Infectiously Happy

For the love of the Experience

fill your life



Oh yeah,  it’s the holiday season! This truly is my favorite time of year. I love the time I have with my family and friends celebrating with delicious food and drinks. The word “December” brings back so many memories of being surrounded by love and joy. I am fortunate to have a family who worked hard to make this time of year so much fun and were very generous with us by way of Santa every year. As I have become a mother myself, Frenchie and I made a choice (not so popular ) to thus far avoid the dialogue about Santa for our little guy because, well, I am left conflicted about what it means and the expectation that it sets around things, and receiving things. I don’t think Santa is pagan or bad and I won’t be running around telling you that you are wrong for celebrating him. Like I say all the time: Do what works for your family. Palmer is still very small and his exposure to the holiday season is limited. As he grows and matures we will evaluate how we move forward with holiday traditions.  When Palmer joined us two years ago we somehow embarked on a journey of cutting back in our life. We like certain things but in the vain of minimalism we don’t buy a lot for ourselves or him. Every one has what they need and some, but as a reformed shopaholic, I cant really tell you the last time I went shopping just because . The new responsibility of caring for a child and growing as a family made us really look at what our energy (and money ) was going towards. Yes things cost money, but they cost energy too because you have to care for them so slowly we began to reduce and take a step back from the title consumer. This path can be hard because we are socialized to think children (and ourselves) need so much. We live in a smaller but comfortable space (just over 1000 square feet) so there is also the balance of not over crowding our home with stuff. As we are four days out from Palmer’s second birthday (eek) and and few weeks out from Christmas, my own 35th birthday (double eek) and Kwanzaa I have been talking a lot to others about what gift giving looks like when you are trying to live a life of minimalism. We of course celebrate our milestones and are grateful for the love others show us in all sorts of ways, we love the time that holidays give us to be with those we love but our ideas around gift giving have shifted. I am always reading about the power of providing experiences for those you love versus things because of the lasting joy memories and education provide. So I thought maybe I can give some others ideas for gifting experiences to your kids, significant others, family, friends and coworkers….

1. A gift certificate or membership to a local museum.

2. Cooking classes

3. A family vacation

4. Photography classes

5. Children’s music/dance/gymnastics/swim/art classes

6. Couples dance classes

7. Gift certificate to a local adventure park.

8. Sky diving gift certificate

9. Kid free getaway

10. Spa day

11. Painting classes

12. Gift certificate to their favorite gym/trainer/yoga classes

13. Tickets to their favorite spring/summer festival/retreat.

14. In-home chef services for a night

15. Sculpture or pottery classes (ask Sculptor husband about the year I gave him sculpture classes for Christmas)

16. Reiki classes

17. Coupons for babysitting

18. Tickets for an upcoming live musical/play/concert

19. Registration for an upcoming race or competition (make sure they want to do it first!)

20. Day trip to see an upcoming art exhibit

Of course this list could include a million other ideas depending on who you are shopping for. I like the idea of experiential gift giving because you have to think about what is important to the recipients. You never know what interest you may open up for them or what incredible memories you may create. I hope you all have a joy filled holiday season… I may blog again during the holidays but who knows :)

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