Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gift Idea

I enjoy gift giving and am always on the lookout for fun and unique gifts, preferably “experience gifts” if I can swing it. You know the gifts I’m talking about, the ones that truly delight the receiver. Gift giving can get a little expensive though so I try to make sure that these delightful gifts don’t break the bank.

For my goddaughter’s birthday this year I decided to give her a portion of her present early, without her even realizing it. This turned out to be one of my favorite gifts of the year so far; an experience gift, an inexpensive gift and a unique gift all rolled into one.

During the kids break this past Christmas I invited my goddaughter (who also happens to be my niece) to spend the evening. I had done some research into public places in our city that had unique Christmas displays and mapped them out. I took the girls (my niece and Belle) out for “girl’s night” of stopping at each display. At each location I took a picture of the girls with the display. I tried to get nice picture and a fun picture at each stop, sometimes taking multiple pictures of the girls while they primped and decided on what pose they wanted.

Here they are doing the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evel" pose.

Once I got home, I logged onto my Mixbook account and chose one of their Christmas themed books in a soft cover 8 x 8.5 size. The temptation to go a little crazy with my Mixbook albums is always there, but I was able to restrain myself this time. It only took me about an hour or so to put the book together, I was really pleased with the results. Make sure you look for coupon codes at sites like ¢ before ordering.

Dinner:               $8 (for all three of us)
Gas:                   $7
Photo Album:     $13.50 (including shipping)

In all honesty, I really wouldn’t include dinner and gas in the price of the present. We eat out way too frequently for me to consider this a gift expense. Due to the fact that I commute to work, my gas budget is pretty high so I don’t really consider it a big deal to drive around the city using a couple of gallons of gas either. However, I did include them in the interest of full disclosure because I realize that there are a lot of families that may view those as expenses to be considered.

We had so much fun spending the time together and seeing all the displays that was a gift in itself. However, seeing her delight and getting to share the experience with the family was truly a pleasure.

Here are some ideas to do something similar in your area.

• Find all the parks in your city (you’d be surprised at how many small neighborhood parks are out there) and visit each one. Take the kids picture in front of the park sign (or make your own so you remember where you were) and then spend some time playing there. Obviously this wouldn’t all be done in a day!

• Find all the statues in your area; take pictures of the family reenacting the various poses.

• If taking a driving trip this summer, take a picture of the family in front of all the restrooms you visit. You might as well make those frustrating stops fun :)
• Identify all the historical markers in your area and stop at each one, even if they are dumb.

• If you live in a really cool historical area (or are planning on visiting one) decide on something funny to do at each site. Wear a goofy hat, make silly faces, etc.

Whether you choose to do it the old fashion way by printing the pictures out and putting them in a photo album or use one of the new digital sites, be sure and get an album to commemorate the fun times you had.

I'll be linking this up at Life As Mom

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