As you sit down at the Thanksgiving table this week, look around at your friends, neighbors and loved ones. Thanksgiving is such a great holiday because there’s no pressure (well, other than making the perfect meal). Gifts aren’t expected and it’s all about being together and having fun. What if, this December, instead of giving out physical gifts, you gave the gift of experience instead? Making memories with the people you cherish will last a lifetime – much longer than that new tablet, toy or tie.
The gift of experience can range from a handwritten “ticket” with a promise of snuggle time with your kids, to a tropical vacation for the whole family. Be creative! Here are some ideas if you’re not sure where to start.
- Go to the theater. Houston’s Theater District boasts some of the best venues and performances in the nation. Holiday-themed shows include The Nutcracker, with it’s recently redesigned set and costumes, it’s a spectacular visual experience. A Christmas Carol, the traditional story of Scrooge and redemption, is great for older children, teens and adults. Elf The Musical, with lovable Buddy, the full-sized man raised in Santa’s workshop, is great for the younger set. Give an early gift of tickets to one of these shows and get in the spirit! Or, put tickets under the tree and see Shen Yun at the end of the month – it’s a beautiful display of dance, music and storytelling from ancient China.
- Attend a concert. Cher and Bocelli will both be in town in December. January has more big names like Chance the Rapper, Gladys Knight and Queensryche – how’s that for some diversity?!
- Plan a last-minute vacation. By using discount sites like Groupon, Southwest Airlines Vacations or Travelocity, you can book a great trip for a great deal. Your kids will always remember the Christmas spent on that tropical island or mountain top! If you want to put tickets under the tree, book a ski trip for a long weekend in January or visit Disney in February (traditionally the least-busy time of year).
- Make a coupon book for a hike at George Bush park, a trip to the indoor Schlitterbahn in Galveston, or a family game of football in the backyard.
It’s the little things that mean the most, and in this season of giving, why not give a gift the giver can enjoy, too?