Spending time with your partner, family or friends is worth much more than a silly trinket that will end up on the shelf collecting dust. Here are some ideas on how to give gifts of time and how to package them.
Many of us are lucky enough to have everything or more stuff than we need – and for many, time is the most precious thing we have. We can’t simply go out and buy more of it. Which is why a gift of time is a great way to show someone that you care.
How Do You Gift Time?
Often, we receive gifts that we neither want nor like. Over the years, we collect massive amounts of things that we would have never purchased. In contrast, a gift of time – spending time with people – is much more valuable.
You are not only saving money and resources; you are giving your partner (or, of course, your friends or family) something unique. How you want to gift your time is up to you, but the following ideas will help you get inspired.
At Home: Ideas for Quality Time Gifts
- Babysitting: Friends who are parents will be extremely grateful for a little bit of time together. You can make it happen by making it your gift of time to take care of their kids for an evening.
- Doing Chores: We all know how hard it is to fit housework into our busy schedules. Not everyone can afford a hired help. So if you help out with someone’s housework, they will appreciate it.
- Giving Lessons: Has a friend ever said to you “You have got to show me how to do that!”? Then finally make time for that lesson! As a gift of time, teach your friends something that they always wanted to learn from you – like knitting, sewing, mending, crocheting, fixing a bicycle, building furniture, etc.
- Game Night: Does your family love board games? Give them a night of gaming!
- Movie Night: Any film lover will be happy if you allow them to show you all their favorites. Or maybe get inspired together by watching a new documentary or series.
- Jam Sessions: If you and your partner or friend have a hobby in common like playing music, learn a duet or try out piano pieces for four hands!
Gifts of Time for Nature Lovers
- Picnic: A picnic in the park or at your family’s favorite spot in the woods could be a lovely gift of time for a nature lover.
- Bicycle Tour/ Hiking: Does your friend or partner love hiking or cycling? Then give them a voucher for a hike or a bicycle tour. The memories you’ll make together will not be as quickly forgotten as the twentieth scarf or thirtieth pair of socks.
- Dog-Sitting: Taking care of your friend’s dog for a day is a great way to give them time. Or maybe decide to walk the dog together for a week.
- Foraging for Herbs: If you know a lot about herbs or medicinal plants, a foraging trip through the forest is a wonderful way to spend time with someone you care about. Help your friends identify plants and show them how they can be used. End with a tasty liquor or a beautiful dish with edible flowers.
- Garden Work: Do you have a garden that you don’t have nearly enough time for? A thoughtful gift of time is a day of garden work together.
Spending Quality Time With Your Partner
- Cooking Together: If you enjoy cooking or baking, why not surprise your partner with a candlelight dinner or breakfast in bed? These gifts of time are classics for a reason!
- Reading Aloud: Even something that seems so simple can be an engaging way to spend time together. Read an old favorite or discover a classic together.
- Photos: You could sort through old boxes of photos and put an album together. Or take a drive into the countryside to make new memories and take new photos together!
- Renovate/ Decorate: Paint the bedroom or declutter and redecorate! It’s more fun together.
- Sharing Hobbies: Does your partner have a hobby? A day of sharing your favorite free-time activities can be a nice surprise and a perfect way to spend quality time together.
- Massage: Everyone loves a good back massage. Light a few (homemade) candles and play some relaxing music and you’ve got the perfect romantic gift of time.
Giving Time to Children
- Playground Time: Your niece, nephew, godchild, or your own children would love to spend more time with you. Simply spend an afternoon with them at the playground or in the woods.
- Do an Activity: Children love it when you spend quality time with them. You could do arts and crafts, make your own playdough or bake oatmeal cookies.
- Storytime: Did you enjoy bedtime stories in your childhood? Your own children will remember them just as fondly.
- Go Swimming: Going swimming in the summer or building sandcastles on the beach – what could make kids happier than that?
How to Wrap a Gift of Time?
You can present your gift simply but elegantly in the form of coupons which you can make yourself or buy. (You will find different coupons on Amazon** ). Or you could write your gift down on a piece of paper and put it in a glass jar.
If you want to give more than one gift of time, you could write your vouchers on little pieces of rolled-up paper and put them in a nicely decorated box (like these ones on Amazon**). Also, write down dates that you have set aside.
A picture frame is also a charming way to pack your gift of time. (You’ll find different frames on Amazon**.) Decorate the frame yourself with natural materials, if you like.
How you decide to package your gift, does not matter. Your friends and family will treasure them no matter what. Because these special gifts are ones that only you can make: time spent with you.
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This article was translated and adapted from German into English by Christie Sacco. You can view the original here: Zeit schenken: Tolle Ideen für Zeit-Geschenke** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.
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