For birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or the holidays, do people really need more stuff for their gifts?
In the 21st century, there’s been a huge change of perspective on stuff and experiences.
Whereas in the 20th century, having a nice TV, a cool stereo system, and a bunch of “toys” displayed status, many younger people are approaching life in a simpler and more fulfilling way.
For many people, stuff is out, and travel and experiences are in.
Where you’ve been, who you know, and what you do with your time signifies social status more than the cool car or big screen TV.
Maybe it’s the world we live in where gratification can be instant with seemingly instant everything and anything, and people are realizing this might not be best.
Last holiday season, I was having some trouble with coming up with gifts for my family.
Suddenly, a great idea popped into my head: what if I gave out experience coupons for different events later on in the year?
My grandparents don’t need any more stuff in their life, and can buy whatever they want. What they can’t do is conjure up a 26 year old and put him to work in the backyard for free!
I put my idea to work, and it was a great success!
In this post, you’ll learn about intentional gift giving, and spark some new thoughts for minimalist gift ideas for your loved ones for a birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or the holidays.
Experience Gifts for Family Members and Loved Ones
Last year, I was brainstorming gifts for my family and came up with my experience coupon idea.
I thought to myself, “What do my family members really want and need that isn’t material? What could I do, or what could I create for them that would be beneficial for their lives?”
For my grandparents, this was pretty easy to come up with.
As I mentioned above, they saved their money, live a modest lifestyle, have little to no expenses, and are trying to give away things as the years go on.
What they struggle with instead is achy joints, stiff backs, and a need to take more breaks when doing physical labor.
I love working outside, and I also love working with my hands and learning more about how the real world works.
A day of lawn care and house work? That sounded like a great gift – and it was!
This was one of my most memorable gifts that I think I’ve ever given.
Later that year, I fulfilled my gift and traveled for a 2 night stay stay to my grandparents house.
What was supposed to be a full day of work turned into 4 hours of yard work and mid-afternoon beers with grandpa 🙂
We both had a good time with this gift!
Money wise, this didn’t cost me much at all.
I spent about $25 on gas for my car driving to their house, and since I stayed in my grandparent’s basement, my food and lodging was taken care of for the weekend.
Best yet, it was great bonding time and I got to learn more about edging and gardening. For not a lot of money (and no additional clutter), this gift was such a treat for both my grandparents and myself.
Minimalist Experience Gift Ideas for Family Members
Above, I talked about one example of a frugal gift idea you could do for a family member.
For my other family members, I had fun with my experience coupons and came up with a number of other good minimalist gift ideas.
My dad and I love playing golf together during the summer time, and for him, it was an easy choice: buy a round of golf at any golf course.
He ended up taking advantage of this coupon in August. We went to a local course and the total cost was $49 a person.
For an afternoon of fun and again, some solid quality time with a loved one, this experience coupon worked out in a great way 🙂
For my sisters, over the last few years, I’ve given them experience coupons to
- go rock climbing
- go to a trampoline park
- eat lunch or dinner somewhere fancy
- mini golfing
- going for ice cream
There are so many difference experiences and activities which you could do. Figuring out what would be fun and new for your family just will take a little brainstorming and action taking!
Give the Gift of Experience to Your Loved Ones
When giving a gift and making someone else feel special, there shouldn’t be the outcome of additional clutter and waste.
By giving the gift of experience, you can create memories which will last a life time.
I hope that this post challenges your thoughts on the norm of consumerism and brings you to think about alternative gifts for your loved ones this year.
I’m always up for thinking differently, living intentionally, challenging my own thoughts and the thoughts of others, and growing over time to create a great life for myself and those around me.
Maybe for your loved ones it’s a trip to their favorite restaurant, a live show or game, or taking a vacation. There are so many ideas out there for activities to do with your friends and family.
Readers: what do you think about this idea? Would you rather get physical gifts, or do something special with your loved ones? Will you give the gift of experiences this year to your family members and loved ones?