Give the Gift of Experience

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The gift of giving

UT Extension Recommends Alternatives to Traditional Holiday Gift Giving

Buying gifts isn’t the only option for celebrating with family and friends. A UT Extension specialist fosters the gift of experiences. (Image by Bruno from Pixabay, via UTIA)

KNOVILLE, Tenn. – For that hard to shop for person in your life, or for a more budget-friendly approach to the holidays, consider giving the gift of experience this holiday season. While certain gift experiences can be a bit expensive, there is a great variety of low or no cost gift items.

According to Christopher Sneed, assistant professor and consumer economics specialist with the University of Tennessee Extension, with a little imagination, some creativity and time, everyone can give their own gift of experiences.

“Experiences are a great way to give the gift of a traditional gift, unless you want the shopping and expense of getting that perfect gift,” said Sneed. “Better yet, the gift of experiences offers something memorable that no other gift does.”

Give it a night’s sleep – The gift of loved ones sometimes quality in the form of a movie night! You can make coupons that can be redeemed for a movie night at home, allowing the recipient to choose the movie, of course. You can present a movie coupon with popcorn, your favorite candy and maybe a blanket or two.

you will take a walk (or – With more than a thousand miles of trails with breathtaking views, a visit to one Tennessees 56 state is a great gift for your loving nature. Pick up a coupon (or two) for a trip to the local park. You can choose the recipient’s travel activities and location. Present the coupon(s) in a box decorated with a nature-inspired envelope. Include a green myrtle to top it off.

Ready to cook – Many families have passed down recipes from generation to generation. Planning a family “cooking school” is a great way to share precious family items with your loved ones. Offer the gift of your time and wisdom, as you have taught the recipients the perfect way to prepare the treasures of your house. As part of the experience, all of the “students” sampled the recipe. Or better yet, collect a family book – a great way to carry on special family traditions.

Get crafty – This year, put your craft skills to work and make a special and useful gift like a set of personalized coasters. Simply head to your home improvement store or thrift store for small square tiles. Print family pictures on each of the decoupage tiles, attach felt to the favor, and you have a one-of-a-kind coaster. Add a handwritten note explaining why you chose each picture and maybe a story or two about those special moments. More importantly, everything that was needed in the package, with the coupon redeemed for a period of time to create a maritime set.

Give the gift of help – Everyone could use a little help from time to time. Helping to clean the house, completing that home improvement project or organizing the closet can be a welcome present for busy family members. Think about what you’re good at, and use your time and skills to create a coupon (or book coupons).

“This holiday season, I hope more people will focus on the joy of giving from the heart and cherishing the time we spend with loved ones, rather than focusing solely on material things and the price of textiles,” Sneed said. “These memories of time spent together will surely be cherished for years to come.”

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is comprised of the Herbert College of Agriculture, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch and UT Extension. Through its mission of teaching, research and promise, the Institute touches the ground and touches lives and provides real life. Life Solutions. to Tennesseans and beyond.

-Haley Harbin, UTIA

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