Giving Presence this Season

Group of friends in gym after group exercise class

At a time when there is relentless pressure to buy more, wrap more and give more, it is important to remember that the greatest gift is your presence - quality time spent with loved ones.

Benefits of Quality Time

No matter who is on your holiday shopping list - friends, grandchildren, grown children or siblings - prioritizing experiences over physical gifts will be appreciated. Not to mention all the benefits that come along with increasing quality time spent with loved ones.

Here are just few of the many reasons to shift your shopping towards experiences.

  1. Curing Boredom
    If you've been around children for any length of time, you've certainly heard the inevitable cry, "I'm Bored!" While bright, shiny new toys may seem appealing to children, the luster wears off quickly, turning toys into dust-collectors.

    Children love to engage their imagination and often enjoy playing with others more than playing with things. And you'll enjoy quality time just as much as they will.  

  2. Reducing Stress
    Spending quality time with others increases hormones that make us feel good, helping to reduce stress and tension in our bodies. These good feelings contribute to improved physical and mental health.

    Want to super-charge your stress reduction? Spend time with a friend that makes you laugh out loud. Laughter is often the best medicine for reducing stress and cutting down anxiety.

  3. Staying Active
    Spending time with others is a way to keep active. Whether your quality time involves walking around a park, walking around a store or just going out for coffee/tea, you are incorporating movement into your day. And, moving your body to your ability helps you to stay healthy.

  4. Discovering Hobbies
    When you give the gift of an experience, you have the opportunity to discover a new passion. Whether you try a bird watching tour, learn how to throw on the potter's wheel, take in a theater show, try your hand at woodworking or try a new restaurant, you will be expanding your interests. This helps to keep your mind sharp and may put you on the path to a new passion!

  5. Reducing Spend and Consumer Waste
    Focusing on giving experiences over material things can be good for your wallet and for the planet. There are plenty of free experiences that will save you money while increasing your relationship with those that you love. Bonus points for not giving a gift that will end up in a landfill!

  6. Increasing Mindfulness
    Spending time with someone you love can help you focus on the present moment. Be sure to put away your phone and other distractions to stay truly present and maximize your mindfulness. Your loved one will thank you - and so will your mind!

Ideas for Giving the Gift of Experience

  1. Start a Monthly Volunteer Club with Friends
    Chester County has a plethora of non-profit organizations that can use volunteer power. You can learn something new while giving back to the community. Best of all, volunteering is free and offers a great way for you to spend quality time with friends and family.
  2. Try a new Local Restaurant
    Whether you're a foodie or not, you are in luck. There are many local restaurants in our region - so many that you could commit to trying one or several with loved ones in place of buying physical gifts this year.
  3. Register for a Class Together
    Have you been wanting to try your hand at pottery, candle-making, baking, Yoga or another hobby? Now is the time to discover something new and turn your discovery into a gift of experience for someone on your holiday list. 
  4. Host a Tea Party
    Afternoon Tea is a time-honored tradition that promotes connection, mindfulness and more. You can host your own tea party for a reasonable cost by offering a variety of tea types and small bites for snacks. Bonus points if you wear a fancy hat!
  5. Make YouTube your Best Friend
    YouTube offers a variety of how-to videos that can fuel your next DIY project. You can invite your friends or grandchildren over for a craft day. Try making your own terrariums, designing a winter wreath, decorating mason jar candle holders and much more. The only limit is your imagination!
  6. Explore Small Towns in Chester County
    Our region is rich with Main Streets to stroll down and many local shops to discover. Spending an afternoon out on the town is a fun way to connect with someone you love while moving your body and supporting local business owners.
  7. Take in a Show
    Theater, comedy, dance and more - live entertainment offers and opportunity to get out of the house and create a shared experience with friends and family.


No matter how you choose to celebrate with the ones you love, we wish you a happy holiday season full of love and lots of quality time!