Togetherness: Giving Holiday Gifts of Experience

A bit ago, my two daughters and I went away on a learning weekend together. It was a delicious slice of time spent learning, talking, and enjoying each other. And, of course, swimming in a hotel pool.

On our drive home I asked my girls what they loved the most about the weekend and, without hesitation, they both said the Mother-Daughter workout. What’s not to love about a workout, right? Good music, feeling strong, moving after a long week of school?

Well, what was surprising about this is that this was my favorite part of the weekend as well. And what was even more surprising is that we’re a cozy bunch. We love reading, writing, crafts. No one close to us would have guessed that the workout would’ve, literally, been our jam.

So what was it about that workout that was so stick-to-your-ribs wonderful for all three of us?

It was time actively spent being together.

Everything else in the weekend was  designed for the moms and daughters to do separately and then to come back together to listen to a joint speaker.

And, as it turns out, what we all really wanted was to actually BE together.

Now, this isn’t surprising in the least. Writer and quality time expert Catherine Jones says, “It’s crucial to not only tell our kids we love them, but to actually show that we do.  The easiest way to do this is to spend quality time together as a family.”

Anyone who has ever seen a child’s eyes light up at the thought of a little one-on-one time knows this truth as absolute fact.

But what might feel like a new chapter in this well loved story is that, as Jones explains, “Kids are also statistically less likely to engage in risky behavior, including drug use, when they spend quality time with their families.”

Experience gifts are a wonderful way to create memories and reap all of the wonderful benefits described above.

It might be fun to include your child in planning your Holiday Experience Gifts or to plan one yourself as a surprise to family or friends. At our house, each of our children “hosts” one holiday gift experience for all of us. 

Some ideas include:

  1. Cook a meal together.
  2. Go stargazing together.
  3. Try a new hobby or activity — last year my family and I tried cross country skiing together as a Holiday Gift Experience and it was really fun!
  4. Plant something together.
  5. Do a talent show together — now before you opt out of this one, please know that it’s so much fun! One of my children chose this last year and, while I was hesitant to give up my role as photographer and to join in with a talent of my own, it was absolutely amazing to share a part of myself with my children in the exact same way as I expect them to share with me!

The ideas really are endless, so have fun and get creative with this concept, Not only are Holiday Experience Gifts a great way to connect and bond with your children, connecte

d kids are happier and safer kids.

To help support you in creating this kind of connection, here are two amazing resources:

  1. 56 Questions To Ask Your Child That Aren’t, “How was your day?”
  2. Tips For Building Communication With Your Child

Galit Breen is the bestselling author of Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes you can let your child use the Internet and still create a grass-beneath-their-bare-feet childhood for them. Galit’s writing has been featured on The Huffington Post; The Washington Post; Buzzfeed; TIME; and more. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, three children, and a ridiculously spoiled mini goldendoodle. Find her at TheseLittleWaves.NET