Article - If you’re stuck for gift ideas how about giving an experience instead?

If you’re stuck for gift ideas how about giving an experience instead?

For Christmas one year I decided that rather than give my nieces and nephews gifts they might not like or need I’d give them an experience to remember; one with plenty of bumper boats and train rides and ferris wheels. So a couple of days before Christmas I invited them over on the pretext that we were going to do some jobs in the garden and that we needed to get some stuff from a garden centre.

I may have over-sold the idea because by the time we got in the car my niece was pretty excited about going to a garden centre - so much so that her face actually fell when we pulled up outside our real destination - Rainbows End. The day was suddenly looking like it was going to be a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons because it was then that she told me she hated Rainbows End and didn’t want to go on any of the rides! After a miserable hour of watching everyone else have fun I persuaded her to have a go on a ride that not only went up and down, it also spun round and round… and round.

It wasn’t until I was strapping her into her seat that I realised I might have a few fears of my own to deal with. Too late we set off whirling in every direction and unlike me, my niece got very quiet and hung on tightly while I started screaming and swearing (who knew I had that kind of projection?). When it was over I went to ‘rescue’ my niece ignoring all the people who were now staring at me with open hostility and to my surprise she gave me a big smile and asked if we could please, please, please do it again. All in all we had a fantastic day to remember with lots of laughs and screaming (and swearing) and I thoroughly recommend giving experiences as gifts despite paying the price for my tricks and wondering who had been fooling who?

What’s a favourite memory you have about the holidays that didn’t come gift-wrapped?

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