You might know that we, in our house, have a lot of STUFF. It isn't just Mum or just Dad or just me for that matter. Shelly and Hagrid claim that the stuff was here before them, therefore they aren't actually responsible for it. Meanwhile, Shelly rarely picks up her toys! But I digress.
It wasn't very long ago that I decluttered the bathroom. During this experience, I came upon a number of "gifts" that had been unwrapped but never actually used. I have always been the kind of person who believes that your birthday shouldn't be about the gifts, but the experiences. I would much rather attend a party (or a small gathering with a few very close friends or the family) and feel special, than get a bunch more stuff. So, I suppose this is something that has been rolling around in the back of my mind for a long while. Now, I have finally put all the pieces together and I have a plan.
Once you get to a certain age- I'm thinking 15 years (mainly because that is the age of my eldest nephew and I don't want him or anyone else feeling as though they have missed out on anything)... you will not receive a STUFF type of gift from me! No sir! From me, you will receive an experience!!
I have to admit that I like to give experiences and I have often - especially when the bank balance was low- done this in the past. But, now it will be a policy.
Here are some 'experience' gifts I have given in the past and I have to say, I think they were the ones that have always meant more to those around me.
- Singing happy birthday over the phone... or better yet.. having a bunch of random people you don't know sing happy birthday to you over the phone. I have done this more than once for friends of mine... I hope they liked it.
- Free Babysitting and a voucher for a movie or fancy restaurant- obviously a gift for friends who happen to be parents.
- Paid for camp fees.
- A day with M- this one goes to the kids, they get a whole day of me and they get to choose from a selection of activities that I know they enjoy e.g. movies, bowling, mini- golf, craft, painting, dress ups, picnics etc etc.
- Spa Day- massage or facial, or a voucher to pay for a treatment of choice.
- Sending exactly the number of messages/ gifts as the age of the recipient. Example= last year my boss turned 40 and he received a range of you tube videos, text messages, emails, post-it notes, cards and pictures wishing him a happy birthday and altogether they totaled 40!
- A treasure hunt: again, 45 notes hidden all over the workplace for my 45 year old teaching buddy.
- Decorated desks/ bedrooms - including birthday messages, "facts about the recipients date of birth" and other items.
- Balloons hanging from the bedroom door (see the blog post about my BFF's birthday celebrations a few years back).
- Holiday spending money.
- A lunch/ dinner with your's truly.
- A shopping spree!
So, there it is. Don't get excited about receiving stuff this year people... instead, I'm going to give you a memory!
By the way... in case you're wondering... I gave mum spending money for her recent nautical escapade (she went on a cruise) and I sent her a photo of a birthday cake, because I don't want her to get fat. LOL =)