The Spirit of Giving

Give the gift of experience!


Going through some memorabilia I discovered a coupon book my son made sixteen years ago. I was delighted to see there wasn’t any expiration date on his handmade Kindergarten coupons, so I put them on his dresser, ready to receive my free hugs and my dishwasher unloaded when he returns home from college this week.

I am grateful to the teacher who came up with this thoughtful idea - for little ones who can’t shop (lucky them) to give something meaningful to their loved ones. It reminded me that the best gifts are ones you can’t wrap…experiences. 

The expectations, busyness and consumerism associated with the holiday season can leave women in particular feeling depleted, as they often shoulder much of the responsibility for all the effort. However, like anything society imposes on us, we can pause to question it all and even change it!  

It’s a conversation Rachel (my partner in Rise) and I had recently as she raises her young children. We ask ourselves and invite you to consider; how can we cultivate more meaning for ourselves and our loved ones with the choices we make about how we spend our time? how do we parse through what we feel we “should” be doing this time of year, and reclaim what’s best for ourselves and our loved ones? and are there experiences that we can gift that are something to look forward to, rather than more things to find space for in our already full homes?

Here are some "experience giving" ideas:

  1. Star gazing date

  2. A ride to the airport or anywhere a ride is needed

  3. Dinner (cooked, ordered in from a favorite spot…)

  4. Foot rub

  5. 10 genuine compliments - anytime you need them

  6. Joy ride to visit a neighborhood/friend/favorite place

  7. Pick up cookies together and deliver them to community helpers (fire station, librarian, etc.)

  8. Coffee or hot chocolate date

  9. Cooking class (lead it or sign up for one together)

  10. Plan a trip together - how about to Rise Gatherings Weekend Getaway??