The countdown to Christmas is on! As we get nearer to the big day the panic of what gifts to buy your loved ones can kick in. Personally, I am a BIG fan of gifting experiences. Many of us have more than enough “stuff” and aren’t seeking more material items. Instead, enabling someone to make new memories or even learn a new skill is the ultimate present.
Here are a selection of experience based Christmas gifts I have bought and received in previous years. So if you’re wondering what to get a loved one, maybe one of these ideas will tick the box:
- Live Entertainment Tickets. I’m talking theatre, gig or stand up tickets. Who doesn’t love going to a live show? After the pandemic caused chaos of the past couple of years, there is so much joy in seeing a performance and supporting the arts.
- Workout Class Passes. If you have a friend who loves exercise, this is a great gift. Find out their favourite workout studio and pick up a voucher which covers a few classes, so they can get their sweat on thanks to you!
- National Trust Membership. Do you know someone who recently moved to the countryside? A National Trust membership will get them access to over 500 beautiful locations across the UK and free parking in most National Trust car parks.
- Escape Room Voucher. This is pretty niche, but I LOVE an escape room! My parents buy my partner and I a voucher for one pretty much every year. They’re such a fun way to spend an evening with friends.
- Cookery Class. This is such an enjoyable and practical gift to give. There are cookery classes for so many interests, from bread making through to fermenting. You can get a voucher for a local cookery school which is near to your gift recipient, but one London-based one I love is MiGrateful. They have cookery classes hosted by migrant and refugee chefs from around the world.
- A Foodie Experience. Offer to take your loved one out for a special meal or food experience, it could be a dinner at their favourite restaurant or an afternoon tea. That way you get to spend time together, as well as tuck into a yummy meal.
- An Adventure. Give the gift of adrenalin! You could buy quad bike tours, a skydive or theme park tickets. One year I bought my dad a flight in a tiny two man plane over our family home in Yorkshire. It was probably the most indulgent gift I have bought someone but I knew he would remember it forever.
- Cinema Tickets. I am talking about fancy cinema experiences like Everyman Cinema, who offer gift vouchers. If your loved one is a movie buff then this is the ultimate film night, you’re on big plush sofas with snacks and drinks brought to you. Bliss!
- Beauty Treatment Vouchers. If your friend is a little frazzled and needs some self-care, getting them a voucher for a beauty treatment is a lovely option. It could be a facial, manicure, massage or even a full spa day depending on your budget. These are experiences we often don’t treat ourselves to, so receiving them as a gift is a real luxury.
- An Art Pass. The Art Fund National Art Pass is a gift I have bought for a few friends now. It gets you free access to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK as well as 50% off major exhibitions. Great for a cultured pal.
- A Masterclass Subscription. If you know someone who is a keen learner, this is an incredible present. Masterclass offer an All Access pass to their classes which cover topics ranging from storytelling and poker through to real estate and photography; taught by huge names like Anna Wintour, Alicia Keys and Samuel L Jackson.
- A Staycation. If you want to go all out, buying someone an overnight stay is a real luxury. Most independent accommodation offers vouchers, but you can also get a general Airbnb voucher to give the recipient more flexibility.