The Gift of Time



Maybe it’s because I’m a habitual procrastinator. Maybe it’s because I don’t enjoy wrapping presents nor the crowded stores. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of cleaning and storing our “stuff.” Whatever the reason, I’ve been giving the gift of experience lately, and I couldn’t be happier.  

The benefits, as I see them, about giving tickets or gift certificates to DO something together:

  • Time is priceless.  So are memories.  
  • Everyone gets something to look forward to during the dull and grey Ohio winter months.  
  • I can print tickets from the comfort of my couch and wrap them easily.
  • Instead of spending time shopping before the holidays, I can spend quality time with those I love after the holidays.  
  • No one really needs more stuff.  

If the grandparents reeealy want to get the kids something tangible to open, consider asking them to purchase something to go with the experience – for example: goggles to go with the swim lessons. Or, challenge them to get creative by wrapping the certificate or membership card (the old huge box and tiny gift trick? or the box inside of a box inside of a box trick?)   

Without further ado, I give you my compilation of non-stuff gifts for everyone on your shopping list this holiday season:

Live Performance

  • Comedy Club
  • Sketch Comedy
  • Theater
  • Concert
  • Sporting Event
  • Musical


  • Sports 
  • Art (paint pottery, paint canvas, glass blowing, photography)
  • Cooking


  • Rec Center
  • Zoo
  • Museum
  • Senior Center
  • Shopping Store (bulk warehouses? personal stylist? Amazon?)
  • Magazine Subscription
  • AAA
  • Satellite Radio
  • Professional Organization


  • Skating or Skiing
  • Amusement Park
  • Movie
  • Water Park (indoor?)
  • Photo Shoot (multi-generational?)


  • Culinary
  • Adult Beverage
  • Historical
  • Manufacturer


  • Local Staycation
  • Hotel Reservations
  • Restaurant Reservations
  • Tickets to an attraction (museum, event, etc.)
  • Spa Treatments (make the appointment and arrange for a babysitter if necessary!)

I believe these kinds of gifts can be a win for all involved! It has become a tradition with my kids that they each have the gift of a special day with mom and dad. Each will receive one of the above experiences as a gift, and Mom and Dad to themselves while their sibling spends time with the grandparents.  

Please share below the gifts of experiences that you have loved to give or receive!

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When Jen is not trading sarcastic jabs with her husband or hanging out with her kids, she can be found bargain shopping, digital scrapbooking, or *gasp* sleeping. She lives by the Golden Rule and tries to teach her kids to do the same. Jen is a school counselor and loves being an advocate for kids. She is mom to two awesome girls: a rule following, empathetic-beyond-her-years 5 year old and a spunky and sweet 1 year old. She has been married for ten years and has lived in Ohio forever. She was born and raised in the Cleveland area and established roots in Columbus 15 years ago. Her basement is full of "stuff" Including deals too good to leave at the store and childhood memories. She is a recovering people pleaser and a current Pepsi addict. She loves people watching but hates cleaning the bathroom. Jen is hopeful that Columbus Mom's Blog can help families in central Ohio connect while also creating that lost feeling of community that she craves.