The Gift of Experience | We Do Not Need Any More Stuff


The Gift of Experience | “We do not need any more STUFF!” 

This is my cry for mercy when birthdays and holidays roll around. 

In a society built on the foundation of free enterprise which has morphed into consumerism, we somehow have equated affection with purchased products. I’m guilty of this, too, so please don’t take this for judgement; this is simply a note of awareness…and a description of an alternative: Doing stuff instead of buying stuff!

A couple of years ago, after a long weekend of wading through Legos, puzzles, games, books, and more Legos in effort to organize my son’s room, we discussed the limited time of value for most toys, clothes, etc.  He described how they’re fun for a few minutes, hours, or days, but then they just get added to the black hole in his closet, never to be picked up and played with again.  Images of Woody and Buzz from Toy Story 3 pop into my mind and suddenly I am riddled with guilt over all the long-buried toys in the closet that don’t see the light of day.  So, to address the overcrowding issue and relieve my conscience, we decided to gift experiences rather than stuff.  

The purpose of parties and gatherings is to celebrate someone or to exhibit how much you care for them, and experiences are a great way to accomplish that. 

What better way to celebrate someone than to spend time with them doing what they love to do? 
What better way to exhibit how much you care for someone than to show interest in something that interests them?

Ideas for Experiences

  • Coupons for
    • Family Movie Night – Your Pick!
    • Guys/Girls Night with Friends
    • Two Hours of Time Alone (maybe this is just a mom thing?)
    • Favorite Meal Cooked for Dinner
    • Breakfast in Bed
  • Gift Cards/Memberships for favorite activities around town (theaters, play places, restaurants, museums)
  • Continuing Education class: Baylor, McLennan Community College
  • Special Activity/Event: concert, craft class, special dinner at local restaurant, tours, massage
  • Weekend at grandparents’ house – this is a gift for the kids and the parents!
  • Take a trip together – this is our family’s favorite option!  It could be a day trip or a vacation – whatever fits your family.

In focusing on giving an experience, you show that you listen to their interests, pay attention to their activities, and care about their enjoyment.  The gift of an experience allows you to make it possible for them to take part in those things or, better yet, to share in those things with them.

So, as the gift-giving season continues to be in full-swing and ongoing sales flood your inbox and mailbox, consider adding some experiences to your wish list and your shopping list.