This is our 3rd Christmas in DC!  It feels like just yesterday that I was experimenting with homemade Christmas decorations, a friend tree, and apartment-sized toys.  Once the decorations were up this year, I felt a nudge to put EXPERIENCE gifts under the tree.

2017 Christmas Tree

I’m sure you’ve seen the slew of articles on happiness like this one in the Atlantic: Buy experiences, not things and this one in Forbes:“Why you should spend your money on experiences, not things.”

While I certainly loved extravagant Christmases with Barbie houses, Atari sets, and Cabbage Patch Kids, my best memories are simple Christmas experiences.  Decorating sugar cookies, hosting family, and gazing at the magical glow of the Christmas tree in our formal red living room are top on my list.

When the Husband asked me about my thoughts for this Christmas, I told him about experience gifts. He loved my idea. Within 60-minutes we made all the plans on-line.  The Husband crafted laminated experience gift cards to go next to the stockings full of small toys.

experience gifts

Experience Gifts

James is into Civil War history.  We’ll visit Antietam, the bloodiest single-day battle in US history.

Antietam experience gift

John loves big fun and new places.  We’ll spend the day at Hershey Park and make personalized candy bars.

Hershey Park Experience Gift

Margaret loves dressing up and going out on the town.  She’ll have a new dress to wear to The Secret Garden at Shakespeare Theatre on New Year’s Eve.

Secret Garden Experience Gift

Of course, I was a little nervous that the kids wouldn’t be equally excited about these Experience gifts. Good news – They are!

ps. My favorite Christmas experience since becoming a mom is watching the year-in-review family movie my sweet Husband creates. I spent the entire day in my PJs watching 11-years of memories.

Christmas Experiences

Wishing you a New Year full of experiences with those you love!


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