Give the Experience

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FOND MEMORIES OF TIME WELL SPENT OFTEN MAKE THE BEST GIFTS

The thing about giving a gift is that eventually that very thoughtful, one-of-a-kind, must-have item will one day become a thing. As in, “put it over there with the rest of my things.” Eventually, that thing will become stuff, as in “why do we have so much stuff?” And it’s only a matter of time before it ends its lifespan as clutter, as in, “I’m making a run to the dump to clear out some of this clutter.” 

Things break or fade or fall out of fashion. But experiences are forever. A treasured memory of time together never fades, and indeed strengthens the friendship. You can search every landfill in the world and you won’t find a single happy memory, but you’ll find plenty of worn-out gifts. So why not make this the year you do away with handing out stuff and start gifting experiences?

GET COOKING

If you’re looking to give an experience, this is a double helping of great memories. Give your foodie friend the gift of cooking classes at Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana and you’ll not only give them a fantastic evening out with friends, you’ll also help them hone skills in the kitchen that they’ll use time and time again.

Michael Anthony’s holds classes several times a week at its state-of the-art demo kitchen, offering instruction on everything from creating fresh ravioli to preparing a full French bistro meal. Naturally, no dining experience is complete without wine, so you and your friends are welcome to toast your night out as you learn new skills together.

Go to www.michael-anthonys.com to schedule your class.


HAMMER IT OUT

Speaking of a fun night out that leaves you with some impressive new skills, why not treat your friend to a night out creating handcrafted works of art? Bluffton’s Hammer & Stain offers regular workshops that let you start out with a simple piece of unfinished wood that you’ll paint and stain it until its your own personal work of art for the wall or the porch. 

Give your gift a little early this year and you can enjoy one of the many classes this month dedicated to creating one-of-a-kind Christmas decorations. Yes, we know we said not to give stuff this year, but it’s not stuff. It’s a reminder of the time you spent together. Not looking for Christmas décor? There’s always the ladies-only Wine Down Wednesday Workshop.

Go to www.hammerandstainbluffton.com to schedule your class.


WEAVE IT TO ME

One of the most enduring icons of the Lowcountry is the simple sweetgrass basket, woven from native plants using methods handed down over generations of native islanders. Each piece is unique to the artist creating it, based on their particular style and the skills that have been passed down to them, and to the bend of each blade of sweet grass.

It’s a generational set of skills that you can take home with a sweetgrass basket weaving class at the Coastal Discovery Museum. Held on select Saturdays, these engaging classes let you learn from a Gullah instructor as you weave a gorgeous basket and spend time with friends. A minimum of five participants is required, so bring along the whole gang. 

Go to www.coastaldiscovery.org to learn more.


A HORSE OF COURSE

For your equestrian-loving friend, why not an idyllic horseback ride along the unspoiled beaches of Daufuskie Island? Daufuskie Island Trail Rides lets you saddle up and set out on a variety of different trails that take you across the island, out along its shoreline and up to some of its most iconic locales.

The beach ride is a 1.5-hour leisurely trot across the sands starting with a 15-minute walk from the stable to Haig Point’s private beach. The history-centric ride lasts anywhere from one to three hours and guides you to such landmarks as the First African Baptist School. Custom rides are also available, letting you truly make this gift experience your own.

Go to www.daufuskietrailrides.com for details.


BRUSHING UP

It’s been said that there is beauty in the confluence of paint and wine. We’re not sure who said it, but we like their style. When it comes to experiential evenings out with a friend, it’s hard to beat a chance to uncork a crisp white or a juicy red and let your artistic flag fly.

Art Café offers a great way to brush up on your artistry while spending quality time with your friends, creating custom-painted pottery you can hold onto forever as a treasured memento of your time together. Plus — and it bears repeating — there will be wine. You can’t beat that. 

Go to www.artcafehhi.com for details.


MEAD TO ORDER

Trying to find an experiential gift for a friend who’s always up for something new? Why not schedule a mead tasting? Bee-Town Mead and Cider in Old Town Bluffton was the first production meadery in South Carolina, and offers an ever-rotating menu of flavors from fruity to crisp. If you’ve never had mead before, you and the recipient of your generoisity are in for a treat.

Go to www.beetownmeadandcider.com for details.