Can you believe that there are only 5 more weeks until Christmas!?! Am I the only person in complete denial that this year is almost over? With one of the most popular shopping days of the year next Friday and the holidays being so close I thought I would share some tips for holiday gift giving. Being together 11 years means Greg and I have exchanged a LOT of gifts and we are going to break down the top gifts we have exchanged over those years.
Just to preface this, this is not going to be a list of some hot gadgets of 2017. That’s just not us. We truly believe in experiences over things. Experiences make the best gifts. They are not some gadget that will be thrown in a drawer after a few months, instead, they provide a memory and the chance to grow together.
Last Christmas, I opened up a tiny glass bottle with a small scroll inside (that even had a coffee wash to make it look aged). On that scroll, it said that we were going to go on a high-seas adventure to search for whales. I had been talking about whale watching for at least three years, so to see Greg plan out a full day for us was so thoughtful. We had a blast searching for whales and dolphins and it made for such a fun memory.
Monthly Subscription Box
Who doesn’t love monthly subscription boxes!? It is like getting a little surprise in your mailbox each month! I also think this is one of those ultimate gift—type gifts. Delivery boxes are not something I typically spend money on (other than HelloFresh). To me, as cool as they are, they are a frivolous expense. Which makes them the best kind of gift! Something that I want, but normally wouldn’t spend money on is always a win-win.
Datelivery is a box we have done in the past that was super cute and definitely hit the mark in terms of connection. The ‘dates’ that we got were pretty corny, but still cute and made for a fun night in.
FabFitFun, is definitely one I have had my eye on and is perfect for that chic and trendy woman in your life. This box is packed with trendy beauty, entertainment and fitness items that are sure to make anyone happy. They recently have been offering really killer beauty products that alone are worth the cost of the box!
Gentleman’s Box is one for that hip guy in your life. This box is filled with trendy male accessories. Past boxes have included everything from dress socks and ties to watches! There is even a cool styling guide for the guy who needs a little more guidance.
Do you have a coffee lover? Driftaway Coffee is one box that has caught my eye and if I ground my own beans, this would be something I get monthly! Not only do you get awesome beans curated to your taste, but you support local farmers. We know coffee is not everyone’s cup of tea. So for those tea lovers, Tea Sparrow, gives you curated artesian teas from around the world.
Awesome Pack is a subscription service all about monthly fun. It is a curated box of board games and activities.
Loot Crate is great for those nerdy and those nerdy at heart.
I only mentioned a few, but there are literally subscription boxes for any interest. A quick google search will pull up boxes for those who love fitness, cooking, outdoors, traveling and everything you can imagine. Our only tip is to make sure it is a subscription they would actually want.
Pre-Pay one of their entertainment accounts for the year
This is one of those gifts super practical people would love. Why not take care of their subscription to Netflix, Hulu, or Audible for the year? That way, the next time they cuddle up on the couch to binge on their favorite obsession you come to mind too!
If we’re being honest, part of the reason we decided to have kids, was so that we could start playing more 4 player board games eventually ;). I’m only half kidding, but in all reality, we love quiet nights at home with our favorite dessert and unwinding with one of our favorite games. We’re partial to games that involve strategy and logic. And we tend to be fairly competitive as well. Some of our favorites are Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Monopoly Deal, Phase 10, Taboo and Telestrations.
Weekend Getaway or Trip
Okay, I understand this one is a little out there and may be one of those break the bank gifts. But, if you’re going to break the bank on someone, it might as well be on your partner. Typically, when we do getaways as a gift, we talk about it beforehand and it is our gift to each other; however, there have been a few surprise trips that have been absolutely amazing!
A few years ago, my Christmas gift to Greg was a Roar and Snore Safari at the San Diego Safari Park. It was basically a sleepover at the Safari park and was a HUGE hit. We had such a great time and it was one of those experiences we will always have together. He also ended up proposing that night, so that gift ended up being a REAL winner.
If you are wanting an actual trip, in our opinion you can never go wrong with a visit to Colorado. There is so much to see and do, you will have endless opportunities. If something a little closer to home sounds better we just adore getaways to the Eagle Inn, in Santa Barbara. Exploring the rolling hills of San Francisco is always a great time as well. Groupon has some great and affordable getaways and with time off for the holidays, it is the perfect time to explore somewhere new.
Tickets to see a show
You also can’t go wrong with tickets to see a show, especially if that show is Hamilton! Shows let you get dressed up, go out and feel a little fancy for a night. Living in Southern California means we almost always have a ton of options for shows. If you need some ideas though: Hamilton and Book of Mormon will be at Segerstrom this spring. Disney’s Aladdin will be at Pantages starting in January. If plays are not quite your style, The Illusionist will be in Los Angeles in January, Greg and I have seen this show and it is totally mind-blowing. If you like magic, you would like this.
Membership to the San Diego Zoo
I often say, if I could walk into any dream job it would be an animal educator/zookeeper minus cleaning up after the animals. Greg and I love the San Diego Zoo, between the conservation work, adorable animals, and our love of nature, this place is one of our go-to dates. We have had zoo memberships basically our entire relationship and have even given memberships as gifts to our friends for their wedding. The memberships even cover two people, through a dual offering so it’s a gift for you too!
Sign up for a class
If you follow along with us on Instagram, you know that Greg and I recently took Makenna to Color Me Mine. Color me mine, is basically a fully stocked art class where you can go, relax, and paint for a few hours. Creative classes are a great way to connect and make for awesome gifts. Cooking lessons for those who love the kitchen, Ceramics class for those who love hands-on activities or maybe even dancing lessons if you’re feeling adventurous.
Make a playlist
Budget-strapped? Then take it back to high school. Remember when you were in high school and playlist were all the rage? Bring back the nostalgia and make a list of all the songs that remind you of your love. Then take them on a picnic at some scenic spot and listen to the songs you curated.
Okay, I’m a wedding photographer. How would this one not make my list ;). Gotta get those 2019 bookings (insert humorous tone). The holidays are a great time to give them that special ring they have been hinting at all year long.
Hopefully, this list gave you some ideas to get you in the alternative gifting mood.
Here is what is on my Christmas List this year (AKA Greg… I’m writing for you at this point) 😉
1. Weekend getaway completely planned
2. Beach Tent
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated edition
4. 2018 Start Planner
5. Clean floors!
Theresa Bridget is an Orange County, California wedding and anniversary photographer. Our goal is to create artful crafted images that showcase and celebrate the joy of marriage.