Coming up with the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list can feel like a challenge, but if you focus on giving experiences instead of stuff, you’ll find that suddenly “shopping” for your friends and family has a lot more meaning and purpose. Most people already have too much clutter and stuff they don’t want or use; an experience, on the other hand, is something that can be used at any time, typically brings much more happiness than material items, and will probably get you two thank yous: once when they receive the gift and again when they use it.
Here are 10 ideas for giving experiences:
Give the Gift of Relaxation
Massage therapy is a luxury that also helps with pain management and stress relief and is a perfect gift for anyone who deserves a break and a chance to truly relax.
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Give the Gift of Cooking Lessons
Your friends and family don’t have to be epicureans to appreciate the gift of a cooking class. You can even personalize the class so that it reflects the recipient’s skills and tastes. Choose from traditional courses, like knife work or basic skills, courses that teach about wine and food pairings, or ethnic cuisine courses. Whatever the class, everyone will love learning new skills they can use at home.
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Give the Gift of Song
If there’s someone on your list who’s a songbird or never stops talking about how they wish they didn’t quit those music lessons when they were 11 years old, give them the gift of singing or piano lessons. It’s a simple way to show you’re really paying attention and that you support their passions in life.
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Give the Gift of Beauty
Pamper a friend or family member with a beauty or hair makeover. Almost every woman will be thrilled to have a makeup artist or hair stylist give her a new look or teach her a few new tricks she can do herself.
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Give the Gift of Fine Dining at Home
Hiring a personal chef to drop of a week or two of meals to a friend or family who is over-worked and stressed is a thoughtful gift for several reasons: It provides them with extra time, ensures their mind and body is being nourished, and shows them you really care.
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Give the Gift of Health
If you have a friend or family member who wants to get in shape, help jumpstart their efforts with a session with a personal trainer. That person can help them set goals, motivate them, and show them the best and most efficient way to work out to meet their goals.
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Give the Gift of Style
If you have a friend who is looking for a new job, wants a new look, or is just in a style rut, giving them a few hours with a wardrobe consultant is a fun, but useful present. They can choose to have a professional audit their closet, help them pick out a few new pieces of clothing, or do an image assessment. It’s truly a gift that will keep on giving.
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Give the Gift of Help
There are probably a lot of busy people you need to shop for this season. Give them a couple of hours with a handyman so they can finally get all of those annoying tasks around the house that they’ve been putting off for months accomplished.
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Give the Gift of Cherished Memories
A beautiful family portrait is something that will be appreciated by everyone who is in it and can even become an heirloom that gets passed down through generations. Hiring a professional photographer for a friend or family member is a thoughtful gift they might never give themselves, but will always be treasured.
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Give the Gift of Cleanliness
If there’s one thing every single person on your list will appreciate, it’s having a clean home that sparkles and shines. Hire a house cleaner to go in and scrub everything from top to bottom. It’s a gift of time, relaxation, and something everyone can use.
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