Presents that are for life not just for Christmas

The Big Day is fast approaching.

Have you done all your shopping or are you tearing your hair out for inspiration? Maybe there are people on your list that are just really difficult to buy for?

If you feel it’s a waste of money when you grab yet another bumper pack of socks, or a book you know they’ll never read or a DVD they’ll never watch, then don’t despair – we’ve come up with some really alternative experiences, which will hopefully fit the bill.

Gifts Around Transportation

If the person you’re buying for is a Top Gear fan or a real petrolhead then a Supercar Driving Experience could be just what they’re secretly hoping for. Or you could go for something even more ambitious and book them a day’s Tank Driving all under the watchful eye of experienced instructors. If you think they’d prefer to take to the skies, there are all manner of flying lessons in helicopters, microlights or even Tiger Moth planes as used in World War II. Truly breathtaking experiences!

The Great Outdoors

If you’re buying for the adventurous type, why not consider something like bungee jumping, hot air ballooning or even a sunset paragliding trip. Sphereing and zorbing are also all the rage, where you’re strapped into a large inflatable ball before hurtling down a hill at dizzying speeds. Or for another adrenaline-fuelled experience, how about a weekend segway rally?

Time to Relax

Who wouldn’t appreciate a heavenly spa day where they can forget all the rushing around of the last few weeks? There are some wonderfully exotic and unusual treatments around these days, including flotation therapy and Qi treatment, all offering the ultimate in relaxation and promising to leave one re-balanced and re-energised.

Membership Gifts

Often a really good idea for a gift is something you know the person would really like but wouldn’t buy for themselves. So membership of an organisation can be a lovely surprise. Membership of English Heritage can give the whole family a taste of the country’s rich history by giving entry to over 400 fascinating sites from gardens, palaces and castles (even including ghost hunting!).

Similarly, the National Trust gift membership gives access to 500 amazing places to explore.

Or for the greenfingered people on your list, the Royal Horticultural Gift membership experience might be the perfect solution. It entitles them to 150 days out at gardens across the UK, including the four RHS Gardens and also offers access to quieter Members’ Days at RHS Shows like the Chelsea Flower Show including a monthly subscription to The Garden magazine.

Sightseeing Gifts

Or perhaps a day out in our capital city might appeal? If the person you’re buying for is not scared of heights, a luxury afternoon tea for two with a view from The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building and integral part of London’s iconic skyline, is a truly jaw-dropping experience. These packages can all be combined with a glass of champagne at a Michelin recommended restaurant. Or there are some great river cruises along The Thames, offering the opportunity to see all the famous landmarks from the comfort of the boat, again with the treat of an indulgent cream tea. Or for something a little different you could consider booking someone a Tour of the Houses of Parliament, to give them the chance of seeing up close where the laws of our land are debated.

Or for something really out of this world…

You might not be able to let them join Tim Peake on his international space mission but you can name a star after someone. This is unique gift which comes in a presentation box, including introduction letter, map and coordinates so that they can locate their star. They will also receive a certificate in the post, confirming they have been immortalized in space. The smallest stars can live for over 10 trillion years, definitely making this a longer-lasting gift than the average box of chocolates!

Charity Gifts

Now there’s nothing wrong with treating people at Christmas but if you think they would appreciate an altruistic gift, there are some great options available from all the major charities such as Save the Children and Oxfam. These gifts really do make an impact and transform lives. The Wish List from Save the Children suggests a range of practical packages from shoes and mosquito nets to gardening packs and water filters. For example, the ‘shoes’ package is giving so much more than just a pair of shoes as many schools make footwear compulsory so not having shoes can prevent a child receiving an education.

Or by giving a chicken through Oxfam you are giving someone the chance to not only eat the eggs but also start a small business selling them at market. This gift gives not only nutritional support but also independence.

These really are gifts that keep giving far beyond Christmas.

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So if you’re looking for a present that will create memories that last longer than just the time it takes to tear off the wrapping paper on Christmas Day, then we hope all the above have given you plenty of ideas.