If you’re looking for a gift that fits just right, especially for kids or those who are hard to buy for, check out these fresh ideas from the Portland Bureau of Sustainability for something that’s one-of-a-kind!
Families with kids may like a membership to the Oregon Zoo, OMSI, Children’s Museum, or tickets to a play, movie, or sports event. While experience gifts can be a tough sell to little kids, you can help make it fun in the moment too.
Try creating a countdown calendar and mark off the days until they get to go to the event or destination. Or print out photos from similar past experiences, and wrap them up, to help them imagine the experience and create excitement.
Inviting friends can make it even more fun, if that’s an option for the type of experience you’re giving. And helping kids choose experience gifts for others can also help them appreciate this kind of gift giving. Starting this tradition with them now can create memories that will last long beyond the holiday season.
Classes: Music, dance, riding, drawing—classes are a great way to encourage children in their interests and let them know that you pay attention to them and what they enjoy. Bonus: options abound with Chinook Book coupons in electronics and technology at Free Geek and building materials and home projects at The ReBuilding Center.
Activities: Mini golf, bowling, skating rink. These are so much fun! And a big part of the fun is going together. Children love spending time with the adults in their lives; they want to see you enjoying your time as well as enjoying them.
Recipe and ingredients: Cooking brings people together. Baking something special or cooking dinner is an ideal time to spend together and learn life skills. Print out a recipe, purchase all the ingredients and set a date for cooking together.
Arts and crafts supplies: If your craft box is running low, stock up a little on things you need. Add in something fun the kids haven't used before. A gift of arts and crafts supplies often brings on the imagination, and kids can't wait to get to work. Bonus: set up a crafting date (with Chinook Book coupons at SCRAP PDX or DIY Bar), take time out of your own schedule and make crafts together! Keep a basket of craft supplies and get out a book for inspiration.
Coupons: An envelope of coupons that they can "spend" at any time: I'll do one chore—no questions asked; movie and popcorn night, you pick the movie!; 1:1 game of cards or basketball (whatever the child's interest is in); sit and read a book with me; stay up 1/2 hour past bedtime.
Restaurant gift card: Dinner, ice cream, coffee, cupcake – whatever suits their fancy! Give them the freedom of inviting whomever they wish: it may be mom or dad; it may be a grandparent, aunt or even teacher they would like to spend more time with. Bonus: check out the Dining section in Chinook Book for all the delicious discoveries.
Dress-up clothes: Gently used clothing offers hours of play.
Books: Get books from the library or pick up a used copy at one of Portland’s many bookstores. Be sure to pass the books on when you are done, so they don't clutter up your home.
Wrap it up any way you like; you can show your creative spirit without excess waste and packaging, and eliminate stressful decisions and money spent on unnecessary items.
Of course, the holidays aren’t the only gift giving season. If you have other special occasions, like anniversaries, weddings or baby showers, apply the same alternative gift thinking; things made by local artists, gifts of service for new parents, or funds toward a weekend away.
Save time, money and have more fun this holiday season and throughout the new year!