So much of our holiday stress is centered around finding the perfect gift for everyone on your Christmas list. Whether you’re shopping for family, friends, or coworkers, the list seems to get longer every year! Although we try to remind ourselves that spending time with our loved ones is what ultimately matters, we can’t help but go a little crazy over presents. Black Friday deals often have us spending money we said we wouldn’t spend and purchasing gifts for those on the Christmas list we promised ourselves we wouldn’t make in the first place!

Memories > Gifts

The spirit of Christmas isn’t wrapped up in the gifts under the tree. Instead, it should be time spent with loved ones. Therefore, think about giving Christmas presence over presents this year. Research shows that people tend to be happier with memories and experiences over presents. No need to worry about shopping, gift-wrapping, or shipping. Instead, cut down that holiday shopping list and focus on ways that you can enjoy the holidays together!

Here are some ideas:

Travel

We know what you’re thinking. How are you supposed to travel in the middle of a pandemic? You don’t have to travel out of state. Instead, you can stay local and rent a place to stay for a few days. Get your family or friends together and go on a winter wonderland escape. There are plenty of beautiful places to ski, enjoy the snow, and create life-long memories.

Local Events

Gifts don’t always have to be tangible. Is there a concert you know your parents have been wanting to attend? Maybe your best friend is a new mom and hasn’t had some alone time in months. Gift cards for events are a great idea. Because event dates are frequently changing or being cancelled due to COVID-19, think out of the box.

A gift card to Ticket Master would allow the recipient to purchase a ticket to their event once the time is right. Want to make memories with them? Purchase a gift card for yourself as well so you can go together!

Adopt a Family

It’s no surprise that the pandemic has brought on some hard times for many families. With the holidays quickly approaching, many people may not be able to afford to have a Christmas celebration. Don’t go crazy over presents! Instead, make memories with your loved ones by adopting a family. Don’t know where to find them?

Get in contact with your local public schools and ask if there are any families who could benefit from gifts or a holiday meal. If you can afford to, help them out. Take a trip to your local H-E-B with your family and friends so that everyone can pitch in to help. Not only is this a fantastic way to create new memories with your family, while blessing those who need it most.

Find out if there’s an elderly neighbor in your area who needs help decorating or shopping for the holidays. Get together with your family and friends and pay them a visit with some flowers. Then help them get ready for Christmas or take them out to run errands to help make their holidays a little brighter and merrier. We guarantee your neighbor will prefer the quality time over presents!

Donate to a Fundraiser

In lieu of gifts, ask family or friends which fundraiser they would like for you to donate to, in their honor. Maybe there’s a friend you want to give a Christmas gift to who is battling cancer. Ask if they would like for you to make a donation to the American Cancer Society.

Write a letter together and make a donation. Not only is this a selfless and sentimental way of making memories with someone you care about, but you’re doing your part to help society as well.

Extracurriculars for the Kids

Video games and toys are fun, but extracurricular activities are better. If there’s something your child has been wanting to learn, like ballet or swimming, commit to enrolling them as part of their holiday gift. Sometimes these gifts are actually more exciting and mean much more than a toy under the Christmas tree.

Having an activity to do is an important part of growing up and is sure to create a lifetime of memories for you and your family as you attend practices and recitals.

Volunteer Together

Take your family and friends and visit a nursing home or a hospital with some flowers and holiday cards. Consider running a holiday marathon to fundraise for an important charity or participate in serving a Christmas meal to the homeless.

When You Give, It Is You That Grows

By giving the gift of memories for the holidays, you are giving to yourself as well. When you think of the holidays, what comes to mind? For many people, its traditions and shared experiences. Therefore, creating memories as a family during the festive season helps build a secure foundation for the kids. Create good times to look back on this year. After all, it’s the memories of time spent with the family that we take with us as adults.

To find out how else you can gift special memories this Christmas season, check out our holiday D.I.Y’s!