This past Christmas, I hit the jackpot. Almost all of my gifts weren’t material, they were experiential.
My loved ones know me so damn well.
An incredible family trip to Maui, Hawaii… (You better believe I’m crafting THAT blog post.)
My sister and brother-in-law gifted me a night out on the town with them, including dinner and Blue Man Group. (One of those good-for-the-soul nights.)
My brother and I decided ahead of time, since we hate shopping for gifts, that we would go to a movie together instead. We would circumvent the shopping and wrapping—and instead just pay for each other’s tickets. I laughed when Michael took it an extra step further. As we walked to the theater, he essentially said, “Your birthday is coming up soon, I’ll just buy your ticket and we’re good on that then too.” Can’t argue with that logic. And we spent the next two hours laughing at the most inappropriate jokes I’ve heard in a while. We then quoted those lines (from Anchorman 2) for weeks following. You’re welcome.
My grandma and Papa gifted me tickets to Riverdance: Heartbeat of Home. They gave me two tickets, so I could take whomever I wanted.
My grandma must not be familiar with the mantra, “Sisters, before misters.”
So, it was cute when she thought I’d take anyone but her, HA! Crazy lady. In fact, we grew the party and it ended up being my mom, my grandma, and lucky me—celebrating one hell of a hump day in downtown Chicago.
I got off work early, and within an hour had parked myself on a barstool, sandwiched in between two of the most graceful, strategic, loving women I know. Oh, and there was a steaming Irish coffee in front of me.
We strolled a few blocks to Rosebud, where we promptly found a nice lil’ bottle of red wine, an amusing waiter, and hours of genuine conversation. Do you see where I get this? It’s their fault. I blame them.
After a little dessert to celebrate my Mama,
we headed to the Oriental Theater. Incredible, incredible architecture.
While we waited for the show to start we asked the guy next to us to take our picture.
He did. Again, and again… and again.
The show started, and no exaggeration— I forgot to breath multiple times, because I was so enthralled. Honestly, after the first number I could have left and it STILL would have been worth it. Luckily that was not the case and we were spoiled with two more hours of talented performers. It was an incredible experience to share across three generations. After all, it was my grandma who first took my mom to shows, and my mom who first took me to them.
At 10pm, my mother proposed we head up to the rooftop bar of our hotel. I looked at my grandma, “I’m game. Why not?” Oh how I love those women.
No food this time, but genuine conversation, people watching (of course) and drinks. We couldn’t have ordered a bigger hodgepodge of drinks either—Bailey’s for mom, white wine for grandma, and a mojito for me.
I went to bed that night, my mind running through all the memories we had made in merely a few hours. I highly recommend gifting someone an experience instead of something material. The effect is lasting.
I might grow out of a sweater I got for Christmas, but I’ll never grow out of wanting to make new memories with my loved ones.