Recession Mama Michelle Ashamalla: For my hubby's birthday, I got him a gift that will end up saving us a ton of money over the years. It's compact, fun for the whole family and promotes togetherness.
You might be thinking it's a game of Twister, but it's ... a tent. A nice tent: "Kelty" brand (I did some research), sleeps six and only weighs 10 pounds.
I was inclined to buy some multiroom extravaganza, but those are heavy, difficult to set up and really not my husband's style. (He is a minimalist, which is nice because it gives me more room in the house for my stuff.)
Let me say, however, that we are not a camping family. I don't need to stay at the Ritz, but I do generally require plumbing. My husband has taken the kids on a few overnights, though, and they have all had such a good time that I'm willing to bite the bullet.
Also, when we go anywhere, we are either shoehorned into a room with our three kids or forced to get an adjoining room because of hotel restrictions of four to a room. I figure the tent will pay for itself on the first overnight. Sure, the tent will be close quarters, but we'll have the great outdoors right outside the zipper flap.
Also, should the need arise, it will be more comfortable than the doghouse.