Dante’s Adventures: The Gift that Lasts all Year

by Betty Lochner on December 17, 2015

Dante's AdventureThe following gift idea comes from my friend and colleague, Jackie.  When she shared it with me I asked her where she found it.  She slyly smiled and pointed to her head.  She came up with it as an alternative to giving stuff that doesn’t last and has little meaning.  I just had to share it with you – it’s brilliant and focuses on building a relationship instead of giving “things.”

Here it is in her words:

The most fantastic thing about giving gifts during the holidays is the excitement and enthusiasm when one get something unexpected.

This year my grandson turns 5 years old and though he’s not truly old enough to appreciate the thought and time spent in getting him just the right gift, he does love when his gift involves activity.  So this year I really gravitated to the minimalist perspective when choosing what to get him and this is what I’m doing:  It’s called “Dante’s Year of Excellent Adventures”.

I found an old picture frame (pretty big one) tucked away in my garage that I decided would be a great base for an activity board.  I cleaned up the framing, wrapped the back board with wrapping paper and then framed out 12 large boxes with ribbon on the wrapped board.   These 12 boxes represent the months of the year.  I placed some 3-D stickers on the outer edges of the frame that just relates to having an adventure.  Then I made some activity coupons for things we would do this year.  Such as “Museum Day”, “Aquarium Day”, “Lunch and Movie Day”, “Volunteer Day”, “Hike Day”. “Toy Day”, to name a few.  He will get to select a coupon each month and put it on the board in the month he chooses.  Then when we actually do these things, any pictures, mementos, etc from that day will be posted in the box for that month. At the end of the year we will be able to reflect on all the adventures and he can share his board with his parents.

What I loved about coming up with this idea was that I could spread out the cost, eliminate things that aren’t important and actually give him something he’ll remember but also something he’ll be a part of doing.

I’m so excited to be able to do this with him. My gift to Dante this year is some precious time together!


Jackie FerradoAbout Jackie: Jacquelyne Ferrado started her career more than 30 years ago in the private sector, federal civil service and state government where she currently works as the Community Relations Manager for the GET Program.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Evergreen State College.


Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home, and 52 Communication Tips. To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offerings visit our website:  www.cornerstone-ct.com


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