the stress and get down to what means the most: sharing the gift of a good time together! When you share experience gifts, you are going to love that sense of relief that comes with fewer gifts to hunt down, wrap, and REMEMBER to bring with you!! Now, everyone go start that group text with the family and trade your wrapping paper for some fun!

What are your favorite experience gifts to share with loved ones at the holidays?

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Lyndsey is a Florida native who moved to the Birmingham area for school and never went back. She’s called Birmingham home since 2005 when she landed her first job as a speech pathologist at UAB. After a five year hiatus to have her little ones, she went back to work part-time treating brain injury and stroke patients in UAB’s post-acute rehab center. Lyndsey is a proud police officer wife to her husband of nine years, Philip. They bring new meaning to the idea of “good cop vs. bad cop” when it comes to parenting their three young children Ben(6), Mamie(4), and Phils(2). Thankfully, their faith in God has proved to be the best route for figuring this parenting thing out. A good time for Lyndsey includes treasure hunting at garage and estate sales, decorating her home, and a good old fashioned Netflix binge.