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Give Experiences Instead of Gifts!

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Do kids REALLY need more toys? Here's a smart idea to cut costs on gift-giving.

girl holding a picture
Recession Mama:
We all have a lot of stuff. Many might argue, TOO much stuff. That's why I think it's all about the experiences. When my daughter asked to go for a week of sleepaway camp as her birthday present, I was thrilled. Even though it cost much more than I would have spent on a present, I know she will have memories that will last forever. My son asked for a day with unlimited electronics time for his birthday, which I am not that thrilled about, but is considerably cheaper ...

Some time ago, for close friends, we started making certificates for birthdays and special events. We invite the recipient to join us for an activity that we think they would enjoy -- miniature golf, bowling, or lunch and a movie. I just gave one for a sleepover with the promise of a full ice cream sundae bar at the house. (Having ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherries at the house is far more economical than a trip to Coldstone, so we always try to have all the fixings on hand.)

Coordinate with the parents beforehand and get a date for the activity. You can make the certificate on the computer or the kids can make them for their friends. I have made certificates for my friends, too, for babysitting, or delivery of a home-cooked meal. I've even made them for my husband. Last Valentine's Day, he got a certificate for a hike in the nearby mountains and certificates that allowed him complete authority over the remote control for the evening. Guess which got redeemed first?

next: Got Baby Advice? Keep It to Yourself!
2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 17, 2009, 1:17 PM

Great Ideas~

Dad July 17, 2009, 2:17 PM

Awesome ideas, people always need stuff to do, but they don’t always need stuff.

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