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  • Writer's pictureLeslie - Practical Wifey

11 Ideas for Gifting Experiences Instead of Stuff

Hear me out. This year try gifting experiences instead of stuff.

Say no to all the holiday shopping stress this season and consider gifting an experience.

Here's the thing about stuff. It accumulates fast and most of the time, it's junk. Chances are half the gifts you give and receive are things you could live without.

Solution? Give the gift of quality time together or an experience!

Convinced yet?

Luckily for you, I've created a list of my 11 ideas for gifting experiences instead of stuff. How handy!

Vacation or Trip

This is a great option for couples and families. Use the money you'd spend on gifts for a vacation. Even a small weekend getaway can be fun!

Airline gift cards also make nice gifts for the traveler in your life.

Another idea for this is to buy yourself a ticket and go visit that relative or friend you haven't seen in forever!

Take a Class

Cooking class, dance class, paint class - the options go on and on! This is a fun gift to give your mom, sister or one of your girlfriends.

Dinner and Drinks

I love this for a big group of friends. Dress up and dine out!

See a Movie or Show

Need a gift for a child?

Take them to see a movie or play they're interested in. Toys aren't forever. They will break eventually if they haven't already been outgrown by the kid. However, a child will be able to cherish a memory of going to a special show with their favorite grown-up forever.

Thinking back to my childhood, I really don't remember any of the gifts I received, but I do remember the Christmas cookie making parties and special outings with my mom and aunts.

Photography Session

This is one of my favorite experience options because it's often something people desire (family or couple pictures) but rarely buy for themselves.

Gift of Membership/Subscription

This is such a practical gift and the person you give it to will surely love it! Examples of this would be a membership for a gym, zoo, store, museum or even fun subscription boxes.


Ah, so you saw they marked "interested" for that upcoming concert on Facebook? Surprise them with two concert tickets!

Spa Day

A spa day together or a spa gift certificate is the ultimate way to tell someone they work hard and deserve a day to relax.

Donation to Charity on Behalf of Gift Recipient

If you know there's a specific charity close to your loved one's heart, sometimes the best gift can be a simple monetary donation in their name.

Amazon even has a new feature where charities have wish lists you can browse and donate items straight from Amazon. How sweet is that!? You can click this link to see which charities are listed.


This is definitely the most rewarding option. Head to your local shelter or food bank and volunteer with your loved ones. Spending time together AND helping others is a win-win!

Note: If you have the time, don't just wait for the holiday season to volunteer. Go out and be awesome year-round!


This might seem silly to some, but music can say so much.

When I first started dating Alex in high school he always made me CD's with songs that reminded him of me. Flash forward six years and I still have every CD he ever gave me.

This is such a thoughtful (and low budget) gift idea!


So, will this be the year of gifting experiences instead of stuff for you?

If you're still thinking of giving some presents, too, check out my Amazon Gift Guide!

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