The holidays sneak up on us faster and faster every year, wouldn’t you agree? We are less than one week away, so the countdown is officially on! At this point in the holiday season, you’re one of two types of people: the person who’s already got everything checked off their holiday gift list or the person that’s still searching high and low for gifts.

If you’re still shopping for last-minute presents and the people left on your list are your young kids, grandkids, nieces, or nephews, I’ve got a few ideas to help! But before I dive in, let me first start by taking a little pressure off. Let yourself off the hook to choose the “perfect” gift because there’s truly no such thing. When you focus too much on that mythical “perfect” gift, you get sucked into a dangerous trap where you’re more likely to waste your money on something less meaningful that you wound up settling on. Instead, focus more on the actual act of giving and think of something they’ll truly enjoy.

Did you know that the average parent spends anywhere from $200-$300 on gifts each year for their kids during the holidays? While presents are fun to unwrap, more often than not, the excitement of receiving a material gift is short-lived, and after a while, it lies around on shelves or in toy boxes collecting dust.

So, to take your gifting up a notch, move from buying “stuff” to giving experiences that’ll create lasting memories and bring more joy and smiles to all the kiddos in your life. Gifting experiences may initially be more costly, but trust me, they’ll end up being cheaper in the long run. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Gift an Adventure

Got a kid in your life that lives for the thrill of an adventure? Give them an adventurous experience with one of these awesome gifts:

  • Amusement park passes

  • Water park passes

  • Indoor rock climbing

  • Indoor sky diving

  • Indoor trampoline park

  • Zip lining

Gift a Membership

Want to get a gift that the whole family can enjoy? There are tons of activities in our area where you can spend a fun day attending a sports game; listening to music; or learning about animals, history, or science. Consider gifting one of the following to earn cool points with the kids:

  • Aquarium

  • Museum

  • Science center

  • Zoo

  • Sporting events (football games, baseball games, basketball games, etc.)

  • Concert tickets

If none of those spark your interest or appeal to the kiddos in your life, you can also consider subscriptions to things like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, etc. 

Gift Classes or Lessons

Get kids involved in fun, hands-on hobbies that they love, or surprise them with new classes or lessons that may pique their interest. Here are a few ideas you can use as inspiration: 

  • Batting lessons

  • Cooking classes

  • DIY workshops—home décor, woodworking, etc.

  • Golf lessons

  • Gymnastics/dance classes

  • Horseback riding lessons

  • Martial arts/karate lessons

  • Music lessons

  • Painting classes

  • Pottery classes

  • Sewing lessons

  • Swimming lessons

Gift a Fun Night (out or in)

Everyone loves a good night out or in, especially when it’s spent with those you love and care about. Check out these ideas:

  • Have a movie night at home, at the movie theater, or local drive in, and provide a bucket with snacks, drinks, and blankets

  • Enjoy some friendly competition by having a game night

  • Take friends or family bowling, roller blading, or ice skating

Got some parents in mind that could use an extra special gift? Give them the gift of a night off with some babysitting vouchers! Offer to send them on a date night while you take on watching the kids for the night. You may even be able to put some of the ideas above to good use!

Experiences are Forever

When you gift experiences over material items, you’re gifting memories and creating a bonding experience that’ll bring people closer together. Experience-based gifts are more thoughtful; they’re something that comes from the heart. By gifting memories, you’ll ensure that your gift will be remembered and cherished forever by both the gift giver and receiver.

Consider gifting an experience this year and see what you think.

Happy holidays!

Chelsea Welk

Chelsea Welk

Chelsea is the Communications Manager at GOLD. She provides Members and future Members with detailed financial information that's aimed to better serve their personal financial goals. Chelsea enjoys working to fulfill GOLD's mission and vision to help make a positive difference in our Members' everyday lives.

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