My car's thermometer registered 61˚ today. Which can only mean one thing: it's the most wonderful time of the year. Much mistletoeing, hearts will be glowing, and all that jazz. Not trying to rain on the Christmas parade, but, as previously noted, I think the holidays provide a wonderful opportunity to give gifts that encourage loved ones to hang out with one another, help build community, and increase participation in cultural events.
The very creative + sage Jordan of Oh Happy Day! agrees with me. Check out these 10 brilliant gift ideas she suggests. My favorites are tickets to a lecture series, reserve a campground, and the offbeat city tour. If I may, I'd like to add to the list of awesomeness. Behold:
- If you live in the Bay Area, you may know about The Parkway Theater. 'Twas a wonderful spot to view a flick. Think couches, pizza, and beer. Cozy, no? Unfortunately, it closed its doors in 2009, and a group of dedicated, community-minded, film-loving souls embarked upon efforts to re-open The Parkway. I remain hopeful that good will triumph over evil, and Bay Area cinephiles will soon enjoy beer with their movies once again. Gift a membership to one such lucky duck.
- And speaking of the joy of film. How about a subscription to Netflix (or if they pissed you off with their shenanigans this Fall, choose an alternative service)? One of my favorite gifts I ever forced my father to give me was a Lord of the Rings marathon. When I learned he had never seen any of the trilogy, I said, "Faja! You. Me. Peter Jackson's masterpiece. All. In. One. Sitting. I want nothing else for Christmas!" He obliged. We chose a particularly grey Saturday morning, gathered a bunch of comfort food (couldn't sell him on lembas, though), and watched the heck outta those movies!
- I already mentioned museum membership, but it's such a rad idea, it bears repeating. There are so many cool museums!
- Is your friend or loved one keen on art, books, games, music, and various other creative ventures? Donate to a Kickstarter campaign in his or her name. You can easily discover projects to fund based on category or location. With your pledge, you are helping artists', musicians', and creators' dreams come true, while simultaneously snagging goodies for your gift recipient.
- Want to make your parents smile? Take a photo with Santa. Yes, as an adult. Bonus points if you + your siblings (or significant other) wear matchy matchy outfits.* Print it, frame it, possibly festoon the frame with glitter. Or candy canes. Your call. Don't pretend like you don't want to.
What are your ideas for "experience" gifts?
*We didn't dress as twinsies last year (see photo above) because we were pleasantly surprised to see Santa at the airport + this was an impromptu photo shoot. On our part, at least. :]