The Christmas “Experience”


Do you post the monthly countdowns on Facebook as to how many months until Christmas? Do you love the Christmas season? It won’t be long before the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season will be here. As we enter this season of giving and giving thanks, I start to think more about the Christmas “experience”.

the christmas experienceIt is never too early to think about Christmas and start planning on what gifts you want to give. Maybe you shop a little all year or maybe you put aside money each month for gifts for your loved ones. I vividly remember going to the bank each week and my mom putting money in a Christmas Club account so she was ready for the Christmas shopping.

As our family has grown each year, adding two sweet grand-babies so far this year with another around Christmas time, we have had to change how we do Christmas shopping and how we allocate the funds we save for Christmas. We have 4 big kids, and they have spouses and then two little kids, so there are a wide range of wants and needs for Christmas.

We’ve done the 4-gift strategy: 1) something you want, 2) something you need, 3) something to wear, and 4) something to read, and I wasn’t really a fan. We’ve done the family gifts, and that works but doesn’t give me the freedom to buy for the littles. We have even tried very practical gifts, and well, our kids can buy those things for themselves.

My favorite year of gift-giving so far has been the giving of the gifts of experience. This would have been THE best if it did not fall on the year that COVID decided to rear its ugly head and shut down all museums, theaters, cooking classes, etc. My husband and I sat down and discussed what each couple liked to do and what they may not do for themselves and decided on cooking classes for two couples, a museum membership for another couple, and movie and restaurant gift cards for the other couple. This provided them with the opportunity to experience something.

I’m attempting the same EXPERIENCE gifts this year even though our family keeps growing. The couples stay the same, but what they experience may be different. When I think back to some of my favorite gifts, I think of the zoo membership my husband’s parents have gifted us or the Kiwi boxes that we got to do together and experience together.

Maybe your experience gift is passes to an amusement park or a trip for your family to go on together, or maybe a day out at the zoo. It doesn’t have to be expensive or break the bank for the Christmas season.

Be creative and create an opportunity for an EXPERIENCE; it will be remembered long after the toy has broken or the Lego set has been assembled. Creating experiences are memories that last a lifetime.

Make sure to check out this year’s Louisville-Area Holiday Gift and Experiences Guide! We have our top recommendations for new gift ideas, the top experiences to gift, and causes to gift to in the city.

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Cheryl Brackemyre
I am a Buckeye by birth, but LOVE Louisville. We have cheered for those Louisville Cardinals for a few years when my stepdaughter played basketball in Louisville and fell in love with the city! I live in Ohio with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his wife Lauren and our littles, Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+? We are officially a Tiki and Jeep (our version of Grandma and Grandpa) since May of 2022 and have 2 grandsons with a 3rd on the. My husband and I are both ministers, and we get to work together in a local church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage, we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand.


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