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5 Gifts That Create Memories Instead of Clutter

Updated on October 25, 2016
Becca Linn profile image

I love to share what works for me. If it makes life better in some way, I can't keep it to myself.


Give a Gift That Will Last a Lifetime

I don't think there's anything wrong with giving toys, books, tools, and all kinds of other physical gifts to people, but personally, I've found that I really enjoy giving sentimental gifts that have a great personal meaning for me and the person I am giving the gift to.

I find it extremely rewarding to plan out the types of gifts I can give to friends and family that will have the most meaning and value for them (one of my favorite gifts that I've given was a full year in the making), and I've discovered that a lot of the time, those gifts aren't the big sellers that everybody is fighting for at the store.

Occasionally, I do give store bought gifts, but as I explain below, I try to limit those to items that will lead to fun memories and bonding experiences in the future.

I figure that if I give a gift that creates a beautiful memory, the memory can last a lifetime.

If I give a gift that creates a beautiful memory, the memory can last a lifetime.

Do you feel like a lot of gifts just end becoming clutter down the road?

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Season/Annual Passes

There are all kinds of venues that will allow you to purchase season passes for their establishments, and I think that season passes (while a bit pricey) can be great gifts.

They create opportunities for all kinds of fun activities that can create memories and strengthen the relationships of families and friends.

Depending on who you are purchasing the pass for, you can either do a family pass or an individual pass, and some types of season passes even include visitors passes so that the person/people you buy the gift for can bring friends along from time to time (maybe even you).

Obviously, the type of season pass you purchase would be determined by who you are buying the pass for, but here are a few fun options that you can find in many areas:

  • zoos
  • aquariums
  • aviaries
  • museums
  • amusement parks
  • recreation centers
  • athletic clubs

Gift Certificates/Coupons/Vouchers

These types of gifts also allow for someone to go out and create memories with the people that they love the most. I love how this category can be so completely versatile too.

You can get someone a gift certificate to a place that you know they love or you can make handmade coupons or vouchers for activities that you know they enjoy.

These days you can even give a person a pre-loaded credit card/debit card that they can use for whatever they want (although I usually make a suggestion to use it for a date night/ manicure/massage/etc. so that the person I give it to isn't as tempted to just use it on their groceries).

I know some people think that going the route of giving these gift cards isn't very personal, but I think it's good, because it allows people to purchase what they really want or need.

Again, the type of gift certificate, coupon, or voucher you give will depend on the interests of the person you are giving it to, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • restaurants
  • bowling
  • swimming
  • movie
  • theater performance
  • athletic event (maybe for a game or pay for a 5k registration or something)
  • circus
  • concert
  • whale watching (super fun if you live somewhere near the ocean)
  • sky diving (as you can see, the sky's the limit on these options)

Here are some ideas for homemade coupons for family members/significant others

  • do a chore for someone
  • give someone a back rub (I often volunteer foot zones since that's my area of expertise)
  • make a favorite dessert of their choice
  • spend a day doing something they want to do



I got this idea from somebody else, and thought it was fantastic. What a wonderful idea to give somebody the opportunity to develop a skill, talent, or hobby that they are interested in.

I think this is a really fun gift idea for children and adults alike. I know there are a lot of classes that I would be interested in taking. I had so much fun taking art classes and dance classes when I was younger, but I never do those types of things any more.

Here are some ideas in the realm of classes and lessons:

  • Music lessons
  • Sports
  • Art
  • Martial Arts Lessons
  • Dance Lessons (with a spouse would be really fun!)



This is one area where I'll buy into the idea of purchasing a gift that could become clutter.

I'm a complete sucker for games, but that's because I think they provide great opportunities to spend quality time with the people that you love and create memories.

I know that everybody has their own preferences as far as games go, and some people just hate games altogether, but here are a few of my favorits for creating memories and strengthening relationships:

  • Loaded Questions
  • Balderdash
  • Scattergories
  • Cranium
  • Dixit
  • Apples to Apples
  • Quelf (This game is totally random and crazy, but provides plenty of opportunities to see your friends in new situations)
  • Settlers of Catan

Do you think games fall into the creating memories category or the creating clutter category?

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Meaningful Momentos

This is another category where I make an exception to the rule about not giving people stuff, but I sincerely hope that they won't consider my gifts to be clutter.

My favorite gift that I've ever given fell into this category. It took me a full year to prepare it, but the time required just made the gift that much more meaningful.

This particular gift was a journal that I gave to my husband. I wrote in it every day for a full year telling him about why I was grateful for him and how much I love him.

I think that gift benefited us both the whole time that I was making it, because it helped me to never take him for granted, and then when I gave it to him, he had a gift that literally brought him to tears (I'm not sure if I'm supposed to make that public, but I'm going to).

Some other gifts that fall into this category would be:

  • scrapbooks
  • photo albums (maybe an album focused on a fun activity or vacation)
  • letters (who doesn't love to receive a love letter?)
  • post it love notes (in the same category as love letters, but for birthdays...or sometimes for no reason at all, I think it's fun to just put reminders all around the house of why you love someone
  • family recipe books
  • quote books (with favorite quotes from friends or family)
  • poems or art work if you're the creative type



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    • Janellegems profile image

      Janellegems 17 months ago from United States

      Excellent article. I agree we should give gifts that give meaning. These are amazing, thoughtful gifts that create memories. I especially like the one where you made a journal for your husband. Thanks for sharing.