Experience it!

Santa Carrying Shopping BagsGift ideas are difficult to come up with at any rate. Gift ideas that are useful and well-received- those are even scarcer still. You spend time and money trying to match gift to recipient- but it is what they really want? It is anything that they need?

Instead of lining people’s shelves with items that may only be taking up space, consider giving “experiences” and activities rather than a reindeer sweater or dust-collecting knick knack.

Helpful and Fun

Not only do you have a better chance that your gift will be well received, you are likely helping the recipient with their budgetary planning in the coming months (especially if they have a family- and especially if that family is yours!). Activities can be notoriously expensive and are usually the first things to go when spending is slim.

This is more than a random gift card though; this is a gift with fun and function as the goal.

Museum Memberships

Depending on where you live, a museum membership may be very fun and very welcome. A museum membership is often good for a year, and can often not only grant access to your favourite museum, many offer “network” passes- meaning that you can travel from place to place to sister museums with your membership.

In deep dark February, or on the third rainy Saturday in a row in the spring, your recipient will thank you for their pre-paid item.

Get Fit

Does the New Year include plans for getting fit? This is an excellent time to purchase your gym membership or to gift one. Many gyms and fitness studios offer holiday deals with passes or short-term try before you buy memberships- which make for great (and useful gifts).

Does your family need to get off the couch? Head to your local rec centre and buy passes to the pool, rink or gym. This pre-paid activity is a great stocking stuffer that is not only fun- but can also contribute to your family’s overall health.

Summertime Planning

Even though the ground is blanketed under snow, summer vacation is still in the future (albeit the distant future). Consider hotel gift cards or booking a campsite plus some gas cards for the road trip so that people can get a jump on their summer holiday planning. When summer rolls around, and this expense is already paid for- people will be very grateful!

Learn Something New

Do you have a wine enthusiast, amateur cook or crafter on your list? Sign them up for a workshop or course on their preferred hobby. This is the kind of thing that people often long to do, but often don’t have the time or money to devote. However, if it is booked and paid for, people will be more inclined to use- and enjoy!

Indoor Playgrounds

Do you have a local indoor playground or jungle gym in your area? These bling-y, coveted-hot spots are among the most treasured trips for the kids. However, they are often super-expensive for a trip here and there.

If you do double duty though, and purchase passes as part of your gift list, it helps to make the cost more manageable (but the fun quotient still high!).