If you are tired of the endless pile of gifts that end up in your home, being donated or sold in a yard sale after Christmas you are not alone! The sad reality is for adults and kids the act of giving gifts comes from a good place but typically ends poorly. These Christmas Experience Ideas will spark some new ways to give experiences rather than things!
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Table of contents
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- Christmas Experiences VS Christmas Gifts
- Cost of Experiences vs Gifts
- Christmas Experience Ideas
- Benefits of Christmas Experiences Instead of Gifts
- Christmas Experience Ideas For The True Spirit of Christmas
Christmas Experiences VS Christmas Gifts
December is a time that is supposed to be filled with joy, happiness and laughter. Unfortunately, the stress of giving the “perfect gift” can feel impossible.
What if you give you the gift of an experience, or doing something, rather than giving a thing?
Giving a gift is great and sometimes it’s the perfect answer. BUT, more often than not, a gift will end up being set aside or in a closet.
If you gave the gift of an experience you would be giving the gift of memories. Christmas experience ideas can be hard at first. With a little practice you’ll have it down in no time!
Cost of Experiences vs Gifts
All too often I hear people say that experience gifts are too expensive.
But are they really? Have you ever sat down and added up how much you spend on Christmas gifts?
I have no doubt that there is someone out there that does a GREAT job of budgeting for Christmas gifts and does a great job with this. If you are that person, way to go!
Most often when you add it all up you are spending WAY MORE than you intended to spend. There are options to fit every budget for planning Christmas experience ideas that will leave lasting memories for everyone!
Either way, you can absolutely give Christmas Gifts of fun and memorable experiences in your budget.
TIP: Let your budget determine the Christmas Gift Ideas you will consider!
Christmas Experience Ideas
Are you struggling to find meaningful gifts on your budget? Or, are you just tired of the nonstop obsession with gift giving.
Here are 15 Christmas experience ideas on a budget for you to get you started.
Christmas Experience Ideas On A Budget
- Plan a family day-trip
- Visit a local seasonal attraction
- Have a Holiday Movie Marathon
- Everyone votes for their favorite holiday movies
- Pick shared movies to cover more “picks” by each person
- Plan a Community Outreach Activity
- Schedule a Christmas light excursion
- Pack to-go cups of hot cocoa and Christmas cookies
- Start a 12 Days of Christmas Gratitude Jar
- Make your Christmas tree ornaments together
- Plan a holiday bake-off in place of a traditional holiday party
- Perfect for neighborhood parties, holiday work party ideas and pre-Christmas parties
- Have a candy cane scavenger hunt
- Schedule a weekly holiday recipe reveal
- Each person in your home gets to pick a new holiday recipe (once a week)
- Go see a local holiday production
- Plan a hot cocoa bar in place of a meal for your holiday gathering
- Have everyone bring a hot cocoa creation ingredient
- The fun you’ll have with this is great
- Host provides the staples (or be sure they are coming with reliable guests)
- Attend your local tree lighting ceremony
- Clear out your dry goods, clothes and unused toys and make a donation run to your local women’s shelter
- Everyone picks out items that they would like to donate or rehome
- Deliver them together so the entire family gets to experience giving
- Plan a “make your own pizza” night with english muffins & watch a classic Christmas movie
- This is a fun way to please the pickiest eaters and enjoy a night in together
- Plan a picnic under your Christmas tree in pajamas
Christmas Experiences In Lieu of Christmas Gifts
Looking to plan a Christmas experience instead of giving gifts? Here are 15 ideas to spark some inspiration!
- Plan a family staycation in lieu of gifts
- Schedule a camping trip for the whole family
- Perfect for warmer climates
- Book a vacation within your budget
- Everyone picks an “excursion” for the whole family
- Pick a local charity to support in lieu of gifts
- Commit to Stocking Stuffers only for gifts
- Everyone purchases a set number number of items for a stocking in lieu of traditional gifts
- Adopt a family in need in lieu of gifts
- Provide gifts for the kids
- Prepare or deliver ingredients for holiday meal
- Gift a grocery gift card to help out beyond Christmas
- Plan a nursing home excursion filled with caroling, holiday cards and pre-packaged goodies
- Book a cabin for the Christmas gathering
- Bring games & holiday meal ingredients
- Reserve seats for an elegant Christmas dinner and avoid cooking
- Gift your serving staff with a generous Christmas tip
- Gift a year of lessons in lieu of a traditional gift
- Riding Lessons
- Musical Lessons
- Dance Lessons
- Sports Camp & Coaching
- Skills Courses at your local Community Center
- Purchase a membership in lieu of a gift
- 12 Days of Christmas Experiences
- Pick local events during weekday/workdays
- Visit neighboring towns on weekends
- Everyone gets to pick experiences
- Plan a handmade only gift weekend in lieu of purchasing pre-made gifts
- Commit to a white elephant gift giving experience
- Re-gift an item that you already own rule
- Everyone includes a touching or funny story about the gift
- Book tickets to an event in lieu of gifts
- Broadway Show
- Athletic Event
- Macy’s Christmas Parade
Benefits of Christmas Experiences Instead of Gifts
There are so many benefits to committing to experiences in place of gifts.
If you have kids, they will understand the value of giving. The fine line between being a gracious gift receiver and expecting gifts can get very blurred.
Include a charitable event in your holiday celebration traditions to keep everyone’s focus on the spirit of the Christmas season.
If you like the idea of not giving gifts but are struggling with making the plunge, try adding a stocking to your Christmas day gift giving experience.
You still get to give a few gifts but the focus is more on the experiences rather than the gifts.
Christmas Experience Ideas For The True Spirit of Christmas
Our family struggled with this for years but finally took the plunge and we will never go back!
You can totally do this. AND it will feel great!
Not only that, you’ll be shocked at how easily you can plan an amazing and memorable experience on the same budget you normally spend!
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This post was all about Christmas experience ideas that everyone will love on any budget!