Give the Gift of Time with the Experience Box that Gives All Year Long

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More Gift Ideas

The gift of time is a unique kind present anyone will appreciate.

Give the Gift of Time with the Experience Box that Gives Memories All Year Long

Want to give the most valuable gift of all?

The gift of time is possibly the most thoughtful present someone could ever give!

Here’s a fun way to pledge time well spent as an incredible gift. ❤️ Consider making an experience box by using a gift box and filling it with 12 fun ideas and activities to spend time with your kids or grandkids.

Experience box with activities

Each month of the year, the recipient can look forward to picking a card that will reveal a different idea (or two) on it. Make sure to put each card in a sealed envelope to keep the surprises coming throughout the year!

time christmas new years idea – writing ideas on cards

This gift can also become a family bucket list for the new year!

Need ideas? Here are a few activities for inspiration:

  • Hiking, camping, fishing, or anything outdoors.
  • Family date nights: movies, bowling, restaurants, etc.
  • Go to the beach and build a sandcastle.
  • Learn something new like a cooking lesson, music lesson, or pottery class.
  • Visit a local museum of their choice.
  • Host a lemonade stand in the summer.
  • Visit your local escape room.
  • Volunteer at a local charity.
  • Go putt-putt golfing.
  • Attend a baseball game or other local sporting event.
  • Have a pizza night and make everything from scratch.
  • Have a pajama party, watch movies, and eat ice cream for dinner!
  • Painting night! Everyone gets a canvas and creates a masterpiece!

time christmas new years idea – Lina's smiling family

supplies for gift of time

writing idea cards

putting cards in boxes

writing cards

putting cards in envelopes

gift of time

Gift of Time Box




Decorate or purchase a gift box.


Label your envelopes by month.


Write your creative craft ideas or family bucket list adventures to accomplish that month.


Seal your envelopes so the recipient can open them every month.

time christmas new years idea – cards and supplies on the table

Personalize your Gift of Time box for your family and budget.

My plan is to say YES to something I normally say no to! For instance, my kids have been begging me to go to a local Escape Room activity where you have to solve your way out of it as a group. I’ve been saying I’m too busy, so I know they’d love it if we did that as a family.

Disconnecting and simply being with my family is my favorite, and it brings me the greatest joy.

time christmas new years idea – the finished gift box under a tree

I love this special gift idea!

Make spending time as a family the best gift! I love giving experiences instead of material items, and this is a great way to incorporate that into holiday gift-giving.

Gifting Experiences

Also, I think this would be a nice gift to make specifically for your spouse and come up with some fun and unique date night ideas throughout the year. Don’t forget about the older loved ones in your life, too, as this would be an incredible opportunity to organize some special time together. How thoughtful would that be?!

Give the Gift of Time

Here are some heartwarming comments from readers who have done this in the past:

“I did a smaller version of this last year. I have five kids, and I’m a single mom, so each child got to have a ‘date with mom’. My twins got gift cards and tokens in their packages for Chuck E. Cheese. My daughter got a cute stuffed animal of a stingray and a gift card for the aquarium she wanted to go to.

My older son got tickets for a movie with his favorite candy, and my oldest daughter got socks with sushi on them and a bottle of wasabi sauce (she loves it), and a gift card for a sushi restaurant for us to go to together. My kids loved it and so did I!” – Melanie

“I have a lot of nieces and nephews. In years past, I have made them each ‘gift card’ redeemable for things like a dozen cookies, a whole pie, a batch of homemade ice cream… something different each year. They can redeem it for whichever kind/flavor they choose, I supply the ingredients, and we MAKE it together.

They are always so happy because they don’t have to share their favorite treats with their siblings, and we get to spend time together doing something just for them. It was very helpful, too, to space out the amount of money spent.” – Teah

Speaking of family fun ideas, have you filled out your New Year’s Bucket List yet?!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 105

  1. ana

    Cute idea’s 🙂

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks so much Ana!

