7 Experiences to Give as Gifts this Christmas | Italian at Heart Gift Guide


7 Experiences to Give as Gifts

Why experiences as gifts are a great idea:

As a child, I remember the excitement of seeing gifts under the Christmas tree – the sheer thrill of wondering what is wrapped up in that box? There is a certain satisfaction of having a tangible gift in your hands that you can immediately put to use.

There are plenty of physical things I would LOVE to receive as a gift (Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Fragrance or these lemon espadrilles, for example – do you sense a citrus theme going on here??). However, in recent years I have asked my family to give me an experience rather than a thing for Christmas. Perhaps this is just a reflection of where I am in life – my transatlantic lifestyle needs to be light and unburdened by stuff, but I also get a thrill out of making memories.

Sidenote: I love all heart-felt gifts, including tangible things. Even a bottle of wine is an experience in itself. A lipstick can be an experience too, every time you put it on. I once gave my mom this Lancome lipstick in the color “Wine Party,” and she is now scraping out what’s left with a lip brush (I think my mom already knows one gift I’m giving her for Christmas, lol!). So things are absolutely wonderful and can create experiences too. My hope with this list is to provide some out of the box ideas that you can gift to the loved one who has it all or who has quality time as a love language. Most of all, I want to inspire the spirit of Christmas joy by giving creatively from the heart.

Go somewhere / do something new together
  • Dress up fancy and go out to that upscale restaurant you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Or get up with the sun, get a coffee from the Starbucks drive-thru and go on a hike somewhere beautiful.
  • Visit a new winery far or near (Check out discounts at popular US wine regions from Priority Wine Pass – they have some good ones like 2 for 1 tastings and deals on the Napa wine train!).
  • For the daring – try skydiving!
  • Spend a day as tourists exploring a town nearby that you’ve always heard of but never been to yet.
Create a Surprise Itinerary
  • Create a scavenger hunt that with clues of what you’ll do and where you’ll go.
  • Leave your day to fate – pick two choices and flip a coin for each of your destinations.
  • Go big and take a surprise vacation away from home with a service like Pack Up + Go.
Have a Spa day
  • I bet there’s a fancy hotel spa in your town – the kind that has the works, like a jacuzzi, pool, and sauna.
Go to Dinner and a Movie
  • A classic choice – especially when you can get a Movie Pass to see 3 movies/month for $9.95/month.
Take a Staycation
  • That nice hotel doesn’t have to be just for out-of-towners. Get all the benefits of a vacation without the stress of planning, packing, and traveling long distances.
Learn a new skill together

*By using my Skillshare link, you’ll get 2 months free!

Cook a special meal
  • Make a special full-course meal complete with a wine pairing is perfect for gift givers who show love through cooking to those who receive love through their stomachs. :p
  • Have a picnic in a scenic location like the beach or a park.
  • Make your loved one breakfast in bed. Bonus points for cuddles and a mimosa.

Giving an experience certainly required a little bit of delayed gratification, but you can still wrap up a nice card or even make a scavenger hunt with clues to make gift giving special. It’s a chance to give someone the experience they have always wanted!

Have you ever given or received an experience as a gift? What experience would you love to receive? If you try out one of these experiences, let me know how it turns out! 

7 Experiences to Give as Gifts

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Ciao, I'm Kelly!

Welcome to my adventures in learning Italian, often while cooking authentic Italian recipes and wine tasting! I love discovering the traditional regional cuisine of Italy and trying to recreate those dishes when I'm back home in the US. I'm also on my way to becoming an Italian citizen through jure sanguinis (by ancestry).

WSET Level 2 Certified Wine Blogger


Join me for a virtual "aperitivo chat" to get exclusive updates on my Italian progress, dual citizenship journey, plus food & wine adventures in the Bel Paese and beyond!

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Joey Boring
Joey Boring
1 year ago

Thanks Kelly, you are always thinking of new ways to suprise and delight!!
Grazie per averci dato ottime idee !! Baci e abbracci.

Questa Dolce Vita (@questadolcevita)

Yes! Massi and I pretty much ONLY gift experiences now, and usually always travel- so weekends away together πŸ™‚

1 year ago

I was just thinking about this a few minutes ago. It would be so sweet for my husband and I to learn a new skill together! Will check out Skillshare! My family will be going to the Philippines early next year for a short vacation and I know that many well-meaning relatives will be giving my children gifts to bring back to Italy. I am trying hard to be a minimalist and as a stay at home mom, it can really be hard to keep up with the clutter. IF my family members ask me what my kids would like,… Read more »

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