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

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

Want to give the most valuable gift of all?

Time is possibly the most thoughtful gift someone could ever give! Here’s a fun way to pledge time well spent as an incredible gift! ❤️ Consider making an experience box filled 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 keep each card in a sealed envelope to keep the surprise going throughout the year!


time christmas new years idea – writing ideas on cards

This 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 sand castle.
  • 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 – Lena' smiling family

Personalize it all 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 – cards and supplies on the table

Making your box of ideas is easy!

You can re-use and decorate a box, or pick one up at a store. Mine is a gift box found at TjMaxx. Simply gather some paper and write out twelve fun ideas, one for each month. Stick them in small envelopes with each month labeled and file them in the box. I re-purposed the envelopes from a box of small thank you notes, and wrote on scrapbook paper. This can be as fancy or as simple as you’d like.

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. How thoughtful would that be?!

Give the Gift of Time


Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime! To see all of Lina’s DIY/Crafts created just for Hip2Save, click here.


Join The Discussion

Comments 84

  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.

    • 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.

  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!)

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yum! Those are good 🤗 thanks for sharing and yes this will be great!!

  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!

  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 collage.com– and put old family photos on it. She LOVED reminiscing about old times

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s awesome!

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