Happy December 1st!
We are officially 24 days away from Christmas which can mean a mixture of happy and stressful times. More so than ever, many of us have been impacted financially and yet maybe feel obligated to buy just the same.
Buying happiness sounds great until the next version, update, or style is released. Travel taught me that memories and connections made along the way are the most cherish-able and irreplaceable. Sadly as American consumers, we are taught that giving a gift requires an object. We want and want and want but what do we really need?
I always think of the part in The Little Mermaid, when Ariel is crying about having everything and wanting more – being where the people are? That’s us as consumers; having it “all” and forever wanting more; but actually needing human connection.
This year (and every year) I want to encourage you to give the gift of experience. This requires us to tap into our creativity and really think about what are love-ones enjoy/would enjoy doing. It’ll require a little more work that picking something off a shelf.
I would love to encourage a far away trip, but due to restrictions many of us face, this list is COVID conscious. Also for my friends and family whom have children, this list is for you too!
Choose a space in your home and go all out with blankets, pillows, lights/candles, and your loved one’s favorite food, snacks, and drinks. Movie nights are a great option that can be easily modified to fit you and yours. Make it special by adding fun decor or by adding a theme!
Check out my “Movie Night” inspiration board for great ideas!
Take a few days off and go on a drive! From a day trip to a week-long trip, getting out and exploring with your loved ones is a great gift. I’ve seen more people venture out to the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, up and down the coast of California, and more. Like the movie night idea, you have the option to make a road trip unique and special for you and yours.
Find more guides and destinations here.
Explore Your City
A personal favorite is taking the time to enjoy your city. I take this for granted as I live in San Francisco and grew up in Los Angeles. Lately I’ve been dedicating a day in a San Francisco District and taking my time exploring and falling in love with each district’s uniqueness.
Take it up a notch by booking an AirBnb, renting a car, trying new food and/or if available, do a local tour. Check out my most recent City Guides here.
I love photography for the simple reason of having zero rules to follow. A photo walk is exactly that, going on a walk and taking photos of whatever captures your eye. Three way to make this fun are..
- Use whatever device you choose or have at hand. After your walk be sure to download a “1-Hour Photo Print” app, send your photos from your phone, pick them up and share what you captured with your loved ones.
- Disposable cameras will not only add a layer of surprise when picking up the developed film, but also make the captures a little more intentional.
- Retro cameras are trending. Head to your local thrift store or check out eBay and buy a low-cost film camera. Pop in some film and see what you capture.
Did you know you can book experiences as well with AirBnb?? Yup! No matter where you are in the world, there’s something for you. Many experiences are now virtual due to the pandemic which means you have access to more.
No matter your budget, I hope this list inspires you to give the gift of experiences this Christmas. 2020 has been a teachable year especially pertaining to how fragile life really is. Make lasting memories with the ones you love. Your kids may be shocked to see zero presents under the tree but just let them know Santa too is also practicing social-distancing ;D