All posts filed under: give the gift of…

Mothers Day. Better Late Than Never?

This year, Mothers Day didn’t quite go to plan. I’d given my kids a very specific brief. I didn’t want any presents, I just wanted their presence. “It would be nice to get out and do something together”, I told them. Imagine my surprise when my Mothers Day present turned out to be a horse riding experience. I was overwhelmed. What an amazing gift. And what wonderful children I have grown. Children who have clearly spent a long time saving enough money for us to all go horse riding together. There was silence. And nervous shuffling, before Miss 9 admitted that not only were we not booked to go horse riding that day, they hadn’t saved a single penny. The thought that they might actually have to pay for the gift they were giving me clearly hadn’t entered their heads. I thanked them graciously. After all, revenge is a dish served cold. A week or so later I took them to their favourite toy shop. I told them I’d love to buy them a present …

Giving Presence – Have I Gone Too Far?

There’s nothing I love more than being on holiday. It doesn’t have to be a long holiday, or even a holiday to anywhere fancy. As long as I’m not at home facing the endless list of things that need to be done, then life is good. Which is why I think ‘giving the gift of an experience’ is a concept I’ve embraced. OK, maybe we’ve gone passed embracing and are now in a serious, long-term relationship. You see, last year the experiences I gave the kids for their birthdays were fun days out doing something they each loved. Miss 10 went horse-riding, Miss 8 went skiing and Mr 8 had a not-so-great day out at the Monster Slide festival. This year, I may just have taken it to a whole new level by using the idea of ‘giving presence’ as an excuse for a holiday (or two). I didn’t see anything wrong with this approach until a well-meaning friend pointed out that I might be setting the bar a bit high – creating an expectation that …

Give the gift of: Tiritiri Matangi

My sister loves nothing more than a good bush walk which made choosing a birthday experience for her fairly easy – we are a bit spoilt for choice in our part of the world. Of all the experiences I’ve given as a gift this year, this one was the most rewarding for both the gift givers and the gift receiver. There’s nothing like two days on a bush clad island full of the most beautiful birdsong to reboot both the body and the mind. Where we went We went to Tiritiri Matangi – a bird sanctuary on an island just off the Whangaparoa Peninsula. You can take a ferry from Auckland CBD which takes about 75 minutes, or drive to Gulf Harbour (where there is plenty of free parking, and a drop-off zone makes it easy to get gear from your car to the ferry) and pick the ferry up there for a quick 20 minute ride across the water. What we did Most people visit Tiritiri Matangi on a day trip, but there is …

Give the gift of: 48 Hours in (Roto)Vegas

Keeping the kids entertained during school holidays is never easy, especially when you’re self-employed. Being dragged to meetings or having yet another ‘movie day’ while Mum gets her work done isn’t what my kids call fun, so rather than bribe them with toys I promised them an experience focused totally on stuff kids want to do. Where we went For this, Rotorua is perfect. There’s plenty to do and lots of fun to be had for kids and parents alike, even if the weather isn’t great. What we did We found a package at Quality Inn that offered two nights’ accommodation plus vouchers for the Gondola and Luge, Rainbow Springs and the Polynesian Spa all at a price that made a fun-packed weekend away very affordable. Normally I’d be disappointed that the definition of a ‘family’ is 2 adults and 2 kids – but with Miss 10 away at Horse Camp we fitted right into that box. How it went We checked into the hotel on Friday afternoon. The room was basic, but comfortable, with …