go watch eleven pipers piping

How to skip the gift wrap and enjoy the present instead

Instead of buying cheap, mass-produced gewgaws to give out this season, show your loved ones you care with a little DIY. During Grist’s 12 days of DIY gifts, we’ll share some crafty projects, with instructions that even we can follow. There’s sure to be a whatsit or wowsit for everyone.

If you’re still not prepared gift-wise, think of something even better for the people in your life to receive. Instead of a thing, get them an experience. Studies have shown that experiences are more valuable than material goods in the long run — and what better way to show the people you love that you care than by spending some quality time together?

Some ideas for your memory-worthy experience include:

If you live somewhere with four seasons, winter picnics can be a challenge, but a rewarding one. Just make sure to pack plenty of blankets and a thermos full of something hot and delicious.

You could plan a visit to your favorite museum, or how about the aquarium? Because nothing says seasonal fun like watching a scuba-diving Santa feed some fish. Check if there are any interesting or new exhibits worth checking out.

Go check out that little town nearby that you haven’t visited yet — it’s sure to have some cute restaurants and attractions — or even just explore a new area of the city you live in (and bonus points if you use public transit to get there!).

Or if you’ve got heaps of money and vacation time lying around gathering dust, book a romantic train trip for two!

Or, get a little funkier and sign up for a pickling or a brewing class. This is the gift that keeps on giving the next time you share a meal or a home-brewed alcoholic beverage!

Granted, experiences can be pricey, but the memories will keep paying back dividends for years to come.

Click below to get the