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6 Reasons To Give Experiences Instead of Gifts This Christmas

There are plenty of reasons to give experiences instead of gifts this Christmas, but today I’m going to share with you my top 6 reasons. This may come as a surprise, since I just shared several Amazon Toy Gift Guides for Kids of All Ages. But, in fact, this year when we asked our nieces and nephews what they wanted most for Christmas, all three of them said experiences.

Of course we bought them some tangible things to be opened on Christmas Day, and we sure have kept the delivery drivers busy. But, boy oh boy, did their responses warm our hearts. And, bet your bottom dollar, we’ve got some fun experiences and day trips planned for them in the year ahead.

Related Post: The Best Experience Gifts for Families

If you too are looking for some ways to bond and spend quality time with the people in your life, while also looking at decreasing the clutter in your home and maybe even saving some money, then continue on. I can’t wait to share these ideas with you!

What experiences do you love to gift each year?

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1. Memories Last Longer Than Things

Giving the gift of experiences will last far longer than the batteries in your kids toys and will linger much longer than the plethora of game pieces you’ll soon find between your couch cushions. Getting toys and things they need/want on Christmas morning can be special too, don’t get me wrong, but the memories that you make throughout the year are what will matter in the long run, don’t you think?

Related Post: 5 Ways To Simplify Gift Giving This Christmas

2. Experiences Won’t Add To The Clutter At Home

How often after the hustle and bustle of Christmas morning has settled are you then searching for places to put all of the things? Perhaps you encourage your children to donate some toys each year to make room for the new stuff (which I think is a brilliant idea, by the way). Just think, if you focus on giving experiences and memories this holiday season, you won’t have to cram toys in every nook and cranny of your home. How lovely does that sound?!

“Teach your kids that togetherness is far more valuable than the presents under the tree.”

3. Teaches Your Kids That Experiences Are More Important Than Things

One thing that we think is super important to teach little ones is that time together is way more important than getting things. It could be a special monthly subscription box that you do together, or a date with mom and dad that they get to choose every month. However you choose to gift experience, teach your kids that togetherness is far more valuable than the presents under the tree.

Related Post: Rediscovering The Wonder Of Christmas

4. Giving Experiences Might Actually Save You Money

Believe it not, in the long run, giving experiences or trips might actually save you money! Sounds crazy, right? But, let’s think about it. Experiences like trips to the zoo, the science museum, or the aquarium are probably on your list to do anyway this year, right? Well, why not turn them into “gifts”.

I love the idea of creating a monthly envelope for each kiddo that they get to open throughout the year with fun experiences/dates to do. You could put baseball tickets in one envelope, or money for manicures and frappuccinos. You could pre-plan tickets for Disney On Ice or Monster Jam and include those too.

Turn those experiences that you’d already plan to do with your kids, into an amazing gift of dates with you throughout the whole year. They’ll love it and have something to look forward too versus the fun ending on December 26th.

Related Post: Elf On The Shelf- A Family Christmas Tradition

5. Experiences Are A Gift You Can Enjoy As Well

Experiences and trips are something that you can enjoy as well. Really take the time to be present with your little ones, remember their faces, and capture their excitement as they learn and grow. Then, at the end of the year, create a family yearbook featuring all of your adventures together throughout the year.

“Giving experiences can make your mommy heart just as happy as it will make theirs.”

6. Gifting Experiences Increases Family Bonding

Lastly, gifting experiences can increase family bonding. Taking on the world together will create the threads that will bind you together for all time. You’ll collect stories and pictures along the way. It might not all be pretty or perfect, but it will be your family’s memories together.

Related Post: The Ultimate Santa-Approved Christmas Cookie Collection & Recipes

Experiences/Trips That Make Perfect Gifts for Kids

Some of these ideas are local to us here in southeast Michigan and others are a little farther away. Use this list as a springboard of ideas that would work best for your family and what you enjoy doing with your kids.

There are so many ideas and ways to gift experiences. Some can be inexpensive and done at home, while others might be a bit more…especially the vacations/trips. Pick and choose how you gift experiences in a way that supports your family, your values, and your budget.

“Gifting experiences can increase family bonding. Taking on the world together will create the threads that will bind you together for all time.”

Related Post: The Ultimate Creative Gift & Toy Guide For Kids Of All Ages


  • This was a great post. It’s very true that we get caught up in the clutter of Christmas and an experience is much more long lasting.

    • That’s so so true. We’re so glad that our nieces and nephew like receiving experience gifts. Makes the fun of Christmas continue after all the gifts are opened. Glad you liked this post.


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Hi, I’m Stephanie

Your newest BFF & Simplicity Guru, if that’s ok with you

Fueled by equal parts cold brew and dry shampoo, I spend my days inspiring and encouraging women to find joy and rest, even in a season full of chaos and overwhelm.  Your story, your family, your journey is a beautiful one and I can’t wait to help you create memories you will treasure for years to come.  

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