A “less-stuff” holiday

Thanksgiving probably looked a little different this year. Maybe your gathering was a lot smaller, or maybe it didn’t happen at all. Unique times call for unique celebrations. If you celebrate Christmas, you might find yourself celebrating it differently this year too.

If there is one thing this year has taught me personally, it’s the value of the time we spend with those we love. I’ve enjoyed the extra time I’ve been able to spend with my immediate family, and I’ve greatly missed the time I normally get to enjoy with extended family and friends. It’s also reinforced for me that material items aren’t necessarily what makes me or us truly happy.

Let’s talk about the idea of a “less-stuff” Christmas.

A few years ago, we started embracing the idea of giving our kids experiences as gifts. Every year my parents ask for gift ideas for our kids. We’ve asked them to purchase passes for a local(ish) waterpark the last few years—and it’s been a HUGE hit! We’ve also purchased tickets for a musical to attend together, bought passes to a painting class to take together, and we’ve received movie passes with a babysitting coupon. These gifts were thoughtful, they increased time together and presented an experience that otherwise wouldn’t be in the budget. They also allowed us to discover things we enjoy, but may not have pursued on our own. Besides those already mentioned, here are more “non-stuff” gifts to consider:

  • Subscriptions—to magazines, monthly box deliveries, meditation apps like Calm.com or Headspace, or exercise apps.
  • Classes—pottery, painting, exercise, professional development, classes at a local college, music lessons, skiing lessons, whatever they are interested in!
  • Passes—to zoos, museums, waterparks, State Parks, local swimming pools, nature centers or other state attractions, etc.
  • Your talents—Does anyone on your list say things to you like “I wish I could cook like you!” or “Can you teach me how to ____?” Teach them! Sharing and learning together is a great gift!
  • Your time—get creative, make it a date! A favorite lunch or breakfast place, a stroll together at a place they would love, a roadtrip with a gift card to a store at the destination, rollerskating together, tickets to a community theater production, or even a ‘couch date’ to watch a livestream concert or a movie!

Destinations are great “non-stuff” gifts. Check these sites for ideas:
https://www.roadsideamerica.com/location/wi
https://www.attractionsofamerica.com/attractions/wisconsin.php
https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/

Of course, some of these experience gifts ideas may need to be saved until the current pandemic is under control. Keep the excitement up in the meantime with video calls, sharing YouTube videos, and talking about the “non-stuff” gift until it’s time to redeem it!

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Most people are surprised to learn that Upland Hills Health works with a wide range of health plan and PPOs. We are an independent, nonprofit healthcare organization, always pursuing additional insurance carriers that service our communities.

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