Items or Experiences?

One of the most anticipated moments of Christmas is waiting to see what Santa brings us. All the gift gifting and stocking stuffers are so exciting! Growing up I would lay in front of the TV and wait for the commercials to come on so I could write down the things I liked onto my list to send to Santa.  I have a friend who still knows exactly what she wants when each holiday comes around. (Guys, she’s almost 30.) In our household, Chaz and I have forfeited giving each other gifts since we got back together over three years ago.

The first year we decided to do this, we had planned and went on a trip to Costa Rica just a couple of weeks before Christmas and told each other that was going to be our Christmas presents.  Another one of those years we had just had our sweet baby, and obviously that’s a pretty cool gift so we just went with that for each other. This year, we are going to Asia just a few weeks after Christmas and have already decided that is a perfect gift for each other to round out our holidays.

Even for birthdays or other holidays that require gift giving, if I’m ever asked what I would like to receive, my first answer is nothing. (Unless you’re my mom, for some reason I’m always ready with an answer for my mom.) But if they refuse to take that for an answer, my second answer is always to just donate to our travel fund so we can build new experiences and memories. (Also something I tell my mom. She’s really nice and I’m really spoiled, obviously.)

This last weekend, for example, was my 26th birthday. Instead of buying gifts, my mom and my husband donated to our little travel fund and we went down to Saint George, UT, for the weekend and had one night in Vegas to cruise around just the two of us. Even though we ended up in bed by 9:30, (I know, we’re old, but a quiet room without a one year old was so enticing!) it was nice to have a night to ourselves to enjoy each other’s company and the bright lights of Vegas.

Forgoing our gifts each year is something we usually receive a little flack for from others… but I think it will be something we will always do in order to keep our little Christmas tradition going.  For us, collecting memories with each other is so much more important than collecting material things. The memories will never gather dust or land in the back of a closet. The printed pictures may fade, but the way we felt while we are adventuring in places we have never been will stay with us forever.

Do you ever say no to gifts to do something or go somewhere instead? Or is there always something queued up on your wish list? I challenge you to skip them this year, and go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.

Thanks for being here,


The Spackman’s

Costa Rica: 2015


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