Giving Experiences

I don’t know how Mike and I managed to do it, but we convinced our mothers and my grandma to come out to Seattle for Christmas and New Year’s. In addition to the priceless Christmas morning I know we’ll all have together for gingerbread cake, hot cocoa, and gifts, we decided on giving all of us a 2 day-vacation together at Sleeping Lady in Leavenworth, WA. This is an anomaly, because we haven’t done something like this since I was maybe 14. Now that our Dads aren’t around anymore, we felt it especially important to build a beautiful memory after all the pain.

Cozy cabins at Sleeping Lady

I read a post at Oh Happy Day that listed a number of experiences to give someone you care about instead of some thing, and thought I’d add to that list but to focus on family-friendly experiences involving the outdoors and food. Isn’t that what really makes us humans happy – to work out, break a sweat, see something beautiful, and then taste something delicious?

Here is a list of gifts that last beyond a purchase date.

1) Create a brunch tradition
I love breakfast. It’s a meal where you’re freely given permission to mix salty and sweet, and load up on calories because after all, you need calories to burn throughout the rest of the day right? Try to get in the habit of making a new and different item every weekend; a couple months in you’ll soon develop favorites that may become the source of a memory as poignant as Proust’s madeline. A weekly jaunt to a new and different place to experience a new cinnamon roll or bacon sandwich is perfectly acceptable.

2) Plan and create a garden together
There’s nothing like walking outside your door and grabbing something to eat. Fresh alpine strawberries, lettuce, or basil – it doesn’t have to be something as ambitious as corn or potatoes (or tomatoes here in the Pacific NW!) ;)

If you don’t have land, planning an area to grow herbs in a sunny spot of your home might work. Also heading out to the local farmer’s market on a regular basis will keep you in tune with what’s really in season.

3) Create a hike map for the new year
Every year I try to have the goal of going to a new place to hike each weekend during the summer. While I fall short every one of the two years I’ve been trying to do this, it does open my horizons to exploring new places that are free and lovely. Is there an outdoor activity that someone you loves is really into? Try creating a personalized list of suggestion for them, and pack a lunch!

I also now write on Seattle Urban Gardening topics for the Examiner, here are my first posts!
Holiday Gift Ideas for a Seattle Gardener
Show-Stopping Edible Plants of 2011
The Year Ahead : Seattle Gardening Events

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