I’ve seen a lot of gift giving idea lists in my time on Pinterest. I’ve also seen a lot of lists about experiences you can gift. But I want to take this concept a step further.
Studies have shown that experiences make better gifts than things, especially when the person you’re buying for doesn’t need anymore things. Also, there are a lot of experiences that are low cost or free. But what kind of experience should you gift to your loved ones?
I vote for the weird shit.
Stay with me here. Here are the reasons why I fully support gifting your friends and family slightly odd or unusual experiences.
- Everyone wants to be able to start a story with, “Do you remember that one time we found out you were a goat whisperer and you had an entire fan club following you around the petting zoo?” or “Remember that weird doll museum we went to? I still have the pictures of us pretending to be murdered by the creepiest dolls they had on display.”
- It’s easier to remember and recall weird things. Trust me on this. Your sister might remember that you took her to a movie for her birthday, but she will never forget when you took her to a historic site and learned how people back in the day used to brand felons on the palm of their hands. Ever reached for a handshake? You’re not just making sure that person is unarmed. You’re checking their palm for the felon brand.
- Even if things don’t turn out, it’s still a memorable (and probably hilarious) night. When I was a teen I went with a group of friends on a pirate ghost ship tour that turned out to be 0% spooky and 100% utter cheese. We laughed so hard and all these years later, I still remember it as a fun night.
- It gives you a chance to be creative. If you’re thinking to yourself, I don’t know any weird and wacky things to gift. I bet there aren’t any in my town at all! you’re completely wrong. Random, weird, and quirky places are all around us and sometimes it helps to skip a few pages back on point of interest search results on Yelp! to find them. Small towns might have less options, but some of the truly weirdest stuff I’ve seen has been in small towns.
- It’s way more fun. It’s easy to get stuck in ruts as an adult. Sometimes going out to dinner means choosing between the same three restaurants you always go to. When you feel like you’re doing the same things again and again and again, what you might need is the spice of weirdness to get you going again. This Christmas, you don’t have to give her bath bombs that will collect dust in the bathroom cabinet. You can give her a gift certificate for a type of cuisine you’ve never tried before from a restaurant you’ve never been to.
- Doing weird things together bonds you. Adventure, no matter how big or how small, makes you feel alive, intrigued, and sets that day apart from any other day of your life! What better way to do that on a small scale around your town than doing fun, creative things off the beaten path?
So sure, those are some reasons why you should do weird shit with friends. But how to do actually accomplish this? Here’s how do it…
Step 1. Consider your Gift Recipient
This section might sound like it will take forever, but don’t worry. Picture the person you this gift is intended for. Consider factors that will go into their gift, such as their age, preferences, and other matters such as food allergies.
Step 2. Find Something Fun
I like to use the good old internet to do this step. Nothing makes me happier than finding an abandoned landing page about a weird event that happened in 2014 and then navigating through the site until you find this year’s event page! But how do you find events?
Search terms to use:
- Events in [your town]
- Museums in [your town]
- Goat Yoga in [your town]
- Historical Sites in [your town]
- Points of Interest in [your town]
Websites to Peruse:
- Social Media Event Pages
- Your town’s official website
Although these searches are broad, they can help you get started when it comes to finding gift experiences for Christmas. You can also search larger towns and cities close to you in order to broaden your search. If nothing catches your eye now, remember that events are frequently updated.
Step 3. Keep the experiences coming!
So you’ve found a weird event and now you’re wondering; how could I ever do that again? The answer can be quite simple.
I like to follow business and event venue pages on social media to see what they’re doing next. Also, if some events are yearly, you can always bring a different person next time or make it a group event!
This Christmas you have the choice to give experiences rather than things. You also have the choice to make those experiences really freaking weird. Have fun, be safe, and make memories!