How to Gift Experiences

On Facebook one of my sweet clients asked about what are different experiences you can give for Christmas instead of actual gifts, and I loved reading the responses, it also had me thinking of all kinds of ways you can "Un-Gift" this year, and I wanted to spark some interest!

I am focusing on FAMILIES, and not kids of a particular age – with my family I have a brother who is an adult, and a bother who isn't even a teenager yet! So hopefully this can help you with ideas for gifts for different ages.

1 | A Family Trip


So many families wish they could travel more, however sacrificing the big-ticket items on birthdays and holidays, can help you save for big family trips. 

Growing up, my family never went on a family trip, but for the last few years around the holidays, we go to Universal Studios in Orlando. We decided that instead of getting each other little gifts throughout the year we get our season passes, tickets, and hotel stays covered, and we do a week in Universal. We LOVE this new tradition. And since we have season passes, and my brothers and I have birthdays in the summer, we try to go again in the summer.

Can you think of all the little things you spend money on, and how you could instead go on a family trip? This is for sure my family's preferred ways to gift experience.

2 | Subscription Services

Oh, I have so many of these I could list, but paying a year for a subscription service is for sure a gift that can go a long way. Here are some of my favorite services that I use that could be a great gift that keeps giving.

Mail Box Subscriptions


Bean Box ~$18/Month (
Coffee beans delivered to your door once a month. I'm in! I love trying new coffee, especially finding new local coffee shops and try out their different blends, this is such a good gift idea for a coffee lover.

Kiwi Co ~ $20/month (
I love Kiwi Co (Kiwi Crate) this is great for kids! They ship a box to you once a month with a project. The box has everything you would need in it, so when it comes you can sit together with your littles (or have them do it themselves) and you can do anything from building a catapult to really neat art projects. 


Date Box ~$7.99-32.96/month (
This seems like a super cute idea for having once a month date nights! I haven't used this service, but thought it would be really cute to add for those interested! What I really like about this service is that it isn't JUST a Date Night IN box, you can also customize it to help you do things going out and trying new resturants. 

Bits Box ~$20/Month (
My PERSONAL favorite (and what I am getting my 10 year old little brother this year shhh!) I'm very passionate about STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and teaching kids how to code. This seems like such an equally fun and educational way to do that. I'm really looking forward to sitting down once a month with my little brother and teach him coding in this easy and interactive way.

Digital Subscriptions

Spotify $9.99/month (
I drive SO much, and having Spotify has become a "business expense" it helps me with keeping focused while I edit, and motivated to make those 1 hour drives back home from shooting a 12 hour wedding in New Orleans! This could be a great gift to give to any music listener.

Amazon Prime (
Do stores still sell things? I know that 90% of time I can't find what I am looking for at the store, and find much better deals online, and it helps me save time with a click of a button for last minute purchases, discounted rates on next day shipping or 2 day free shipping has gotten me out of so many bonds. This service I think is a great gift to get any human with a card! 

Audible $14.95/Month (
This one is a little pricey – but I LOVE Audible, I am always listening to books while I work, if I don't want to listen to music. I'll even download the audio version to one of my favorite books I've already read, just for a refresher and to enjoy it all over again.

Honorable Mentions:
www.Skillshare.comSkillshare is one of those things I wish I would have thought of! I've been a huge supporter of this platform since the beginning. This is a GREAT source to help creatives connect to other creatives and LEARN from them. I've used Skillshare to refresh myself on animation software like After Effects, look into sales funnels with Mailchimp, refresh my creativity through photography with one of the class's just a great one for any creative wanting to learn new techniques from other creatives.

Adobe Cloud ( $50/Month – I think I am putting this one here, in hopes some one gifts it to me, but did you know that creative designers, photographers, videographers, are paying $50/month to use their software! Many softwares are becoming cloud based, which is great because you can keep updated on all the new information, but it is a painful fee to see once a month for a creative.

Netflix or Hulu – One of my friends said she didn't have Netflix, I didn't at the time understand what that meant, so for her birthday I got her a Netflix Membership, and she has been a Netflix member ever since. Maybe I created a monster!

Julia-in-home-2017-September-2224 (1).jpg

3 | Memberships

I laugh thinking of someone gifting someone a gym membership for the holidays. I think for even how much I go to the gym, I would be a little O_O if someone gifted me that, but here are some memberships I think many people would be thankful for.

Rock Climbing Membership $75/month Membership (
So this is a little shout out to one of my dear friends and clients if you live in the Baton Rouge Area, but this would be SUCH a fun gift! I've been enjoying going rock climbing, it is so much fun and such a great workout. You also get connected to a great community, so even if you aren't living in Baton Rouge, you can still find a local rock climbing gym.

Season Passes to Disney and/or Universal Studios
I mentioned this a little beforehand, but my family gets season passes to Universal as a gift. Even though we don't live in Orlando! It is such a fun gift and experience.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Zoo or Aquarium Passes
  • Children Museum Passes
  • Workshops+Classes
  • Pottery Classes
  • Calligraphy Workshops
  • Painting with a Twist

Other Creative Ways to think about Gifting Experiences:

These are going to be my unconventional ones, but I think these are great ideas! I hope these inspire your own ideas and rethink how purchases made with a purpose can be great ways to gift an experience.

Buy a New TV for Your Living Room

YES! If you've been wanting to invest in a good TV with surround sound, I think you should, and I think with that you should get the family involved by creating a mandatory family movie night. In the long run, you'll be saving money, and getting to spend sweet time with your family and I always think family traditions are priceless.

Buy a Video Game System

Those of you who know me, know that I studied video games in college, and my first job was in the video game industry. This all stemmed from my family getting me a Super Nintendo for my 6th Birthday. Sometimes when my dad would come home from work, we would have "Video Game" nights, when the whole family would play games, we even played hooky a few times when my dad would skip work and we would skip school to see if we could save the Princess in Mario. This family tradition obviously had a huge impact on me, and I think that doing this as a family and having family game nights can be fun.

Invest in Something that Needs to Be Done Around the House

Painting a room, getting new kitchen floors, or even getting your backyard prepped for more family hangouts are great gift options! It helps you get something done around the house, and you can continuously enjoy that gift once it is finished. I also think re-doing kid's rooms can be a great gift! 

Pay a Bill

We have so many bills, from car insurance to the internet, this could be a great way to gift covering an expense, to help alleviate a burden for them to save, or buy something they really want. 

Get a Grocery Store Gift Card

There are only 2 gift cards I do not find wasteful, one is Starbucks, but the other was once I had someone gift me $300 gift card to Whole Foods when I was in college. I think I lived off that gift card for the entire semester! Grocery shopping is something we all do, and it's so expensive! I would rather that than a gift card to a fancy restaurant or a spa day!

WHEW – that was a LOT of information, I told you guys I got really inspired! I hope that this sparks some interest for you to rethink getting gifts, that isn't as stressful as roaming the toy aisle, getting a gadget that will be outdated before it is set up, or getting someone something just to say you did that they might not ever use. 

If you have any other ideas I would LOVE to hear them! 

You might also enjoy this blog post where I share How to Get Into the Holiday Spirit



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