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Give Experiences Instead of Gifts for Their Next Birthday


When the birthday of someone I love is coming up, I think about not just buying them a present, but giving them an unforgettable experience. It takes really knowing somebody to give experiences instead of gifts. But, then again, crafting a truly memorable evening can be as easy as providing a perfect party environment, and letting all your loved ones fill it with joy themselves. What does that look like? Take a look below.

Get a Photo Booth

Finding a quality photo booth in Sydney used to be a tricky feat, and finding one you can custom was next to impossible. But nowadays photo booths have become a must-have at the most meaningful celebrations for their social media integration and ability to bring people together.

Imagine being able to document your celebration as it’s happening with a photo booth! Not only that, but you can also take photos, videos, and even GIFs of your friends dancing and then put all of it into a dedicated online album. The result is that the birthday gal or guy can relive the good memories whenever they want to do so.

Photo booths can also be a great way to engage your guests from the get-go. They’ll get to know one another better over funny props and goofy shots. And that fun might even get the party-goers out on the dance floor to continue the smiles!

Fine-Tune Your Guest List

One of the most common mistakes when planning a birthday party is putting together a sloppy guest list. That’s not to say that parties have to be super exclusive events. However, when it comes to making sure the person in the spotlight actually enjoys themselves to the fullest, you’re better off keeping your guest list confined to a mix of friends and loved ones that won’t demand too much of their time.

Similarly, it’ll really pay off to send out RSVPs so you can keep track of numbers. That, and RSVPs can instantly add an extra sense of anticipation to your upcoming celebration. In short, just remember that it can easily throw off your entire party if there are too many people to cater for, or not enough to fill the venue space.

Pick a Theme, If You Give Experiences Instead of Gifts

Have a theme! When you do so, it can provide very positive qualities to any birthday party. Firstly, a theme adds an extra personal touch to a party when it fits well with the person being celebrated. For example, I love M&Ms so having them be a part of a party thrown for me would be awesome, whether it’s the chocolate candies themselves or the cute characters from the TV ads.

Also, themes give your guests the opportunity to break out of their comfort zones. They can leave their inhibitions behind and allow themselves a night of pure fun. When you give experiences instead of gifts, you allow not only the birthday boy or girl to enjoy themselves but also a great evening for the guests.

Simply put, themes grant your party guests a license to be creative! And believe me, they often rise to that occasion. Imagine throwing a birthday bash filled with outlandish costumes that all fit a beloved aesthetic. The memories alone can be a magnificent birthday gift for anyone.

How to Keep Stress Low

By now you might be thinking about how planning a party will be stressful, more so then buying a birthday present. But often trying to find that “perfect gift” for a loved one can be exhausting. Furthermore, the planning stage when you give experiences instead of gifts doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one, even when it’s for your husband.

If you worry about the many party planning choices, you’ll be happy to know that themes naturally make all other party prep easier than a theme-free party. Here’s an example:

What to do about decorations? Music? Food? If it’s Disney-themed, dress your space up like the setting of your friend’s favorite move. Buy some movie soundtracks, and slap some eyeballs on some green cupcakes. Or something more elegant than that. A “Toy Story” themed party would actually be a fantastic idea, though. And the photos would be awesome.

When You Give Experiences Instead of Gifts

As you’re planning the event, always keep in mind you want a warm and inviting atmosphere. Then your guests will be sure to deliver the joy and good times to the event. Party planning takes time, true, but at the end of the day there’s no denying that it’s one of the most thoughtful gifts you can ever give someone. And by the end of the night it’s something that neither of you will forget.



  1. sweetsoulme March 13, 2019

    May b i shuld plan this next tym🤔
    Seems lyk a gud idea though 👌

    1. Christy B March 13, 2019

      If you do then please come back here and let me know how it goes :D

    2. sweetsoulme March 13, 2019


    3. Christy B March 15, 2019


  2. Mama Buzz March 13, 2019

    I love this! I like organizing birthday parties and yes, the experience matters most!:)

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      As one of the other commenters wrote, it’s quality over quantity ~ Right?!! :)

    2. Mama Buzz March 15, 2019

      Yes I like that principle too:)

    3. Christy B March 16, 2019

      Aw :)

  3. roughwighting March 13, 2019

    I actually have a birthday coming up in two days – mine. And my request is all experience, no gifts. No party, no cake. Just the experience of love that we’ve shared (my guy, my kids, my grandkids now, my friends) expressed though a card, perhaps, but mostly through hugs and smiles. Best gift ever.
    Fun post, Christy.

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      It sounds like we’re channeling the same wavelength, Pamela. Happy birthday!! :)

  4. Peggy Woods March 13, 2019

    I like your idea of giving experiences rather than just gifts for birthday parties or other occasions as well. It will make for longer lasting memories in most cases.

