11th Week of Christmas – Give an Experience

Naptime Gnome Idea #17

Experience… an amazing gift!

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The memory of a gift can quickly fade, even though we may love those posh riding boots, fancy kitchen appliances or tech-e-gizmos, after a short while we may not remember who gave them, or even when.  An experience though — the things we DO seem to yield solid memories! I will always remember my first concert, rocking out to No-Doubt with my mom… THANKS MOM! My son will never forget his first trip to Disneyland, even though he was only 2! He still tells people about the time he went down Splash Mountain 5 times… and it’s the retelling that will keep that memory fresh for years to come! Nor will I soon forget jumping off the side of a building while my family cheered… huh, that sounded far less barbaric in my head (don’t worry, I fully intend to post about this experience after Christmas)!

My point is, no matter what the experience, there is often more to be emotionally gained in the time leading up to and during the event, than in the moment it takes to rip off a layer of colorful paper.  So give some thought to what your loved ones like, especially those things for which they are not likely to fork over the cash, and make it happen!  Concert tickets, annual/season passes, Groupons, race entry fees… the list goes on! These are all excellent gifts, but some can get a little pricey, so be a savvy shopper and be sure to call around, search the web, draw on your own resources and connections, and come up with the best deal.  Better yet, some of the cheapest experiences can be just as exciting as the once-in-a-lifetime splurges.  The trick is to dress up some less impressive offerings with a little creative packaging, imagery, and/or printing!

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I threw this together to show off the relatively inexpensive tickets to see the Hubby’s favorite group. It didn’t take long with the extensive help of the Smith’s Center’s awesome website… they even show you the view from your seats!

Make-up a brochure, or even an agenda that highlights the excitement that may otherwise be over looked on the day of unwrapping. You could even plan a COMPLETELY FREE outing and just wrap up all the necessary items for the excursion! A backpack filled with a map of Red Rock, a bottle of wine from the rack, a couple plastic cups, a camera and an agenda for your exciting day on the trail, could be a priceless gift to the right person. While concert tickets tucked neatly into a tri-fold with the promise of dinner and a baby sitter may knock the socks off another!

One I’m excited to try this year is giving a handmade beach ornament, with a tiny note attached reading, “Let’s go find the real thing!”

Here are a few resources to help get the creativity flowing!

Tickets – Consider giving a pair, or set of tickets, or market the gift as an “event” including a meal or drinks before or after.

Annual Passes – This may be fun inside a book, perhaps a guide to trails, or stuffed into a backpack or a pair of hiking boots. Maybe put the museum pass in a snack bag with a note that says, “I’ll pack the snacks!”

  • Discovery Children’s Museum – at the time of posting, $125 for upto 6 family members
  • America the Beautiful Pass – Admission to all National Parks and Recreation Areas (Red Rock, Lake Mead, Valley of Fire, etc.), $80 at time of post (free for active military and properly documented permanently-medically handicapped, but you will need to obtain in person at a park fee station).  SIDE-NOTE: If you’re over 62 and you haven’t yet purchased your $10 Life-Long America the Beautiful Pass, please do (these are also available at fee stations, or you can pay $20 using this mail in form)! 🙂
  • Springs Preserve – Annual Passes start at just $25 (at the time of this post)!!!

Race Entries – Maybe tucked into a new pair of running gloves, shoes or socks! Who doesn’t giggle when given socks for Christmas? 🙂 If you aren’t the racing type, it may even be fun to pick a race somewhere you’ve been wanting to go together and plan a whole getaway around the race. Then just make up your personalized brochure and prepare to impress!

Have fun and get creative, and PLEASE SHARE! 🙂


-The Naptime Gnome <;’)

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