Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Gift Money Can't Buy

When holidays, or birthdays, or anniversaries roll around, gifting is the hardest thing to do. How many pieces of clothing, knick-knacks, books, or scents can you buy—and how many can a person accept without becoming absolutely sick and tired of it all?

Then you start thinking about things not found in a store—homemade crafts, homemade dinners, a room re-decoration…they’re all part of a bigger thing, the ultimate gift that cannot be bought: the gift of memorable experience.

To give someone an experience, especially a well-to-do person who has everything, start finding frugal places to go and things to do that they wouldn’t ordinarily do themselves. Maybe they just aren’t aware these places and things exist.

Play the “accidental tourist” in your own town and see what kinds of deals you can come up with—are there 2-for-1 coupons for certain cultural activities or exotic, out of the way restaurants or shops? Are there “free facial” days in a local day spa or beauty store? Any local coffee, wine, or cheese-tasting festivals? Any local free seminars that strike a chord? Hit the paper or internet and find out.

In fact, start a collection of such offers—ideas for experiences, rather than standard gifts. Experiences won’t sit around gathering dust on a shelf, or have to be returned or exchanged, yard-saled, or shuttled off to a thrift store for donation when the recipient tires of them. Experiences, and their memories, are pulled out and shared with anyone at any time, over and over…always staying fresh in the mind until the next one comes along.

Instead of a gift, think about giving experiences instead. The memories will last much longer.


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