Grandma’s ‘Adventure Box’ Idea Is the Christmas Gift That Keeps on Giving Throughout the Year

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People can sometimes get caught up in a frantic pace when shopping for gifts this time of year, especially when it comes to buying for kids. But at its core, the season is about giving, sharing, and receiving graciously.

Loading up the cart – real or digital – with toys, electronics, and gift cards for the young’uns is pretty routine for Christmas and seeing the joy on their faces just adds to the fun. Parents plan, save, and spend a lot of time to make that one day special. How about doing things a different way?

A loving grandmother went viral last year after posting her gift idea online that is all about spending – spending time together. Darlene Howell Waller – whose original Facebook post has since been removed – was looking for something to give to her grandchildren that wasn’t a toy. She said they have everything!

As a grandparent, she wanted to give them the gift of memories and time with her. Inspired by some DIY ideas on Pinterest, Waller came up with a unique way to package gift cards and experiences: an adventure box.

Waller decorated a treasure chest she found in a craft store and filled it with something special. In it, envelopes were labeled for each month of the year and contained one activity for the family to do together, many with their “Nonna.”

Gifts included things like movie tickets, a picnic, laser tag, horseback riding, a pumpkin patch outing, and the beach. In a post shared on the ByFaithShe blog, Waller said that for every monthly adventure, they would take a picture and place it back into box as a keepsake.

Along with the gift, Nonna enclosed a letter written to her grandkids explaining the meaning of the box. The clever concept hit home with many on social media who commented on the ways they would make this work for their families and budgets.

Photo of adventure box letter.Darlene Howell Waller

Inspired, many want to plan dates like fishing, hikes, fireworks, mini golf, and a s’mores night with their kids. Some people said they would pay for events and other activities over the course of year to spread out the cost. By presenting it as a gift – an adventure box – it acts as a surprise and sentimental gesture once a month.

It’s pretty awesome. When commenting on her own upbringing in the aforementioned blog post, Waller emphasized the meaning of time:

“If we looked back on our years, we don’t remember the gifts that were given or WHO gave them. But for me, time spent together are some of my sweetest childhood memories. I remember the family vacations, the Saturday trips to the grocery store, the lake and camping adventures with my family, the fun we had in the tree house that my dad built for me. But I couldn’t tell you a single gift that was a ‘thing’ that I remember receiving.”

Isn’t that what the holidays are all about? You can make one of these for anyone in your life: kids, parents, or significant other. Get creative!

What do think of this grandmother’s loving gesture? Would you like to try this out for your family? What would you put in your treasure box?

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