Gift ideas to build memories (and how to do it on a budget!)

Some people are just naturally good with gift buying, whereas others are just not that gifted (excuse the pun!) It’s always a tricky time when a loved one’s birthday is coming up – you’ve bought them everything you can think of in the past, so what do you get them this year? The new trend in gift buying is definitely gifting ‘memories’ – that is, giving experiences that are more memorable than material gifts. If you’ve bought them all the fragrance in the world and every episode of their favourite TV show on DVD and you’re stumped – look no further. Below is a list of broad gift ideas that are less about the materialism and more about giving your loved ones a special memory that they will treasure forever. 

This gift guide is applicable to all friends and family members, no matter their age, relationship or gender. If this list doesn’t contain something applicable to you or your budget, it will at least get you thinking along the right lines!

Here’s how to make a memory bear using baby clothes

Spa Day or Weekend Away

What better way to spend your loved one’s birthday than to gift them a lovely relaxing spa weekend, or a weekend away in their favourite place? This is a truly personalised gift that they are bound to appreciate. Whether you go to Margate or Madrid, travelling broadens our minds and it is seen as healthy to get away from our routines now and again. This one is perfect for workaholics, or parents that haven’t had any time to themselves in a while. A budget version of this could involve creating your own spa at home for a loved one – think running a bath, scented candles, at-home facial treatments and relaxing music. Another good budget idea is to organise a camping trip, or even arrange to stay at a friend’s house in another part of the country to get away one weekend. Utilising friends’ sofas in different cities can be a great way to save money!

Concert Tickets

Gifting concert tickets is giving them an experience that cannot be replicated. It will give your loved one a chance to see their favourite band or artist in a once in a lifetime opportunity. This may be a gift that you have to surprise them with tickets on their birthday and go to the gig at a later date, but this will give them the opportunity to look forward to your thoughtful present! This not only shows them that you pay attention, but that you think outside the box when it comes to their gifts. If you wanted to go the extra mile, you could even pick tickets for a city abroad to make a trip of it! This is perfect for music lovers of any age – it could be applied to any show, even from the local jazz band to a Taylor Swift world tour. A budget version would be some memorabilia from their favourite artist or a DVD of a classic concert of theirs to watch with friends and a bottle of bubbly one evening.

Have a look at my DIY gift basket for new mums

Personalised Jewellery

Whilst this IS a material gift, this is a gift with a difference! Unlike jewellery from any store, personalised jewellery allows your loved one to have something precious that no one else will ever have. You can choose from all sorts of jewellery that you can personalise, from bracelets to rings to earrings. Personalised necklaces are one of the most popular options as they allow you to be very creative. Choose from a variety of pendants, metals, birthstones and lengths to suit anyone and then personalise with handprints, footprints, pawprints, initials, names or even drawings! There are so many options and ways to personalise jewellery to make it one of the most special gifts, and you know they will treasure it for a lifetime. For a cheaper alternative, you can find ready-made customised jewellery all over the high street these days as it’s such a trend lately – think first name initials and horoscope signs from your favourite affordable retailer!

Check out my memory box DIY video

Experience Day

Last but not least is gifting your loved one an experience day they will never forget. This can range from anything such as racing car days in your loved one’s favourite supercar, helicopter rides, hot air balloon rides, hotel breaks, stadium tours, animal adoption and even afternoon tea in some of the best locations in the country. This option allows you to be really creative and go for something they will love! You can find something for everyone – from adrenaline junkies to animal lovers. Experience days allow them to have just that – a unique experience that they will remember for years to come, and even more so if they choose to share it with you.

Whatever you choose for your loved one, they are bound to love the thought and attention to detail you put into their gift. Even reading this post shows you are putting extra thought behind it! Hopefully this has given you some ideas, or at least got you thinking along the right lines for your loved one. Leave me a comment to let me know what gift solutions you have for ‘the person who has everything’, I’d love to hear your ideas. Happy present-giving!

This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

2 Responses

  1. Oh that’s such a wonderful gift – so thoughtful and personal. It’s a fantastic idea to spread it out over the course of the year, it provides enjoyment every month. I’ll definitely take inspiration from this idea for my own gift-giving in the future! 🙂

  2. This year I gave a very dear friend a year long gift. Her Birthday was 21st June and she had everything needed for a spa day at home + a little box of 11 pretty vouchers each to be cashed in on the 21st of the month or as close as possible. Each month I make a small gift that I know she’ll love. Handmade watercolour cards, because she often runs out of time to buy cards. crepe apple blossom on real twigs to brighten her office, a personalised cork board using a picture frame from a charity shop. A nostalgia box – small box with little toys from her past, 6 marbles, Jacks, a wooden animal that collapses when you press the base, fortune telling fish, a mini magic slate. This made her laugh until she cried. I’m getting as much pleasure from sourcing gifts every month as she gets from receiving them. A year of giving is worth a try.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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