As the Christmas season ramps into full-power mode, what does your shopping list look like? Are you stuck in the "think I bought similar shirt last year" mode? Or "toy which will be broken by Valentine's Day" scenario? Or "I don't care if they need it, I have to get something" rut? Well, this could be your shopping list: concert tickets for Mark (and me), cooking classes for Mary (and me), camping trip for the family or babysitting for Beth and John.
Sharing experiences are the bonds that unite family and friends. Giving the gift of an experience is an expression of your relationship with the receiver. It is unique to your thoughts and creativity. A purchased product has limited sharing ability. After the gift is given and opened, the product is then owned and sharing ceases. But, sharing an experience with someone has unending abilities to bond people.
"Experience Gift" Bonds
Affection Amplifier: This bond is formed as one contemplates and thinks about the intended. Thinking of the possibilities gives a little extra time to think special thoughts about the one cherished enough to gift. Don't get stuck here ... thinking the possibilities are endless and you do not have time for such dreaming. Think how much can I spend (if any, there are endless possibilities here for very inexpensive gifts)? What do they really love? How much time can I commit? What would we enjoy doing together?
Original Connection: It is guaranteed they will not receive the same gift from anyone else. They will know you are giving a tailor-made gift designed just for them. The time and effort taken will come with accolades of appreciation and reinforce your dedication to sharing life together.
"A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever."
Together Time: The gift that money can't buy. Being together with loved ones is a treasured commodity. They are the objects of your affections. They make your world complete. There is nothing more worthwhile than being with them. Time indicates importance -- a priceless gift.
Memories Maker: Invariably, there will be memorable moments sprinkled throughout. No one can predict the exact happenings or their importance as future years commence. But, it is guaranteed if these moments were not shared, there would never be a memory. Memories are precious gifts that shape and mold who we are and who we will become. They link lives together forever.
For Christians, Christmas is the birth of baby Jesus: God's son who came to earth. It is and was an "experience gift." Its memories are contained in the history books of ages and the Bible. This "experience gift" changed the world forever; even the date on your calendar reflects it. The "experience gift" you give may not change the world, but it may impact someone you love for the rest of their life.
Maybe that shopping list could use a little tweaking.
Elaine Stone, mother of three, lives in Spotsylvania.