In our house, we often have discussions on gifting Experiences vs gifting Things. My husband is a huge proponent of gifting experiences. Me? I like both experiences AND things. And with things, I like things that provide an unforgettable experience! And so we designed Boxwalla to function as ‘mini-experiences in a box’ that also serve as jumping off points for other experiences (as I will explain further below).
Since ’tis the season for gifting and giving, here’s our gift guide that include things that we would love to receive, and not just from our website. Because we don’t (yet) stock all the greatest experiences in the world.
Gifting an experience to the curious traveler
A great experience to gift a loved one who loves to travel, is a travel walk from a company called Context Travels. Context Travels is a company (that we are unaffiliated with but that has always inspired us) that arranges private or group tours in different cities all over the world. Their tour guides or docents are usually professors from universities, art historians, food historians and generally very nice and nerdy people who know a helluva lot about what they are talking and are adept at presenting the info in fun and interesting ways. We gifted my Dad a group tour (which ended up being a private tour as we were the only people in the group) a travel walk through MOMA, on his visit to NYC, as he complained that he knew nothing about and therefore couldn’t appreciate modern art. He absolutely LOVED the tour, which was with a Professor from NYU.
They also offer food & gastronomy tours and I am dying to go on their ‘Rome Food Tour‘ with a local Chef (well, one can dream, no?)
Gifting an experience to the indefatigable learner
Gifting a class or workshop is also an unusual but very thoughtful gift idea. Just make sure to consult the recipient in this case as classes and workshops can be, you know, time intensive, and you DO want to make sure that your very loved recipient has that time to spare.
Exciting Ideas would be : a literature class at a local university, perfume making or candle making class with a local artisan, a cooking class in an unexplored cuisine. Talking of food, if you are me, get your loved one to book a dinner for two at Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana for your 25th anniversary (I hear there’s a 10 year wait!!!)
How to combine experiences with things
A fun way to combine an experience with a thing is to gift a thing that will : a) enhance the experience and/or b) help you learn more about the experience. Let me explain with a few examples.
For example, say you are visiting a country (or another city in your own country) in the next few months, or year, with your loved one. Maybe, a country like Italy or India or Mozambique. A wonderful gift to pair with such traveling is a piece of culture from that place. Either a book or film set in that country, or food inspired by that country. We always envisioned our boxes as jumping off points for experiences. For example, we imagined people reading a book from our book box and then visiting the country that it is set in. Or somebody trying a preserve from our food box, made by an immigrant, and then actually visiting the country that the preserve originated in. I think another lovely idea would be to watch some of the best films from a country, together with your loved one, before visiting.
To pair with travel experiences we have our limited edition ‘Make Your Own Boxes‘ where you can pick from Film, Book and Food to create your own unique, special gifts. With film, if you are indeed traveling, and don’t see a film from the country you are traveling to, let us know and maybe, we can make it happen for you!
We also have some unique, thoughtful gifts for everybody in your life : the child, the bookworm, your favorite bookworm, the chocolate lover, the one who delights in food for the senses & skin & the cinephile.
Happy thinking about thoughtful gifts and gifting them!