  2. Lisa

    Thank you so much for posting this. To elaborate on this, please, please, please consider giving the older ones in our lives this gift of time in the form of doing things for them, i.e., cleaning the house, taking out the garbage, raking the leaves, shoveling the sidewalk, etc. I’m not to the point where I can’t do these things myself… just know at that age, I won’t need “things.” I am all about “experiences” though!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh my goodness great idea! Thanks for sharing Lisa!

    • Laura

      Thank you for remembering the older folks. People so often get forgotten or dismissed as they age and their needs increase. As her only family in town, I did things like grocery shopping, taking her to appointments, and household stuff for my grandma despite being busy with my own life, my mother’s estate, and my 3 young boys. She was so grateful, and the time I and my kids spent with her was so rewarding. She always said she didn’t know what she would do without me. I lost her in March, but often think maybe there is another elderly person I could “adopt” to help them.

      • Rama Revan

        That is really amazing! Especially the thought of wanting to adopt another elderly person.

      • Julie

        Sorry for your loss.
        Maybe you could do Meals on Wheels, and befriend one of those people or a neighbor, or possibly one of your Grandma’s friends.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      This is SUCH a wonderful idea!! ❤️ Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Holli

    Love this. When I was little. Mom would make coupon books like this. But could use them when ever I wanted. It was cute idea.

  4. Melissa

    Oh my goodness I love this

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay thanks Melissa!

  5. Kelli

    We are doing this for our four boys this year! I’m thrilled and I’m sure that they will be too! There is no better gift than spending time together! ❤️

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Sounds great! I agree ❤️

  6. Michelle

    Thank you for posting this! As I am done Christmas shopping (thanks to you all), I have felt there was just something missing. This is exactly what I needed. Love Love Love this idea!!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yay! You’re so welcome.

  7. Michelle

    I’m hoping someone can help with some other ideas along this line… My aunt has Alzheimer’s. She’s physically capable, but mentally struggling, so I need some ideas of things I could do with her that aren’t as physically intensive as a hike, but not as helpful as cleaning house. She needs something that makes her feel like I want to spend time with her. Anyone have any ideas along those lines?

    • Jes

      Can she put together puzzles? My grandmother has dementia, but still loves her puzzles.

    • AilineAZ

      My grandpa had Alzheimer’s as well and I noticed those little things like a foot massage, brushing his hair, and giving him a manicure where the most special moments we had close to the end. I hope that helps.

    • A

      My Grandma with Alzheimer’s loves the adult coloring books and playing card games. She also does Suduko. She enjoys helping to make cookies together.

    • Karen

      An afternoon doing Adult coloring books is a great activity for people w/Alzheimer’s. My grandmother used to like it when I took her to get her hair done or did it for her like she was going “out”. She also loved going out to a nice restaurant just for dessert. Or take her for a Sunday drive wherever she wants to go.

    • Jackie

      A walk on the beach?
      A trip to the zoo?
      A trip to the local humane society to see the puppies and kitties?
      What about a little bucket with nail polish and pedicure things. You can give her a pedicure if going to get one is too expensive.
      What about ingredients for a fancy or fun dinner/dessert. Have her over to cook together and share a meal.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      My grandma had a similar situation and would love to draw and paint. Just small little ones. I remember my mom bringing her art supplies and she loved it.

      • Trisha Semarge

        I know some of the gentlemen at the nursing homes would enjoy playing with matchbox cars if they were car salesmen women enjoyed taking care of a baby doll or giving them a laundry basket of some clothes and ask them to help you fold them .You will see alot of them wanting to participate in several activities you ask others to do.It helps them to keep their mind busy.

    • lisa

      Spend time with her on a website or photo album making her own photo album with LABELED(name, how they are related, if they have passed away, event, date, etc) pictures to help her remember her family and friends, especially if they may come to visit her.

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Oh I love this idea! ❤️

      • Lisa

        We tried the photos with both my grandpa (on my moms side) and my grandpa on dad’s side) and it frustrated them both. My grandma threw framed photos. She didn’t like to be reminded that there were people she’s forgotten and saw them as people she didn’t know. You need to be very careful about this, especially in later stages.

