The Gift of Experience

“The greatest gift you can give someone is your time. Because when you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.” 

Have you spent hours on Pinterest or Etsy trying to decipher the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one or friend? Well it is down to the wire with Christmas this week, but maybe what you are looking for isn’t something you can wrap and put under a tree…

I have someone who I thought deserved the ultimate gift, a gift that shows my love, my care and thought that I have every day. However, I sat for hours online and in the mall trying to find something that would lighten up his face when he opened it. Nothing clicked. I am sure that this has happened to you as well until I came to a realization that maybe sometimes to experience the perfect gift is having experience be the gift itself.

I wanted my gift to show love. Step one: show love in a way that wouldn’t be expected because that is what a gift is for right? A gift in the dictionary is defined as a natural ability or a thing given willingly to someone without payment. Okay,  lets be real, there is nothing natural about deciphering a guy’s mind or finding a gift that doesn’t require some budgeting, but hey the purpose of a gift is do something for someone that the other person wouldn’t do for themselves. Where to start? This Christmas I chose to give the gift of experience. Something I can have a memory about, a picture to hold and a story to tell when i’m older. A memory is worth a lot more than a price tag so i’m excited to share with you ways you can turn old memories into new ones and savor every last second of gift giving. No more unwrapping and throwing the paper away within five minutes.

Step two: execute the experience. For starters I gathered some stationary and some Polaroid film to document the evening. (For those who have asked, I use a Polaroid 300 and find my film at Target). I picked him up, him being my very best friend of 10 years, my boyfriend of just a few months and a person with the most gracious and passionate heart I know. In the car waiting was a letter with a rhyme and a time for our first destination. Sipping on his favorite beer, I drove him to my favorite brewery and pub in Bowling Green, KY, The White Squirrel. Driving over an hour for dinner might seem absurd but let me tell you, if you can find yourself on a road trip singing obnoxiously, eating snacks while he steers from the passenger side and even sitting in silence or laughter with a calm heart, you should keep that special person in your life.

Made it to dinner and indulged in an amazing spicy hummus with blue corn tortilla chips along with our first round of drinks. I ordered a glass of their Pino Grigio and he ordered their in-house Pumpkin Ale. We loved them! Always try to taste test and find happy hours because you can have the best experience for a reasonable price. Gifts can be pricy so to add to dinner, I chose to give something that didn’t cost much money at all because as I said earlier, memories have no price tag. I purchased a memory box that we will fill with our polaroids and even a coaster we took from the restaurant. Make your gift unique and special to you. That is when you will feel what giving is all about.

After dinner, letter number two hinted to a place where time isn’t linear…a planetarium of course. If you haven’t taken the time to pause and look at the stars, add that to a new experience for yourself because when earthly troubles and times take over, knowing that the sky is a constant place of peace will bring you such serenity. In our situation, lets just say that our serenity was struck down because little did I know the planetarium show was based for children…this is when you laugh and roll with it because although it wasn’t the experience I hoped for, it definitely brought more laughter than a wrapped gift.

How are you breaking out of your shell for not only yourself but for others? Surround yourself with people who will pursue you and encourage you to live a life full of experience. Beautiful, be the experience. Write letters, drive somewhere new and don’t let the holiday season be gone within minutes. I plan on riding Christmas out until they force me to take the tree down. It’s your turn to get those ideas churning for that ultimate Christmas present. Make a memory box of your own and start today! You are capable of absolutely anything.

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