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      And memories are the highlights of life :)

  5. The Coastal Crone March 13, 2019

    Memories are some of the best gifts! I agree that theme parties make it easier for everybody and usually a lot of fun even for those that are planning one. A fun & inspiring post!

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      Awww :D You always seem to know exactly what to say!

  6. abbeycoseattle March 13, 2019

    I so believe in this! I wish people did this for my kids more often. We have way too much stuff but you can never have too many experiences!

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      Maybe for their next birthday party, create an event and put on the invitations for them to bring something decoration-related or a platter of food ~ then it’s all about the experience :)

  7. Resa March 13, 2019

    Sounds a lot like the last wedding I attended!!!! <3

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      Really all I want for our guests on the special day is for them to go away thinking, “that was fun!” :)

    2. Resa March 15, 2019

      Then that’s what will happen! :D

    3. Christy B March 16, 2019


    4. Resa March 16, 2019


    5. Christy B March 19, 2019


  8. The Medical Mama March 13, 2019

    I always throw a big birthday bash for my daughter. I am the queen of organized and giving a great experience. It’s nice to see that others prefer quality over quantity as well. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      Perhaps you could come over and help me plan my wedding ;) You sound super organized!

    2. The Medical Mama March 16, 2019

      I would actually be super fantastic at that! ;) When is the big day? I didn’t realize you were engaged! Congratulations!!! <3

    3. Christy B March 19, 2019

      Thank you! Yes, that’s why wedding posts will pop up now and then here at the blog ;) The big day is in November :)

    4. The Medical Mama March 19, 2019

      That’s so exciting!!! Congratulations again!!!!

    5. Christy B March 20, 2019

      Awww thanks :D I’m wishing you a great rest of the day!

  9. Carol Balawyder March 13, 2019

    Great idea of giving experiences rather than gifts. Neat post. :)

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      Hi Carol! Thank you xo

  10. jbcowgill March 13, 2019

    I wish people would do this on my birthday.

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      Maybe you ought to nudge them that way ;)

    2. jbcowgill March 15, 2019

      They do not nudge very easily.

    3. Christy B March 16, 2019

      Ah, I see!

  11. Rae Longest March 13, 2019

    What if you’re married to a curmudgeon? LOL

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      Haha, well then it’s a different kind of experience I suppose ;)

    2. Rae Longest March 26, 2019

      He has improved since I wrote that!!!

  12. Sharon March 13, 2019

    What an amazing idea…. the possibilities are endless!!!

    1. Christy B March 19, 2019

      Thanks Sharon :D

  13. robbiesinspiration March 13, 2019

    A lovely idea, Christy.

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      Oh Robbie, your comments are wonderful.

  14. Laleh Chini March 14, 2019

    That’s a lovely idea dear.<3<3

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      Really enjoy having you here :D

    2. Laleh Chini March 15, 2019

      Thanks sweetheart.❤️

    3. Christy B March 16, 2019


  15. thelonelyauthorblog March 14, 2019

    This is a wonderful idea for Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. Make the day truly memorable.

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019


  16. Melissa Seifrit March 14, 2019

    Exactly the post I’ve been waiting for :) Thanks my friend :)

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      I really think experiences mean more :D We’re on the same page xo

  17. dgkaye March 14, 2019

    A most excellent post Christy with some fab ideas! <3

    1. Christy B March 15, 2019

      So terrific to see you back in blog land, have I told you that more than a few times already?!! :D xo

    2. dgkaye March 15, 2019

      Yes you have. Nothing like being back among friends. You’re too kind. <3

    3. Christy B March 16, 2019

      Kindness is all around us, aren’t we blessed xo

    4. dgkaye March 17, 2019


    5. Christy B March 19, 2019


  18. Great ideas Christy.. so difficult at times to think of something fresh and different.. hugs

    1. Christy B March 16, 2019

      Yes, it’s more about creating memories. Thanks Sally, always wonderful to see you!

  19. Norah March 17, 2019

    I really like this idea, Christy. Regardless of age, most of us end up having too much ‘stuff’. Spending time together is what is important so it doesn’t really have to cost a lot either.

    1. Christy B March 19, 2019

      Yes, exactly! You totally understand the message here :) :)

  20. Amy Caudill March 18, 2019

    Great ideas ,Christy! I know some of my favorite birthdays have been planned events, such as a trip to a concert or play, or even a movie we’ve been waiting to see, shared with family and loved ones.

    1. Christy B March 19, 2019

      Me too! I hope you’re having a great start to the week, Amy :)

    2. Amy Caudill March 19, 2019

      ,Thanks Christy. I hope you’re having a good week too.

    3. Christy B March 20, 2019

      It’s flying by over here! :)

  21. sunniesmybunnies April 2, 2019

    I so agree with you 🌼

    1. Christy B April 3, 2019


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