Enjoy the Experience


I have written before about the benefits of experiences versus stuff, particularly in relation to children’s gifts.

On the weekend I bought tickets to a show.  It is a musical called ‘Pete the Sheep’ and is based on a book of the same name by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley.

Pete the Sheep
It is being staged at a local venue at the end of April and is suitable for 4 – 9 year olds so I decided that this would be a perfect Easter ‘gift’ for our 2 granddaughters.  I do not think an overdose of chocolate is necessary nor over-the-top presents so this seemed like a perfect opportunity.  I am sure they will remember an evening of musical theatre long after the chocolate wrappers are in the rubbish.

It was not all about the grandchildren, though.  On Saturday afternoon, The Duke and I had an opportunity to see a screening of ‘Philomena’ by the Maleny Film Society.  Enjoyable is not a word I would use, however, it was challenging and thought-provoking.  It was perhaps not Judi Dench’s greatest role but I am glad I saw the film.  We took the opportunity to become members of the society and look forward to seeing many more of the really interesting films that they bring to our community.

I have saved the best, or most exciting, till last.  We have booked our tickets to see ‘Les Miserables’ at Queen’s Theatre in London when we are there in August.  For years, The Duke has always said that he wanted to see Agatha Christie’s play, ‘The Moustrap’ if we ever went to London.  A couple of years ago it was staged here in Brisbane and naturally we went to see it.  So, he is now feeling a bit like ‘been there, done that’ about it.  We trawled the internet to see what else was going to be on while we were in London and the standout for us was ‘Les Miserables’.  We saw the Australian production back in the early 1990’s in Adelaide and of course, the recent movie with Russell Crowe’s cringeworthy performance.  I love the story and the music and am really excited to be seeing it again.

Les Miserables

Christmas Shopping


Yes, you read the title correctly.

I did some Christmas shopping yesterday.  Belle and I had previously discussed the possibility of taking the girls to see ‘The Lion King’ when it comes to Sydney at the end of the year.

I received an email advising of the pre-sale release of tickets for ‘The Lion King’ so I have bought tickets to the show for Miss O and Izz for Christmas.  Belle and I will take them to Sydney to see the matinee session on New Year’s Day.

By being organised I was able to take advantage of the pre-sale offer and have managed to get excellent seats at reasonable prices.

2012-02-28 01This is a perfect solution as we will not see the children on Christmas Day this year, nor do they need any more ‘stuff’.  Experiences such as attending live theatre and musicals provide so much joy and the benefits are immeasurable.   Miss O is still talking about when she saw ‘Mary Poppins’ 18 months ago.  How many toys have that sort of longevity?

Experience Gift – Part 2


On Friday I took Izz to see Hairy McLary & Friends at QPAC as part of her Christmas present.

We caught the train to South Brisbane.

2013-01-20 01There was plenty of time for lunch before the show.

2013-01-20 02This is what we have come to see.

2013-01-20 03

A great show, and finally, an ice-block before the trip home.

2013-01-20 04I then brought Izz home with me and she had a sleepover and lots of fun before being picked up on Saturday afternoon.

An ‘Experience’ Gift


I have started introducing my granddaughters to gifts of experiences rather than more and more stuff.

I bought tickets to shows for them both for Christmas and today was Miss O’s turn.  We went to Sydney for the day to see the stage production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

First, there was a plane to catch.

2013-01-08 01We also managed a ferry ride on the harbour.

2013-01-08 02All that sightseeing works up an appetite.

2013-01-08 03Finally, it was time for the show.

2013-01-08 04It was a big day!!

2013-01-08 05A unique and unforgettable experience.  Apart from the actual show we really enjoyed the quality one-on-one time.

Experience gifts can be as simple or extravagant as you choose.

Gift Giving


Even though I do not buy many gifts it can still be a challenge to find the perfect gift.  I try to make choices that fit with my values and will be truly appreciated by the recipient.

This year The Duke and I have agreed that we are not buying ‘stuff’ for each other and that our trip to the USA was our gift to each other.

Belle, Missy and my immediate family will receive a combination of money, home-made goodies and Oxfam Unwrapped gifts.  These are well worth checking out if you are not familiar with the concept.


Miss O and Izz have more than enough toys and clothes so I bought them each a special Christmas ornament when we were overseas and also a couple of cloth badges.  I have recently given them the camp blankets which belonged to Belle and Missy when they were younger and collected badges.  Their main gifts are experiences rather than stuff – tickets to shows.  I will take Izz to see a stage production of Hairy McLary and Miss O to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  These will both be in January and I am really looking forward to sharing the joy with each of them.

At work our team (about 10 of us) used to do a Secret Santa but a couple of years ago we all agreed that it was really unnecessary and we would make a donation to World Vision using their gift catalogue.  We have lots of fun choosing what animals we will ‘buy’.

I feel that my gift-giving will not just add more stuff to people’s lives but make a positive contribution in several ways.  It has also meant that I have no need to spend hours trawling the malls with a million other stressed shoppers so I am happy about that, too.