It’s that time of year where you are going to need to get something special for that special someone in your life. So off to the shops again right?

Shopping doesn't come naturally to most of us guys. It just doesn't. We may be able to do a bit here and there when we need something for ourselves, but the experience is basically as enjoyable as watching a Springbok match.

Add to this then the added pressure of getting something ‘special’ for that someone special, and the concept of shopping can become just downright unpleasant. It doesn't have to be this way though, and hopefully by the time you get to the bottom of this article you will be in agreement.

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The concept of gifts

Gifts mean a lot to people at significant moments like Christmas. Not just to spoil someone with something tangibly desirable, but because it shows that you care about this person, and what they are about. Gifting as been around since the story of Jesus, though this is perhaps a bad example. I mean who gives a child myrrh? What is myrrh even?

Back to the matter at hand here. You want to really impress that special someone in your life, but that's easier said than done, especially if you have been together for a while. If you are buying for a young lady, the go-to options of perfume, handy electronics, tasteful jewelry or anything in the fashion category soon get used up with anniversary gifts, and birthday presents.

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If you then celebrate Christmas on top of this, you sort of have to raise the present game again. So we are looking at a bare minimum of three great gifts a year here. Add this all together over the course of a relationship, and you have every reason to feel like a nervous wreck in a shopping mall this time of year as you simply run out of ‘extra stuff’ that you can buy.

Here's the ace up your sleeve though - the special experience gift.

Merits of giving an experience

It's a bold step, but it's one worth taking. Budget depending of course, you can get really creative here. Whether it is a special dining experience, a little getaway somewhere different, an adventurous activity or even a spa day, going the 'experience' route when it comes to gifting is a real win.

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It says you put time and effort into the gift rather than just walking into a store and giving someone your credit card. It says you look forward to spending quality time with your partner, and it also says you are really in tune with what they enjoy (provided the experience is relevant).

The finer details

These kind of things are almost solely purchased online too, so no need to deal with the masses and distractions of a shopping mall. On a more perhaps selfish positive, you get to enjoy the gift too!

But how do I package such a thing? Yes, the merit in buying a ‘gift’ gift so to speak is that it looks impressive with the wrapping as it sits proudly under the tree. A little creativity here can solve this though.

If you are giving a hot air balloon experience as a gift for example, wrap up a little hot air balloon key ring or fridge magnet. She then opens it feeling rather bemused, you then tell her what it means. A wildlife experience, wrap up a little toy lion. You get the picture.

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Better yet, write a little letter describing the gift and how you want to get away together and do something out of the ordinary. There is romance potential here, and this is certainly recommended if you are in a well established relationship.

So get online, get some ideas from the numerous sites that offer great experiences nowadays, and take a different, less stressful yet more meaningful approach to gifting for that special someone this festive season.