As with many in our generation, some of our kids have grown up and moved away. On a recent phone call I heard my wife make a suggestion to our son. “This year, instead of purchasing gifts, let’s set that money aside and use it later for a special fun time together. Maybe for something a bit above our usual budget.”
Last year, we wrote a piece simply called The Gift of Time. In it, we noted that as we have gotten older, we have just about all the material goods we can stand. Moreover, since we began to travel and blog, we have discovered that the gift of an experience is something that lasts a lifetime. It does not rust, nor gather dust. You don’t have to pack it up and carry it around. Nor must you decide where to put it.
Time is possibly the most valuable thing you can give, inasmuch as it is something you cannot recreate, duplicate or ever actually get back. Evangelist Rick Warren said it best when he opined that, “Time is your most precious gift, because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money but you cannot make more time. When you give your time, you are giving a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life – that’s why it’s the greatest gift you can give.”
One of the best things about experiences is that in this brave new world of cell phones and social media, you can take hundreds of pictures, store them easily and share them at will around the globe.
We prefer to spend time with friends and family, whether it is at the beach, attending an event or dining at a wonderful restaurant. It is a great time for bonding and memory making. Best of all, experiences are something than never can be taken away. On some occasions you can be the tour guide, showing family or friends around and helping to make the best use of your time. Or, you can go and let your friends and family members show you around and appreciate some of the things they already have come to know and love. There is also the gift of teaching a child or grandchild to do something you do well or watching them play a game or perform.
When you cannot get together, you still can give the gift of time by giving experiences. There are tickets for concerts and sporting events. There are passes to different kinds of attractions or maybe even a twosome of golf at a course in their area. Many times you can vicariously join them by watching their social media posts and seeing the fun they’re having – on occasion in real time (can you say Facebook Live?) The wonderful thing is that Florida is chocked-full of great experiences, They are scattered as richly as sprinkles on a double scoop ice cream cone in July and are just as tasty.
Gift giving time is right around the corner. The holiday season is rife with family gatherings, present exchanges and all manner of festivals and events around the Sunshine State. There also are wonderful restaurants and attractions that need no special event to be enjoyed. So this season, and throughout the year, we suggest you look at giving people the gift of time. Try an airboat tour, a sporting event, a festival, or a day at the beach. Fun and experiences are something that never can be taken away.
Incidentally, if you don’t know where to go – or need suggestions of where to go – check out any of our Florida Fun Travel social media pages. We update them weekly sharing many fun places to go and visit.
Photos from Barry Foster