decluttering, give the gift of..., highlight, parenting
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Why there’s nothing under our Xmas tree this year.

There’s not a lot under our Christmas tree this year. No excitingly oversized boxes wrapped in bright, sparkly paper. No tantalisingly small boxes full of potential preciousness. No bottles of wine, mall vouchers or boxes of scorched almonds.

It’s not that we’re not giving presents this year, it’s just that what we’re giving doesn’t need to be wrapped. Because this year instead of giving stuff, we’ve been giving the gift of an experience.

It all started last New Year’s with a resolution to declutter our small house to give us more space to live in. It didn’t make sense to fill all the space we had won back with more stuff, and so we decided this year the only gifts we would give were experiences.

While it hasn’t been the easiest or cheapest method of gift giving, it has been the most fun.

In the last twelve months we’ve been horse riding and skiing, spent a weekend on an offshore bird sanctuary and we’ve slid our way down a 300m water slide (proving that even bad experiences create good memories).


We spent the weekend spotting some of NZ’s rarest birds on offshore bird sanctuary Tiritiri Matangi.

I’ve spent a day climbing a mountain with my sister, taken my Mum to the theatre and thrown my Dad a birthday party so he could catch up with family and long-time friends .

I’ve made Pork Larb at social cooking, spent a child-free day wandering the markets, had a fun packed 48 hours in Roto Vegas and given the gift of an ‘all you can eat’ ice cream experience.

What made each of these gifts, each of these experiences, special was that we did them together. These weren’t just vouchers, or ideas that I paid for. They were experiences that created an opportunity for us to share the most important thing we all have – our time – doing something we both enjoyed and creating memories we could share forever.

Christmas will be a challenge. Organising the gift of an experience one birthday at a time is very different from organising experiences en mass.

I’ve already got the kids sorted – we’ll be having a sleepover at the zoo in January. Now there’s just the rest of the extended family to sort out.

More Reading: 5 tips for giving the gift of an experience


  1. Pingback: How A Simple Conversation Might Save The World | Polly Unsaturated

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