Here’s a new task to help simplify our lives and minimizing our households.
Challenge #12 Give an Experience
This week, give the gift of less clutter to someone else. The next time you have the opportunity to give a gift for a birthday, wedding, hostess, shower, etc., give the gift of an experience. Create a homemade coupon or buy a gift certificate or plan an experience and have concert tickets, for example, wrapped up with bow. But make a huge effort to not purchase “stuff.” Most people want less stuff, so offer your time, creativity or spend your money on creating a memory that will stay with the recipient for much longer than any old sale item.
How’d it Go: I had a jump on this challenge. When I planned out these Minimize Minute topics in early January, my mom’s birthday was coming up and tickets for motivational speaker Liz Curtis Higgs had just gone on sale. I usually get her some sort of home décor item or something for her many hobbies, but just like most people she already has a lot of “stuff” and she’s constantly trying to downsize by giving me her odds and ends (which I usually love). On her birthday, I had a card and printout of the event ready, and while opening a gift of an experience can sometimes be a little anticlimactic, I was prepared for that and didn’t let it bother me. I was also a little wary because I’d previously given my Dad tickets for the Northern Lights Concert Series and I didn’t think they’d used them.
Regardless, my mom and I put the event on our calendars and that was that for several months.
A couple weeks in advance of the event, I gave her a heads-up that it was coming up and then planned the day. “Going to town” is an event in itself when you live at The Angle, so we made a day of it, stopping for specialty coffees at Bear and Bean and then doing a bit of shopping afterwards. At one point on our drive, she told me how much they’d enjoyed those Northern Lights concert tickets; I was so pleasantly surprised to hear that they had indeed used them.
The event itself was nice, but the solo time with my mom was what was most precious. We hadn’t spent a whole day together in a long time, and it reminded me how comfortable it is to both tell her everything and to simply sit beside her in silence.
Now I’m looking for the next occasion when I can give an experience instead of a thing. Family birthdays. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Graduations. Anniversaries. There’s always something coming up.
(P.S. Between you and me, Liz Curtis Higgs was good but not great. I was hoping to have my socks blown off, but with her health being poor she spoke only for a short time and the rest of the day was music, breaks and lunch. Her big reveals were that during her “bad girl” stage she slept with three men in one night – which many ladies in the audience tsk’d tsk’d over – and at the very end she pulled off her wig to reveal her chemo baldness. She was funny and moving at times, but the self-deprecating humor about her appearance – she’s a LARGE woman – was predictable and not what I’d call inspiring or healthy. The event also felt much too “churchy” for me; apparently I didn’t know what I was getting into.)