The best holiday gift ever

The BEST Holiday Gift Ever!

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It’s getting close to that time of year again – the holiday gift-giving season.

Instead of sharing a list of gift ideas like I do most years, this year I want to share with you my all-time favorite family holiday gift. It’s perfect for your own family, or you could do a smaller version of it for someone else.

Ready to give the most memorable gift ever?

Related posts: The BEST Holiday Gifts and The BEST Gifts for Every Traveler on Your List

A year of fun

Instead of heading to your local mall, I encourage you to create a year of fun. It’s a little bit of work, but the results are well worth it! And, you can tailor it for whomever you are creating this for. It can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you’d like it to be.

Start with 12 envelopes (I like these as they don’t take up too much room but hold everything I need) and a box to put the envelopes in.

The BEST Holiday Gift Ever!

Write one month of the year on each envelope (January, February, etc.).

Now for the fun part …

For each envelope, you are going to come up with a fun activity to do for that month. I’ll share examples below, but you can switch them up for your area of the country, audience, budget, etc.

Gather everything you need

Now that you have your list of ideas, start gathering everything you’ll need for each activity. For example, I have Ice Skating in January, so I’ll purchase a gift card (or Groupon) for the local ice skating rink, and perhaps a few packets of hot chocolate to enjoy afterward.

ice skating and hot chocolate after is a perfect gift idea

This is what is a bit time-consuming as you may have to do a little research and purchase a few gift cards, but it’s what makes the present so special.

Insider tip: purchase your gift cards through Fluz (you’ll earn 3 vouchers worth $3.50 each with this link) or EARN free ones with MyPoints or Swagbucks!

Fill each envelope with the necessary items for that month, along with a short note explaining what you’ll be doing, and then seal the envelope. Make sure you write the month on the outside.

Place all your envelopes in a pretty box or basket and wrap them up!

You’ve just created a year of guaranteed fun for your family!

Ideas for each month

Need a little help to get you started?

January: Ice Skating and Hot Chocolate – include a gift certificate for ice skating and a few packages of hot chocolate.

February: Enjoy a winter hike – include a map to a local park with a hiking trail marked and a $20 gift card to Starbucks to warm up on the way home.

A winter hike is a fun "gift" idea

March: Movie night – include either a gift card to a local theatre, a new DVD, or a gift card to Redbox. Add in a package or two of popcorn and a $5 gift card to the grocery or drugstore for movie candy.

April: Visit a museum. Find a nearby museum that your family either loves or has never visited and include $$ or admission tickets.

Related post: Save Money on Museum Visits

May: Mini-golf or driving range – include appropriate gift cards or a brochure and $$ for the place you plan on visiting.

June: Picnic in the park – print out a map from a nearby State Park to visit and $$ for the admission fee

Related posts: Pack the Perfect Picnic and Make the Most of Your State Park Visit

July: Visit the pool – find a local pool or small waterpark and include a brochure or printout of the location along with $$ for admission.

August: Visit the zoo! Include gift cards or $$ for zoo tickets along with a brochure for the zoo.

September: Breakfast at the park. Include a gift card for your local bagel or donut shop and a map of a nearby park. Set out one morning and enjoy breakfast at the park!

October: Dollar store fun. Include $5 for each person in your family to go wild at the dollar store. See what kind of fun things you can each find, or challenge each person to find something for another family member.

November: Thanksgiving craft. Look up a fun Thanksgiving craft on Pinterest and include $$ for the needed materials. Include the necessary instructions in the envelope.

December: Family game night. Include a list of potential games and/or $$ to purchase a new one.

Related post: The BEST Family Games

Make it your own

Hopefully, you get the idea! You can make each month as elaborate or as simple as you’d like. Tailor the activities to your family.

If a year feels like too much of a commitment, just do 3 months, or one activity every quarter.

This could be a lot of fun to give to someone else too – your theme could be fun date nights, or day trips. Go wild with your creativity.

I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts on this fun holiday gift idea, so please share them in the comments!

Want more ideas for fun things to do? Get your FREE copy of 5 Fun Family Experiences!


It's that time of the year - Holiday Gift Season. If you are looking for a terrific gift that is unique and can be tailored towards ANY receipient, this is the perfect idea for you. It's a guaranteed winner! #giftguide #holidaygifts #creatingmemories
It's that time of the year - Holiday Gift Season. If you are looking for a terrific gift that is unique and can be tailored towards ANY receipient, this is the perfect idea for you. It's a guaranteed winner! #giftguide #holidaygifts #creatingmemories

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  1. Yup, that is right this is the best holiday gift guide ever. I did this a few years and it truly is the best. Most of the time kids cant remember what they get for Christmas 2 months after Christmas but they usually remember the memories and experiences they have. I love this idea so much!

  2. This is a great idea! It really forces you to put thought into your gifts. But the end result, is some amazing time spent with family and lots of memories!

  3. You’ve listed some fun activities and experiences for holiday gifts. I miss going to our local zoo where you can go on the spare of the moment. It’s finally open again and tickets were snapped up fast.

    1. I haven’t been to our zoo in forever either and actually just mentioned to the kids that we need to try to get to the Holiday Lights there this year.

  4. This is the best holiday gift ever! This will be perfect for my son and his girlfriend. And because I don’t remember anything anymore maybe I’ll gift myself a year of fun and surprise myself every month!

  5. This really is the best idea ever! I wanted to do something like this last year, but my creative brain was lacking. I’ll definitely be using some of these ideas!

  6. This is such a great idea. As my boys grew older, I started giving experiences as gifts instead of just stuff. Some of my ideas included season passes for amusement parks and tickets for paintball. I even took one of them to a performance of The Lion King for his birthday. I let him pick his souvenir (within our budget) and we went to dinner afterward. He loved it and still has his Scar stuffed animal 15 years later.

  7. I do love this idea! I’d even love to create a year of adventures…for me! Giving this some thought for my grown children and their families.

  8. I absolutely LOVE this idea! I am familiar with experience gifts. However, I have never heard of gifting a year of fun before. So cool! I don’t know that I can pull one together in time for this Christmas, but I am definitely filing this away for next Christmas!

  9. What a wonderful and thoughtful gift. Never thought of doing this before, but may have to think about doing something like this for my great-niece who is in another state. It will give her something to look forward to each month and think about me, lol Seriously though, great post and idea. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Fabulous idea! At one point we had 3 teenagers in house and for a couple of years in a row we bought ONLY comsumables and NO clutter. Movie vouchers, Go Cart racing, a day at the ski slopes, groupons to things in SF and nearby, there are a host of things. They could take us or a girlfriend…it was THEIR gift afterall. It was like paying in advance for engaging things for them to try and do all year. I love this idea though!

  11. I have read many gift ideas before. But none of them were month-wise. I admire your thought of giving your readers something they can have fun with their families for year around.

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