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Monday, December 11, 2017

Awesome Gifts that Aren't Things: quality time

I'm working on a series this month focused on sharing gift ideas that kids will love that aren't actual things, but instead are more intangible items. The idea is to focus on people and relationships over "stuff", and to decrease the amount of clutter that can easily take over the house when holidays and birthdays come around. Last week I focused on classes, clubs, and other recurring interest-based activities (read here). Today I want to focus on quality time with you (the gift giver)!


The ideas I shared last week are meaningful gifts because you are giving up part of your week to focus on an activity they want to do. There can definitely be a side benefit of shared experiences and quality time together, depending on the activity, but the main point is the activity in which they get to participate- not who they do it with.

But you can also give the gift of quality time with you! The idea is to make a specific commitment or plan to spend time focused on being together in a way that you normally wouldn't. You can present this in a few different ways to make it fun for the receiver:

*Give "coupon(s)" for specific activities that the receiver can redeem when they choose
*Give certificate(s) for a specific time and place, detailing the plans you have already arranged
*Give "coupon(s)" for a specific block of time and let the receiver choose the activity/location
*Give a certificate for a recurring "appointment", whether weekly or monthly, for a specific activity

There are so many fun ways to spend quality time with children! Pick something that you may not normally do, at least not just the two of you, but allows you to interact with each other:

*Go to the playground or library
*Go to a restaurant, ice cream parlor, or cafe
*Plan a game night, spa night, or craft time at home
*Go to a candy, toy, or book store (even just to browse)
*Go get your nails or hair done together
*Go camping, hiking, or boating, or go to the beach
*Go play basketball, other sports, or exercise together at a gym or pool

The great thing about this gift is that anyone can give it- even kids themselves. I've written before about how my daughters give the gift of a specific outing to their extended family for Christmas and birthdays now (honestly the most sought-after gift of all)- you can read about that in this post.

I hope this sparks some fun gift ideas that will not only reduce the clutter at home but bring you all closer together! Have you ever given this type of gift before? How did you present it? I'd love to hear your experiences and ideas in the comments!

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