Nothing about 2020 has been ordinary, and it’s safe to say that Christmas 2020 will be a little out of the ordinary too. But there is one thing that won’t change. Although we may be separated from our friends and family and we may be celebrating at a distance, we’ll still be buying gifts. That’s a Christmas tradition that even COVID can’t cancel.

When it comes to gifts its easy to think of ‘stuff’. And Australians have been buying an awful lot of stuff during this pandemic. It’s estimated that online spending has increased by almost 30% month on month since March. You only need look at Australia Post delivery times to tell you that we’re experiencing an unprecedented level of online purchasing of ‘stuff’.

With that in mind, this Christmas, no one needs more stuff. People have been buying things and stuff all year. One can imagine that houses, cupboards, and toy boxes are now overflowing with COVID-induced purchases. A physical gift this year, is going to get lost in a sea of impulse buys and dopamine-seeking click frenzies.

What do people need this year? They need fun. They need to see people, to do things, to leave the house. To re-connect with their family, their friends, and their colleagues. This Christmas, people need experiences, not things. An experience is so much more than just a gift voucher. An experience is an opportunity to spend time with people. It’s a chance to create a memory, something that can be looked back on, laughed at and reminisced over, long after ‘stuff’ has been forgotten.

There is another reason why gifting experiences this year is so valuable and important. It’s been a tough year for those in entertainment, experiences, tourism and hospitality. As online retail has soared, your local restaurants, bars, café’s, escape rooms, cinemas, bowling alleys and tourist attractions have watched lockdowns and restrictions threaten their livelihood with increasingly heavy hearts. This Christmas is a chance to help save those local businesses. The ones that you would miss so sorely if they were gone. A voucher for an experience – a dinner, an activity, a night out – will not only give its recipient a well-earned break from their couch, it will give a small business a much needed boost. And they NEED a boost. Not just in cashflow, but in hope. Hope that their communities will rally and come back to visit them when they can.

Do you need further convincing about why to gift an experience this Christmas? It really is a win-win-win. The recipient will be delighted – WIN! The business you buy it from will be immensely grateful – WIN! And you get to revel in the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting small businesses who desperately need it – WIN! Shop small, shop local and… shop experiences this Christmas!

If you’re Adelaide-based, and have family and friends who enjoy puzzles, challenges and a healthy dose of competition, you can purchase gift vouchers for Escape Hunt (www.escapehunt.com/adelaide) or The Shadow Initiation at the South Australian Museum (www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/shadow-initiation). I also encourage you to reach out to your favourite café’s, bars and restaurants to see how to purchase vouchers this Christmas.

Original article on Linkedin.

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STEP INTO A NEW WORLD

All our games take place in brilliantly themed rooms designed with incredible attention to detail

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GET LOCKED IN AND CLUED UP

Once the door slams shut you must work together to solve a series of fiendishly clever clues

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BEAT THE CLOCK AND BREAK OUT!

You've just one hour of pulse-racing excitement to win your freedom - if you can!