They have too much “Stuff”, I only like to gift “Experiences”. Can I use To&From?
We’ve been asked about when we will add experiences to our gifting network, and the answer is “soon”. Of course we have a lot of ideas about the kinds of experiences we will support over time and how we can best tailor them to the unique preferences of our network. It would be fairly straightforward to throw together a list of the obvious experiences that make up most online lists – i.e. museum memberships, or tickets to sporting events. However, we believe that in order to gift experiences meaningfully, it must be done with purpose and creativity and by truly knowing the person you are gifting. To&From is built on a deep understanding of Gifters, Giftees and Brands, which allows us to tailor recommendations that are perfect for the Giftee and that make the Gifter feel really good about their choices. Experiences are a little tricker, namely because of the need to understand geography, availability, calendars, etc. but we are committed to adding the right experience gifts over time…While you wait, we’ve outlined a few of our universal favorites below, along with modifications for geography, cost or time:
1. The Ultimate Mom Getaway
Our co-founder Bridget’s husband is challenged (his description!) when it comes to gifting physical goods – but he is a master at the experience. Last year for Christmas he gifted her a generous gift certificate for the wonderful Lark Hotel Chain. It may sound random, but in the prior year, during one of the dips in the California Covid outbreak, Bridget was able to sneak away for a night on her own at a Lark property in Carmel, CA and her husband knew how much she loved that time away. After their move back to New York, the gift was the perfect escape for Bridget – she was able to use the gift to sneak away for a few days to work on To&From in Newport, RI without the distractions of home and family. When asked about the gift, Bridget said, “I think what I loved the most about this gift is that it was given selflessly and with intention. It wasn’t a get-away for the two of us (something I also would love), and it wasn’t as generic as a gift card for a large network of hotels. It was perfect for me in a very specific moment in time.” In fact, this is why it’s complex to include the right kind of experiences on To&From and why we want to be patient in the introduction of these – so we can be sure we are bringing experiences with intent and purpose. But soon, we promise, soon!
Modification for $: take your kids to your parents or another friend’s house and leave your spouse at home, alone.
2. Best Experience for Social Foodies
These past two years have been pretty tough on everyone. As a team who loves having a glass of wine and breaking bread with friends, family and even strangers, this is the thing we have really missed. Almost nothing gives us as much joy as sharing a great meal in the company of others. This can be a meal prepared at home, or enjoyed from the hands of someone else (presumably someone more skilled in the kitchen than we are!). For many years, many of us have obsessed over Outstanding in the Field and their incredible model. As they say, it’s “an Adventure, a Destination, an Experience.” One hundred or so friends and strangers breaking bread over a very, very long king’s table. Sounds like the perfect gift!. P.S., they haven’t announced their 2022 series of dates, so check back often.
Modification for geography or planning: create your own Outstanding dinner in your backyard or a convenient place you and your giftee love. Pickup catering from a local restaurant, cook yourself, or for a splurge, find a local in-home chef like our friends at Spike’s Bites in San Jose, CA.
3. Always Learning Gifts
The experience of Masterclass, or for someone more singularly focused on chef skills, YesChef, makes a great gift. The past two years have taught us that we can do almost anything from the comfort of our homes, even learn lots of new skills. Masterclass excels in it’s ability to introduce its members to lots of new skills from some of the best in the business. So if it’s a burning desire to build their own empire, your loved one can learn from stars like Sarah Blakely. Or if it’s to improve their own pickup basketball game, Stephen Curry can show them the way. Really whatever it is, there is an expert for it. And while we haven’t personally tried YesChef.me, we love the idea of going deep on one topic – especially if it’s something that helps create experiences with others!
Modification for cost or specificity: if you hone in on the skill your Giftee would like to learn, find a local expert or class OR sign your Giftee up for an online course through your library or local university.
4. Experiences That Give Back
There are, of course, a near infinite number of ways to spend your money to support causes you care about – and this certainly can include gifting. For many years Bridget’s son’s grandparents have gifted him an adopted elephant through the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This organization does a phenomenal job of keeping it’s donors up to date with what’s happening, and has a great digital program that allows kids (or adults) to feel like they really have a connection to their adopted elephant. We are also big fans of our National Parks and if you have gifting needs for people who live near, or who have plans to visit, a National Park, this gift can’t be beat.
Modification for specificity: find a charity that matches the interests of your Giftee and buy tickets to their annual fundraising event.
5. The Gift of Time
This really is the best gift of all. Again, Covid has shown us that we can’t take time for granted. Giving someone the gift of time can take shape in a million different experiences – helping a mom or dad with their kids to give them a break, scheduling a hike with your husband or wife, offering to help a friend tackle something they have been neglecting, offering to drive carpool an extra day. There are so many small gifts of time we can give people we love, and often they will be appreciated as much as or more than the grander gestures.
No modifications needed, any time with people you love is a gift.
We are all hoping that 2022 is full of rich experiences and time spent with the people we love. The To&From team hopes this list inspires you to think about how you will spend time with your friends and family, and maybe gives you a few ideas of how to make those moments extra special!
Happy New Year to all of you, and Happy Gifting in 2022!
All photos are from the respective brands included in this post. Our Gifting Intelligence™ was used to select each product. To&From may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
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Without further ado, our annual “50 gifts $50 and under” gift guide is here. We hope you like it!