A few years ago I came up with the best Christmas gift idea for friends and family. It doesn’t involve any time in crowded shops and it can cost as much or as little as you want.
Without sounding completely trite – it is the gift of time.
But more specifically it is an invite to a breakfast/lunch/dinner that you have planned in advance (which you subsequently pay for).
I came up with this Christmas gift idea a couple of years ago now after failing to find that perfect gift for my parents. I’ve always found parents to be tricky to shop for on any occasion. I mean, they have their own income, have long bought all the things that want and always tell you “don’t get me anything/don’t waste your money” etc etc. They don’t make it easy.
Since starting down the path to minimalism this year, I have realised just how well this gift fits in with my values of sustainability and making more time for joyful activities. I realised there had to be another gift that I could give which would be just as valuable to my parents (if not more) than something they didn’t particularly need or want.
What is it that parents want more of from their kids? The answer is almost always quality time with them.
That is when I decided that I would give the gift of time (and good food) for Christmas.
So I made a reservation at great restaurant for a specific date and then made up a special invite with all the details to give to them at Christmas.
For my mum and step dad I made a dinner reservation shortly after Christmas at a restaurant that was all about share platters and unique gastronomic delights. The night of the dinner was fabulous. We shared great conversation and have great memories. The only tough part was reassuring them that my husband and I were fine to pay for it! (parents – always looking out for you hey?)
For my dad and step mum, I found a restaurant that was providing a delicious 4 course meal with wine pairings at a set price. It was within the budget we would have spent on them had we bought gifts so it worked out well. We also invited my grandparents who were spending Christmas with us too.
The 6 of us had a merry time trying all the different courses and the wines paired with them. We have so many good memories of that day, even though my pop sneakily tried to pay the bill before me.
No other gift that I have given at Christmas has come close to creating memories and feelings of joy and happiness that this gift has. It truly is the gift that gives!
HOW TO GIVE THE BEST GIFT EVER
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Know your budget.
Don’t think that you have to go into debt to give the gift of time. It’s not the place that matters but the time you have together.
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Make a reservation.
Pick a time and place and lock it in by making a reservation. It can always be changed later if needed.
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Create an invitation.
A personalized Christmas card or invitation with the all the event details is the best way to show that this isn’t a last minute panic present.
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Wrap said invitation ready for opening on Christmas- or whenever you are exchanging gifts.
I love to give this gift in person where possible, just to be there to answer any questions, but you can always include extra info on your invitation if needed.
// 5 //
You are about to spend some quality time with your loved ones and make some great memories. It is as much a gift for you as it is for them really!
There are some other great perks to this gift idea as well…
It costs you nothing until you actually use it.
For times like Christmas when we are forking over all this additional money in a short period of time, this gift helps spread out the spending so that you are not finding yourself extra tight on money.
If for some reason the date doesn’t end up working out for everyone, then you can reschedule.
It can be completely up to you on how much it will cost.
Are you a bit strapped for cash? Invite your loved ones over for a lovely home cooked meal. It is just as meaningful as taking your loved ones out to dinner.
You can give this gift for any occasion.
So there you have it – the best Christmas gift idea ever!
Looking for some invite inspiration? Here are some gorgeous Christmas cards and stationery that you can customise with your personal invitation 🙂