10 experience gifts that keep on giving

by Trisha Mee

Our lives are crowded with things, and Christmas gifts – though well meant – often only add to the clutter. This Christmas, give someone you love an extraordinary experience, the enjoyment of which will last well beyond the present-giving frenzy of the festive season.

1. Outfit angel. A personal shopper or stylist can be a great gift for someone who needs to look chic but doesn’t have the time or the sartorial savvy to shop for themselves. Personal stylist services might range from a guided shopping trip to a skilled overhaul of an existing wardrobe.

>> See 5 ways to refresh your look

2. Home body. If your gift recipient’s weakness is decorating, the services of an interior stylist might be a welcome tool to help them pull their home’s look together. Alternatively, plenty of stylists run workshops: Megan Morton’s The School has regular courses in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

>> See 5 easy ways to revamp your home

3. Sizzling hot. Whether you’re shopping for a master chef or a toast-burning novice, a cooking class is a brilliant gift idea. If your recipient is in the former category, think outside the box with a sushi-making class, fermentation course or a lesson on baking the perfect loaf.

>> See top 10 cooking classes

4. Get creative. Release the artist inside the accountant with a creative course. Whatever your friend’s secret passion – photography, ceramics, interpretative dance – a series of classes will give them a new set of skills and get their creative juices flowing.

>> See gift ideas for creative types

5. Fit for life. Is your friend or loved one complaining that their exercise routine is getting stale? Shake things up with a 10-class pass to expand their fitness horizons. Try yoga for stress heads, something high-octane like boxing or even a dance class. 

6. Wave lengths. Give the gift of aquatic bliss with a kayak tour or stand-up paddle boarding adventure, a great way to get out on the water and explore your city from a new perspective.

7. Leave pass. If you need an idea for a parent of young children, a night in a hotel might be the ultimate gift. Silence, soft sheets and time away from the chaos equals complete bliss and a much-needed opportunity to recharge. (NB: an offer to babysit would be the icing on the cake.) 

8. Frightfully generous. For anyone with a passing interest in the paranormal, a ghost tour of one of Australia’s most haunted spots might be the perfect present. 

9. Hey, Flipper! The experience of swimming with wild dolphins, seals or whale sharks is a gift of pure joy. Send your friend on a tour where they’ll get the chance to snorkel among these exquisite mammals and they will thank you forever.

10. Spa day, darling. Looking for a gift to soothe a stressed-out friend? A spa voucher is serenity in an envelope. Something outside the square will set your gift apart: maybe a hot stone massage, Hawaiian “lomi lomi” or a massage teamed with a session in a floatation tank.


>> Click here for more Christmas gift ideas

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