We all want to give the people we love something sincere and meaningful for the holidays. To many, that means waiting in long lines, scouring the internet for the latest and greatest craze and inevitably spending way more dough than you meant to. No fear! We’re here to help you get through the most stressful season of the year on a budget.
While we’re often inundated with the idea that the more we spend on a gift the more we love someone, that really isn’t the case. Studies show that experiences bring people more happiness than do possessions. While we could certainly spend a lot on an experience for someone (i.e., booking them a trip), we can also give them something even more valuable (i.e., our time and/or expertise). This also allows us to connect with someone on a deeper level, rather than simply saying “I got you the new iPhone! See how much I spent on you?!”
While we all love getting tangible things (and there’s certainly nothing wrong with gifting those), after the initial joy we experience in receiving them they begin to fade into the background. Things become antiquated and fall apart. We start to take them for granted. Experiences, even if they’re bad, can create a great story that gets better with time. Here are a few ideas:
Subscriptions, Memberships, Tickets - What do they like? If they’re into the outdoors, maybe you could get them a state park entrance permit. Movies? Netflix can be relatively cheap. Is there a concert coming up? You get the idea. Golf courses, museums, gardens, zoos. There are all kinds of choices here that allow someone to have an experience, and many places run membership specials this time of year (if you’re looking to get something affordable for the whole family, check out MOR memberships at https://midwestoutdoorresorts.com/member-benefits.html. These are great for vacationers, campers, hikers and travelers in general!). Call us today at 800 231 0425 for more info!
Dinner Party for Two (or more) - There are plenty of options here, but the idea is that you would cook someone their favorite dinner. It doesn’t necessarily have to be elaborate, but it will give you the opportunity to do something heartfelt that won’t break the bank.
Personal Coupons - Redeemable at your convenience! Are you an expert in something unique, or do you know they really want to learn something? You could offer guitar or golf lessons, or even favors or chores (no one likes to shovel snow). While this may seem a little hokey, you’re still offering something valuable: your time.
Movie Night - Get your popcorn ready! Invite someone over to watch any movies and/or shows they’d like. You may have to sit through something you genuinely despise, but hey, this is your gift. Make snacks and you’ve got a present on a budget.
An Investment or Donation - To clarify, we’re not talking about George Costanza’s Human Fund here. This is best geared toward kids or grandkids, and they might not appreciate it initially, but savings bonds, college savings accounts or a few shares of stock can be relatively inexpensive and will allow kids to watch their money grow. You can also give to someone’s favorite charity, especially if they are heavily involved.
Anything Personalized - So I’m bending the rules a bit, but if someone lives far away and there’s no way to spend time with them, you could send them something heartfelt like a poem or art. There are a ton of options online for personalized prints, albums, t-shirts, etc (try https://www.socialprintstudio.com/squares/ for example). You could even fill a grab-bag with funny, cheap knick-knacks and send it to them.
There are plenty of ways to do something meaningful for someone without spending a lot of cash, especially if you make them experiential rather than material. Chances are, they’ll like them better anyway. Please let us know if you have any ideas or stories you’d like to share in the comments!