Let’s face it: we’ve all got a lot of stuff.
Oprah, Marie Kondo and plenty of others are making a lot of money telling us how to get rid of it all, tidy it up or give it away.
I like buying presents, I love finding the right presents, but more and more of my friends and family need less stuff – and they’re becoming harder and harder to buy for. There are fewer things that they want and even less that they need.
I like to think of that as a challenge: To surprise and delight people with presents that they would never have expected. Bonus points if it doesn’t add to their pile of stuff.
If you’re having the same dilemma, here are some of the things that I’m looking at this year (my friends and family should look away now).
1. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The other day I came across a photo of my friends and I on top of an iconic bridge in my hometown. We look flushed, happy and proud (and a little like the Beastie Boys in our jumpsuits). One of my friends had been terrified of heights, but she had charged up the bridge, leaving us all in awe. Other friends were emotional at the beauty. I was just chuffed to be standing there with some of the most remarkable women I had ever met.
There is something special about seeing your city from a different point of view. Standing clear of the buildings and looking out to the horizon. Problems seem smaller. Possibilities seem greater. An unforgettable experience – and an even better gift.
2. Singing lessons.
My best friend bought me singing lessons for my birthday this year. She has seen me sing a lot of karaoke, so I appreciate her investment in making my performances a better experience for everyone involved.
All jokes about my singing voice aside, singing is great for stress relief and confidence. It’s also a lot of fun. There are schools everywhere, but my lessons are from Everyone Can Sing.
3. Mermaid lessons.
We found out earlier this year that there’s a school where you can learn to become a mermaid. Apparently it’s very good for your abs (and for the achievement of your lifelong dreams). Imagine giving the gift of mermaidism. It’s for adults and children, and you can find out more details from the Merquatics Facebook page here.