Recently, I was out to lunch with a friend and she told me that she and her husband don’t exchange gifts anymore. They experience something new together for holidays. Whether your sweetheart loves opening actual gifts or not, adding new experiences to your holiday plans can be a great way to build memories. Think about something your sweetheart wants to do (e.g., horseback riding, skiing, a concert, etc.) and make a way for it to happen. You can either surprise him or her with the experience on the day it’s happening (if he or she is into surprises), or you can wrap the tickets or sheet of paper that says where you both will be going. These experiences don’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as a picnic in the park or a scavenger hunt you do together.
Maybe he or she wants to learn to cook or paint? Find a cooking or painting class in the area and enroll together. It may cost the same or more than a physical gift, but it would be a gift that keeps on giving. You would both be learning a valuable skill and you would have more time together as you learn! If you cannot afford a class, maybe you could find someone in your church or community that would be willing to teach you both for the cost of materials?
If you want to give your honey an experiential gift, but you know that he or she will want something to unwrap, plan to give him or her both. This past year for birthdays, Eric and I decided to get each other one super small gift to unwrap; but, we enjoyed new, fun restaurants which are normally out of our price range and celebrated with other people. Honestly, I was excited about my small gift and I have more memories from this past birthday than I do from most of my previous birthdays.
This year, think of three experiences you think your sweetie would like. You can either plan them all to take place during Christmas – or you can plan one for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and his or her birthday. Or, and I really like this idea now that I think of it, you could plan three fun, new experiences for the year (spread out over the months), book them, and have your sweetheart open a box filled with fun itinerary for the year. That will give you both something to look forward to all year long!
This next gift idea would be a true sacrifice for someone like me. On my love language scales, acts of service comes in dead last. Thankfully for me, it comes in dead last for Eric too. Although I do acts of service for him, I do not feel loving when I do them most of the time, and he doesn’t generally feel loved when I do them (and vice versa – acts of service just don’t get our hearts melting).
Even if you are not crazy about performing labor, help your sweetie spruce up his or her place (or your place if you’re married) can be a tremendous gift. A can of paint can do wonders to liven up a room or cheer up a porch. Maybe the paint is fine but the walls are bare? Find what needs to be done and offer to help complete those tiresome projects (assuming the person living there wants those projects done! ~smile~).
Spending time helping your loved one clean and fix up his or her place is an amazing gift. Maybe it seems amazing to me because I don’t enjoy, nor am I talented, at such activities. Still, I could pick up a vacuum, mop, or paint brush and help bring order and cleanliness to my honey’s living space.
If you are gifted at beautifying, and you enjoy using that gift, you may want to consider offering your services to your local Habitat for Humanity, to your church, or to others in need in your community this Christmas season. Believe me, not everyone can offer such talents. ~smile~
When’s the last time someone gave you the gift of a new experience? Have you ever had someone bless your life by helping you paint/fix up your apartment or house?