When you get to my age Christmas (and associated presents) start to change in our household. Gone are the silly fripperies and fancies and the gloves, thick socks and slippers seem to expand. Activities such as theatre trips or days out are chosen instead of knick-knacks and ornaments.
This is mainly due to the fact that I don’t really like clutter and usually if I find something I particularly like, I buy it myself. So, it has become a tradition in the past couple of years to buy family adventures, thereby making memories and not getting bogged down with objects.
One of the phrases most used in our house is “If I can’t use it on my body, eat it or drink it, then I don’t want it” Now, that might sound a bit mercenary but it actually makes life easier.
Let’s be honest here. How many people actually know your favourite perfume, body spray or bubble bath? How many know what you specifically drink, or whether you like truffles or not.
I am a terribly picky person, I cannot stand rich chocolate as it makes me violently sick. Therefore a huge box of Thornton’s is a terrible waste on me. However a bar of Cadbury’s caramel, a couple of flakes or a Double Decker and I am as happy as a pig in mud!
Whilst you can usually do no wrong when buying one of the multitude of body pampering sets that come out in force at this time of the year, there are people out there who only use specific products through choice or because of a skin condition. This can makes things a bit difficult sometimes.
I also really don’t like clutter and at my age, usually if I find something I particularly like, I buy it myself. At this age, we know what we want and go out and get it. Therefore my family know not to even bother with that route.
In order to make life a little easier, it has become a tradition over the past couple of years to buy family adventures, thereby making memories and not get bogged down with objects or things we don’t particularly need.
In the past this has involved taking part in adventures, murder mystery puzzles and even a “treasure hunt” around London, solving clues as we went. We have gone to theme parks, West End theatre and concerts.
The children (who don’t have as much income) get to participate. They pay for travel, or drinks, or a souvenir from the event that we have gifted to the family member. That way the recipient really doesn’t need to outlay any money to have a great time out.
This year I filled my festive basket with tickets to gigs, the local theatre, Phantom of the Opera in London, afternoon tea and a pampering session. There is even a Giraffe feeding experience in there too.
The best part of it for me was seeing the looks on the recipients faces when they opened their treats.
In return I will be going to the West End, the local theatre and also an Escape Room where we will be locked in for an hour and have to get out before it is too late.
Participating in some of the activities as a group means we get to have more family outings and meet-ups. And that for me means more than anything in the World.
Have you changed your buying habits for family and friends? Do you choose memories over merchandise?
I would love to hear your thoughts on what we do as a family, and what you do with yours!
Till next time,