    • Ashlie

      In our area, one of the memory care facilities is designed and decorated like the era the residents grew up in (so maybe the 1920s-40s). Maybe find things from her era, even if it’s movies, or other household items and see if it lights her up? 🙂

    • Laura

      Check out Pinterest for Alzheimer’s Busy Bags. There are lots of activities that you can put together (easy and inexpensive, but appropriate for patients) that are fun to do. Rotate the bags bringing a different one each time you visit for a fun activity to do together.

      For my mom, she loved babies, so I made her a Shutterfly album of photos of each of my kids (separate album for each grandkid) when they were little. The week before she passed she looked at those albums about 5 times a day, enjoying all the cute photos of the “babies” (all teens now). I used free album coupons so they were very inexpensive to do, just time consuming. I made them thinking she might forget who they were some day, but we lost her to cancer before that happened.

    • Jessica B

      I had a friend who used to watch say yes to the dress with her mom. Her mom loved fashion and still liked to give her opinion. She didn’t know who she was watching the show with but she loved the interactive part. I like the idea of having her helping folding laundry, it would help her feel useful, even if it was the same load of towels over and over. My mom doesn’t have Alzheimer’s but I know going to the movies was one of her favorite things to do as a child and she loved going with us as we were growing up. She still lives going and getting popcorn. I think it’s something she would love to do at anytime in her life. Think about her favorite hobbies or what she liked to do as a child and try to recreate that.

    • Jennifer

      My grandma has Alzheimer’s and has trouble with activities but still loves music. I put an echo dot in her room at the nursing home. I made a playlist with her favorite songs and made an instruction sheet with the name of the playlist and stations that she would enjoy for the staff. It’s turned on almost every time I visit and many times I walk into find her singing along.

    • Julie

      Spending time looking at photos with her, singing with her to her fav music. I did all these things with my mum who had dementia. she even like to just go and sit at a local church in the garden, she felt at peace there.

  8. Lauren

    LOVE this idea! I let extended family buy “gifts” for my son while we give him experiences so that we can make memories as a family. Now I can put down a general categories and he can pick the activities or places. Thank you for the idea, H2S!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh sure! Enjoy!

  9. Charity

    Love this idea

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks so much Charity!

  10. Anna

    Love love love this!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay! Thanks Anna!

  11. Meghan

    THIS is why I love Hip2save. The regular store deals are amazing but I also loooove posts like these and especially Lina’s posts about regular home stuff! I love the mix I get when I visit Hip2Save!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ah that’s so great THANK YOU for reading and commenting today ❤️

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Your comment means SO much to our team. Thank you! ❤️

  12. Karen

    This is one of the nice gifts I have saw. I will have to try and work in things for her away at college and one on their way to college.

  13. Jen

    Very nice ideas!! 🙂

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Jen!

  14. Lulu

    Lina, I find your clever ideas and delicious recipes simply fabulous. I wish I lived next-door to you so that we could be best friends.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      AHH thanks Lulu! That made my day! ❤️❤️ I appreciate your sweet comment!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      YES, I second that lol – I want Lina to be my next-door neighbor too!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Me too! We all want Lina as our neighbor LOL!

  15. Karen

    I love these ideas!!! I have a question about something similar that could create family time. Has anyone ever ordered a “mail order mystery”? They are kind of pricey, but look like they could be good family time. I saw an ad for them today and was curious… thanks ahead of time!!!!

    • Sarah

      Yes! We did one last year for a group of friends at our house. It was a blast. They even have kids ones so you can choose the ages. After researching a bit, we went with the company “my mystery party.” It was self explanatory and had some prep time but none of us knew who did it.

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        so interesting! thanks for sharing!

  16. Snazzytea

    Oh my goodness!! Great minds think alike! I’ve been working on this for both the hubs and family. I’ve gotten a bunch of gift cards (restaurants, Top Golf, etc), family games, subscription boxes for mystery solving, etc.

    • Cristine

      I love the idea of adding gift cards to it- like a family movie day accompanied by a movie gift card, etc.

