The holidays are coming, and so is the time to give special gifts to cherished family and friends. As you gather your list and check it twice, consider gifting some experiences this year rather than tangible goods. Why? Scientific studies have shown that the happiness we get from material goods diminishes over time -- but that's not the case with experiences.
Experiences become a part of our overall being and create memories that last a lifetime. If you need some ideas to get started, consider some of these local options:
Give an Oconee Performing Arts Society (OPAS) Membership
For anyone that has an appreciation of the performing arts, this is an excellent gift. OPAS offers a variety of high-quality events throughout the year. The minimum membership level is only $100, and it provides your gift recipient recognition in the OPAS playbill and on the OPAS website. It also gives access to pre-sale tickets one week before they go on sale to the public -- a nice perk for high-demand performances.
Go on a group tour of Oconee Brewing Company
Know some beer enthusiasts? Get them together and go on a group tour at the Oconee Brewing Company. It gives an exclusive, inside look at how their specialty craft beer is made. You’ll also see the completely re-done 6,000 square foot former mill warehouse that the brewery is housed in ...and enjoy some tastings too.
Give a spa gift card
There are many spas in our area that offer gift certificates. Pamper a special someone with the gift of a massage, manicure, pedicure, facial, or another indulgent spa service. Amy's Downtown even offers "Massage In a Bottle" which is not only a cute play on words, but it's a unique and creative way to give a spa gift certificate.
Play amazing golf
Great for both men and women, young and not so young, the gift of golf is a great experience for almost anyone. It's an excellent way for good friends and family to gather and "play” together. Consider gifting a golf membership or enjoying our Masters Golf Week specials. At Harbor Club, anytime of year is a good time to play. Whenever you decide to play, include a delicious meal at the Clubhouse Restaurant to make your experience extra special.
Learn a new cooking skill
Nearby Farmview Market in Madison offers an array of educational classes on cooking, nutrition, wellness, gardening, canning, preserving, and more. Two of their upcoming courses include, "Kombucha: A How-to and Make & Take" as well as "A Taste of the Tea Room: Scone-Making." There's always something new and exciting to learn, and the food and shopping are fantastic there too.
Have a day on the lake
A day on the lake is a fantastic experience that anyone will remember for years to come. Arrange to go out on the water in the spring or summer when the weather is ideal. Our Boathouse Marina team can provide you with everything you need, from boat rental, to fuel, to snacks and drinks. Better yet, you can enjoy a yummy lunch or dinner at The Boathouse Restaurant. Open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the summer; it's one of Lake Oconee's only "boat-up" restaurants located right on the water. The view and the food are excellent.
Whatever experiences you gift this year, even if it's last minute, it's one that is relatively easy to arrange, thoughtful, and rewarding to both the giver and the receiver. Even if you’ve already purchased some tangible gifts this year, consider adding some experiences too. As a Southern Living-Inspired Community, we know that the time and memories with family, friends, and neighbors are worth it. Stop by someday and we'll show you what we mean.