Gift giving this time of year can far too easily become all about getting and giving the shiniest, newest, most coveted, “wow” inspiring gifts.  But maybe there is a different way to “wow” this year…

For many years, Christmas shopping for my four boys was an all-consuming task, especially when you added time spent wrapping, checking lists and panicking realizing that one of them is not getting as many gifts as the rest!  We have all gotten caught up in it, rushed around, begged and overpaid for that top item on the list.  Well, my kids haven’t believed in Santa for a long time, so some of the pressure is off.  But I still love to give them a wonderful evening of gifts and have done that, even though I really can’t afford to.

I have been trying to do things a little differently the past couple of years.  Sure, there is always something for everyone to open.  We all like to open something.  But I try to focus on experiences and giving gifts that they will remember and cherish.  I want to give memories.

And not only for Christmas.  Back in October my son, Eric was turning 25.  Coincidentally, his very favourite musician – Kip Moore – who also happens to be one of my most favourite musicians as well – was playing only two hours away.

Long story short – I managed to get my hands on two tickets – booked us a cheap hotel room and off we went.  The most fun 24 hours followed, where I got to spend precious one-on-one time with my now adult son, chatting, hanging out, having a few drinks, dinner and so much fun at the concert.  Kip put on a great show.  And we were in the second row.  There was bull riding later and new friends who bought Eric drinks all night when they heard it was his birthday.  Didn’t cost me a fortune.  He paid for the Uber and we both have memories to last us a lifetime.

When my boys were little I was often so stressed about getting everything right.  And the thing was, that no matter what, the one thing they always wanted from me more than anything – and still do – was my time.  It was the best thing I could give them and it honestly is the one thing I treasure more than anything from them.

I asked Eric to share in his words how he felt about his Birthday gift, and this is what he sent me – I haven’t changed a word:

A couple of years ago I bought my son who runs track for the University of Guelph, a ticket to go to see his favourite events at the Pan Am games here in Toronto, and last year we gave my oldest son and his girlfriend hockey tickets to see their favourite team – the Montreal Canadiens.

Also, three years ago, instead of gifts the boys and I headed down to New York City for a few days.  They had never been before… Such a great time and you can read about it here A day in New York City with my boys

My dream is to take our whole family away on a holiday somewhere.  Considering there is 9 of us, this is a lofty goal, but a mom can dream…  For now, I will have to try and come up with something fun.

If you have any ideas – I would love to hear them!  And if you need any – I will do my best to inspire.  Comment below!

In fact, I am so inspired by this that our Black Friday Special this year is all about that – doing something inspiring for yourself and those you love.

For now – here’s one:  Give yourself and someone you love the gift of health.  Short & Sweet: Three 45-minute personal training sessions at a new lower price.  One for you and one for your husband perhaps…

Spend some meaningful and fun time together in the midst of the chaos. Work out, have a few laughs, feel good and reduce stress.  You know… people who workout together stay together…. #absolutetruth



Happy Holidays and Holiday Giving!