Christmas series: Gifts: Give events, not things!

My favourite thing to shop for is, by far, events. Why? Two words:


That’s right, this is the best idea if you are running late, not in the mood to wrestle your way downtown, or want to keep things decluterred, local, and original. Plus, giving events instead of material things are the best way to spend time with your friends and family after the holidays. This is great, especially if you are in the habit of running around like a crazy chicken like me.

So, by gifting events, you are guarantying not only a great time for your recipient, but also for yourself if you plan it right.

Check out your local concert hall for great ideas!

Here is my top five ideas for events-gifts:

  1. Give a workshop: The key here is to know your public. Once you have targeted if your recipient is a fan of gardening, knitting, cooking or sports, it is fairly easy to find a free or inexpensive workshop to share with them. To make it more ‘gift like’ add a coffee or meal after the workshop, and you are all set. If you are in Montreal, your options are quite limitless. My favourites for gardening are the Concordia Greenhouse, and Le Crapaud. As for your crafty friend, check your local knitting store for really fun workshops and classes that you can take together. And for your sporty friend, why not share a free class at a gym or yoga place?
  2. Give a secret diner: Perfect for your special someone, this romantic gift is perfect for romantic outings. All you have to do is search ahead of time a special or new restaurant that your recipient has not tried yet, and go for it! You can also choose a special restaurant: why not try an Indian place where you eat with your fingers? Decorate some stock-card paper with the date of your dinner and you are set!
  3. Give the outdoors: Plan a play date with one of your friends by suggesting going sliding, snow shoeing, skating or skying. Of course you can go all in and buy tickets for special resorts or hotels and make a week-end out of it, but you can also keep it low profile and explore what your city has to offer. My personal favourite: a day out snowshoeing on the Mount-Royal topped with hot chocolate. Yes please!
  4. Give culture: Prepare a special day filled with exhibitions and tours for your most refined friend. Select a museum that your friend really likes, or might not know about. You can also go for a special tour of the city: why not try out a Ghost tour of your city? (Check the availability of those are they sometimes require reservations when off season.) You’re bound to learn something and spend time with someone you like!
  5. Give your own knowledge: If you know how to do something that would interest your friends or family members, why not take advantage of it? I know that my mom is one of the best cook in the entire world, and I would love to learn some of her recipes. So instead of asking her for a cooking class, I’m planning on asking her to spend an afternoon with me cooking. On the same line of ideas, I love to knit, so I could organize a knitting tea-party for some friends (this one is not vegan, but it gives great ideas!).

Of course, you can also go for theater, concert or movie tickets. The good thing about giving tickets is that you can plan an event for a friend and you, or for two of your friends together. Last year, I offered some tickets to my mom and dad, and they really enjoyed having a special evening out completely organized for them.

I really hope you gift some events this year because it is a really great way to spend some time with your friends, keep your wallet happy, and make memories for the years to come. Make sure you check out La végé d’à côté for other events ideas!



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