Give Experiences Instead Of Stuff This Christmas

Christmas came early for Kenzie. I surprised her with a trip to NYC last Friday. I wanted to do something special for her, she has worked so hard in school and after taking her to see Hamilton last month in Charlotte I knew I had to make it happen!

This year I decided I wanted to give my kids experiences instead of more stuff. Of course, they will get a small handful of presents, but the “big ticket items” will be experiences. Starting with Kenzie’s New York City trip to see Wicked and Mean Girls The Musical!

The Greatest City In The World!

Travel has become such a regular part of our life that the girls have come to view the next trip as a rather mundane occurrence. I needed some giddiness! I wanted excitement and anticipation! I wanted to give an experience for Christmas and that’s exactly what I did!

I was practically over the moon at the thought of taking Kenzie to NYC! I had to keep it a secret because it was part of her Christmas present and she got it early so the longer I kept it from her the better. I didn’t take Brynna so the less time I had to hear her try to talk me into taking her the better as well.

I wanted to think of a fun way to tell her about the trip, not just “hey pack your bags we are going to New York.” Although, I am sure she would have screamed if I said it like that. But anyone who knows me knows I am over the top, so I had to make this extra special!

With my excitement so high, I wanted to pass on the excitement to her, so that we could anticipate the upcoming trip together.

The Clues

At first I wanted to put together a scavenger hunt through the house but the more I thought about it the harder it seemed. So instead I searched the house for items that would give clues to our destination. I did go out and buy a few things and reached out to a few shops that helped me out too!

1. New York Hoodie and Beanie from American Eagle Outfitters! These items not only were awesome clues but she can take them with her to use as well!

2. Wicked Playbill Necklace and Earrings from good | olmen| things on Etsy! Amazing quality and Kenzie was just over the moon in love with these jewelry pieces that she can wear to the musical!

3. Mean Girls Musical Silhouette Print from theplantpaperie on Etsy! We are going to see Mean Girls so I had to add a few clues for that show as well! This was perfect and she can put it in her room now as well! Make sure you follow the creator on Instagram for all updates on her shop! She makes the coolest designs!

4. Eat. Sleep. Musicals. Repeat. I knew the moment I saw this shirt from Crafted Couture Studio on Etsy that Kenzie had to have it! This is the perfect shirt for all your musical lovers!

5. Broadway Coloring Pages from Coloring Broadway on Instagram! All our favorite musicals on coloring pages?! Yes please! These are absolutely amazing and Kenzie loves them!

6. Because you can never have enough printables, right? I found another Mean Girls and customized Playbill from Sweet Lady Designs NYC on Etsy! She created a custom print just for Kenzie! I picked out 3 of her favorite shows and they put the artwork from the show into the playbill design. This design is so creative and Kenzie already has it in her room!

7. Wicked the Musical Collectible Theater Ticket from appacadappa on Etsy! I love this because I didn’t have actual tickets to put in the box so this theater ticket was used in lieu of the real tickets. They can be personalized with the theater name, address, date, and time of showing. Seeing this was definitely her “ah ha” moment when everything came to life.

Give Experiences

If most of us were to recall our childhoods, we would find that all the things we’d been given were nice, but the memories that we treasure are the experiences we have with our family.

It was so exciting to watch her pull the clues out one by one and watch her try to figure out what they all meant and why she was getting a present so early. Then, there was the moment of clarity and sheer excitement as she realized that the items were all connected and led to a trip to New York! It was a priceless moment that set the tone for the excitement to come!

Now I’m not saying that you should ditch all of the toys under the tree this year. However,think twice before adding yet another Squishy or container of slime to the list. Instead, think about replacing some of that meaningless stuff with meaningful experiences that will provide lasting memories well beyond the holiday season.

We had such a great time and made so many memories. She said we will be going back! I am so thankful for the opportunity to take her and watch her face light up with amazement at “The Greatest City in The World.”

We don’t remember days, we remember moments.

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