We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about holiday gifts and realized two things:
- Most of us don’t even really remember what we got last year.
- Going to the mall, fighting through crowds to buy gifts benefits big box retailers but not necessarily our local communities.
It’s been a tough year for everyone. We don’t want to waste money on things that won’t last and are easily forgotten. Instead, we want to give memorable gifts that also do a little something to support the people in our local communities. Even if we don’t remember the things we were given last year, we do remember and smile fondly upon all the small and great adventures (or misadventures) we’ve been on with the people we love.
Going to new places and seeing new things make us happy both in the moment and years later. If we had never ventured up to hidden vantage points we wouldn’t truly appreciate the amazing beauty of San Francisco, Istanbul, and even Lisbon. If we hadn’t been out way too late in the Keys on a moonless night, we wouldn’t have seen the phosphorescence glowing in the dark water. These things might have happened years ago, but we remember them clearly and are better off for them than we are for any present we’ve ever unwrapped (sorry, Mom).
Even if, like us, you won’t be giving tropical paradises or far off getaways anytime soon, adventures at home are just as exciting and meaningful to loved ones – especially if you can be there to experience it with them. Every community, whether it’s in a big city or a small suburb, has a story and spirit all its own. When you take time to explore it, you’re really taking time to discover both the stories that you’re part of and the going-ons that are not part of your everyday routine. Better yet, you have the chance to support your local economy by visiting the small, off the map places that give life to your community and the people in it.
So instead of giving things that are wrapped in paper and then collect dust in closets, we’ve decided that we’ll be giving our loved ones the opportunity to gain new perspectives by exploring the world around them, to support the people and culture in their neighborhoods, and to create memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. This year, we’re giving the gift of experience and adventure.
The Vayable Team