Eva Recinos
December 02, 2016 12:12 pm
Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

Buying presents every holiday season basically involves remembering a ton of different personalities and ALSO thinking back to what you ~already~ got that special someone. From friends to significant others to family, the list can get overwhelming.

And it gets tough when you realize that some of your loved ones just don’t really LIKE getting things for the holidays. They don’t particularly seem to love accessories or chocolates or the usual holiday ideas. But there might be something they DO like: a fun experience. With this in mind, we’ve come up with some ideas for gifts that are less about unwrapping an object and more about making an awesome memory.

Buy them a photography session to help them see their aura or discover their inner confidence.

Most of the time, we are busy posting selfies and photos of our brunch on Instagram. But when was the last time you posed for an actual camera? Get a loved one a photography session that’ll make them feel super special. For something a little different, look into aura photography. Radiant Human produces some seriously gorgeous photos that will make for good conversation-starters.

If you know someone who LOVES retro fashion and is totally down to feel empowered ~and~ gorgeous, consider getting them a gift certificate to a retro, pin-up photoshoot. Companies like LA-based Iconic Pinups! (owned by two women) offer makeup and hair along with gorgeous photos.

Gift them a massage to help them unwind.

A lot of the times, we might come up with excuses for getting a massage: We don’t have enough time, we don’t want to spend the money, etc. Encourage someone in your life to relax for a bit by getting them a gift card at a local massage parlor. Groupon is a great place to find deals; otherwise, just ask around for your friends’ favorite spas and massage boutiques. Most of them carry gift cards that you can buy on the spot.

If they love getting their hair done, give them a pampering session to remember.

We all know the power of a great salon appointment. You leave feeling ten times more confident and relaxed. Gift that experience by grabbing a gift card at salons like Drybar where your loved on can get a blowout and leave feeling fabulous. Another option for the busy loved one: Get them a gift card for StyleBee, an on-demand beauty service that actually comes to clients’ homes.

Pamper them yourself by giving them a personalized coupon book.

What do they love to do? Offer to do that with them (or for them) with a coupon book. Get crafty and draw out simple “offers” they can redeem: one 30-minute massage, one picnic at their favorite park, one breakfast in bed. You get the idea. This is super thoughtful and they can’t hate it because you made it and it contains all their favorite things to do. And these coupons have no expiration date (unless you want to give them one).

Help them learn a new skill: like how to FLY AN AIRPLANE.

Okay, this would be pretty awesome. Sites like Cloud 9 Living offer some pretty awesome experience-related gifts all over the U.S. Like, you know, learning how to fly an airplane or helicopter. This would definitely be the perfect gift for that adventure-lover.

Buy them a one-month membership to that fitness studio they’ve been eye-ing.

We all think about joining fitness classes at some point or another. If you know a friend or loved one who ~really~ wants to try a barre class but just hasn’t gotten around to it, spoil them with a one-month membership. Groupon offers plenty of them for all kinds of exercise classes and studios, depending on your location.

Buy them museum admission — for an entire year.

For the artsy friend in your group who always brings you to gallery openings and museum shows, consider giving the most culture-loving gift ever. Most major museums offer gift memberships, which means your friend can visit the museum as much as they want for an entire year. Members also get plenty of perks so your friend can feel like a real museum VIP.

Now get ready to give some memories this holiday season!