  17. babymair

    Thx Lina, I love this idea .I plan on making one 4 the hubby .And one for each of my boys .Also another great Christmas vacation activity, for my boys to do for there dad .They love finding craft store coupons ,to help with supplies. ps. You guys look so cute in that picture. Keep up the good work and God bless.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ah thanks!!! Yes love the coupon idea! Thanks so much for your sweet comment.

  18. JenB

    I don’t mean to alarm you, but John Travolta is in your bed

    • keri

      I thought the SAME THING!! Lol

      • Kitty

        Me too!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      LOL oh my gosh – I was so confused for a sec 😂 I’ll have to tell him that. Haha

    • Rebecca

      I thought that too lol! Beautiful family, love the blue eyes! My kids got the blue eyes from Dad too, and I have the lone brown eyes lol.

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Ah thanks so much Rebecca!

    • Amyyyyy

      I was in the comment section to say the same thing! Lol!

  19. Angela V.

    I LOVE this idea! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome! Thanks for reading today! ❤️

  20. Melanie

    I did a smaller version of this last year. I have five kids and I’m a single mom so each child got to have a “date with mom”. My twins got gift cards and tokens in their package for Chuck E. Cheese.
    My daughter got a cute stuffed animal of a sting ray and a gift card for the aquarium she wanted to go to. My older son got tickets for a movie with his favorite candy and my oldest daughter got socks with sushi on them and a bottle of wasabi sauce (she loves it) and a gift card for a sushi restaurant for us to go to together. My kids loved it and so did I!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s so fantastic!! Love ❤️ Thanks for sharing Melanie!

  21. Andrea

    I love your ideas Lina! I have done a simpler version of this each year for my son. I add these kind of coupons into his advent calendar in some of the days instead of small toys or candy. He has always loved these ideas. I would let him choose dinner one night thinking he’d probably choose ice cream but I was surprised when he chose tacos. Another idea was to have 20 minutes of Nerf gun playing around the house or yard. He enjoyed his mom taking time to play with his toys or games or letting him make a choice for the family. Just a few examples.

    By the way, he is a freshman in college this year which made advent calendar planning a little tougher this year. I didn’t want to let the tradition go just because he was away. I individually wrapped each item or coupon and numbered them. That way he could pull one out and unwrap each day. When I handed him the box with these goodies over Thanksgiving, he was touched that I had taken the time to keep the tradition going.

    I also make coupons for my husband and my father who lives with us. At this point in our lives, we don’t need more stuff and like to give each other experiences or time with one another. My dad likes when I wash his car or take him to play bingo or take a drive to look around and see the sights.

    Thanks again Lina. Your posts brighten my day!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh I love your ideas!! Thanks so much for sharing, and how sweet of you to do that for your son ❤️ I love that. Thanks for sharing Andrea!

  22. Shirley Yeo

    Hi Lina,

    LOVE it! 🙂 Just wondering where you got that gorgeous box and bow. Did you make it and wrap it all yourself? Love to know! 🙂
    Thanks so much! 🙂

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      TJ Maxx! $2.99 😀 love that store!

  23. Erin

    This is IT! Thanks!! I’ve been trying to think of something to give my son, and this will be it. His sisters have plenty of ideas for me (dolls, games, clothes, etc.), but he is at the age where he’s outgrown toys, but not ready for adult things yet. This will be perfect. Thanks!! (By the way, I made your Oatmeal Caramel cookies for a recent cookie exchange last weekend. Delicious!)

  24. Jasmine

    Love this cute idea! I’m excited to do this this year. Thank you for sharing!

  25. Takia

    Might be tmi. But I’m thinking about doing this for my husband and I (half R rated) to spice up the bedroom and make sure we get enough relationship time.

    • Rebecca

      I think that’s a great idea!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s fun! I say go for it 🥰

  26. Rebecca

    I love this idea but right now the next year of our lives is up in the air as far as location and job wise (military). Maybe I’ll just have to plan things that can be done anywhere & without Dad if he’s not available.

  27. Kelsi

    Hello! I just wanted to let you know that that is NOT how you spell conquer. Concur means to agree. “I concur.” Conquer is taking on/defeating the escape room together. (: Just wanted to let you know in case you were going to use those cards. Nonetheless, I think the idea is super cute!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh thanks!

    • CristenH

      I was coming on here to say the same thing. ♥️ It would drive me nuts if I gave that as a gift and found out after that it was spelled wrong.

  28. Penny

    I spent time today writing down my ideas for each month. I am more excited about this gift for my husband and two teenagers than anything I purchased. Thank you for this post and all the wonderful suggestions!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay! That is so great Penny! Thanks so much for reading and being here with me. ❤️

  29. Justine

    Lina, you always have the best ideas and posts! Love this!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Aw thanks Justine! So nice of you. ❤️

  30. Nicole__

    Definitely doing this for my husband for Christmas this year. It’s our first married xmas and we said we wouldn’t buy gifts because we just spent a fortune on heart surgery for our dog. He’s drawing me a picture of her and now I finally know what I can do for him!! Thank you for the great idea!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ah that’s sweet – and hope you’re pup is ok!

  31. Teah

    I have a lot of nieces and nephews. In years past I have made them each “gift cards” redeemable for things like a dozen cookies, a whole pie, a batch of homemade ice cream.. something different each year. They can redeem it for which ever kind/flavor they choose, I supply the ingredients and we MAKE it together. They are always so happy because they don’t have to share their favorite treats with their siblings and we get to spend time together doing something just for them. It was very helpful too, to space out the amount of money spent. The presentation of the “gift card” is also fun to come up with ideas for. I’ve used paper cookies, recycled aluminum pie plates, cleaned out ice cream pints, just print the gift card words out and glue it on add a ribbon and hang it on the tree.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh those are such great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing ❤️

  32. Summer

    we did a collage blanket– got groupon for– and put old family photos on it. She LOVED reminiscing about old times

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s awesome!

  33. Melinda

    I love this so much! I hadn’t figured out a gift for my Mom yet and this is totally perfect! I even had a Shutterfly cards printed for each month! We did dinner at our house, a concert, a shopping trip to some stores she has been wanting to go to, a photo shoot, a family craft, a broadway show, movie night, dinner out, museum tour, ice cream sundae party at our house, meet at the park to play, and a December Christmas tea! I think she will be totally surprised and excited!

  34. Abbie B

    I’ve done this the last few years for my 9 year old daughter! She loves it and looks forward to the beginning of each month to see the adventure. This is a great opportunity for some one on one time, but there are times she wants to include the entire family. Highly recommend doing this!

  35. Momof3superkids

    This ‘gift of time’ is such an excellent idea, especially if you decide to give it to the elderly loved ones in the family. Sometimes just a phone call or a special home made meal means so much to them. They have all the ‘things’ they need, what they actually want is people spending time with them!! Thanks Hip2Save & Lina for reminding us🌷🌷

  36. Alone

    It’s the thought that counts. I would’ve receiving something like this as a gift from someone special to me. Truth is if I needed something within a friend or family member’s budget, then I could also afford it. I can’t make someone make me enough of a priority to want to choose spending time with me versus all the other things in life that compete for their time. It can be a lonely world, no matter one’s age.

  37. Heather

    I’m a digital designer & actually created some 4×6 & 5×7 editable templates to fill out & print to do these. I’m happy to share them if anyone wants to use them. 🙂

  38. nik

    I really love this idea. thank you so much♥️

  39. Ginger

    Hi Lina,

    What a beautiful idea! Time together is what people will remember. Would you mind sharing the sizes of your cards, envelopes, and box? I absolutely love this idea. Thank you for sharing!

  40. Mom2two

    I am hoping you will look at this before you post it so it won’t be shared with others–concur?? don’t they mean–conquer?

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey there! Sorry for any confusion. ❤️Are you asking about a tip from the post above? I do find that “concur” means to agree. Hoping that helps! 🥰

      • Natalie

        I think she is referring to one of the photos in the post, which shows an image that says “schedule a day to concur the escape room”. As she noted, it should be “conquer”.

        • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

          Thanks for the explanation, Natalie! 💕

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