4 ways to turn holiday gifts into shared experiences

(BPT) – It’s no secret this year’s holiday season is bound to be different. But what hasn’t changed is the search for unique gift ideas — and fun new activities — to share with the ones we love, whether we’re together or apart.

If you want to make an impression on your family and friends this year, it’s time to think outside the gift box. What can you do to make the holidays memorable for hard-to-shop-for relatives and friends? How can you find special new ways to connect with them, even from a distance?

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Create a unique story, photo album or scrapbook project

Want to gift something truly special to an older relative, lifelong friend or a new couple just starting their journey together? Design and create a storybook highlighting a special time in your lives or showcasing how you met. Put together a photo album or make a scrapbook of shared memories you can send to someone as a memorable, one-of-a-kind keepsake.

Collaborate with other friends or family members if you can — it will turn the project into a group experience you’ll all treasure. Use mail, email or hand delivery to pass items along so everyone in your group can contribute before the completed project is ready for the recipient to enjoy.

2. Share the gift of language

Do you have an aunt who’s always wanted to learn Italian, or maybe your dad loves to tell stories of his long-ago trip to Japan? Now’s the time to provide them with the opportunity to explore — or refresh — their language skills with an immersive language app like Rosetta Stone.

Even better, make it a family affair! Giving a language-learning app to several family members is a great way to explore your family’s cultural heritage. It might even be the first step in a future trip together. As part of your gift, schedule virtual events to “meet up” and practice your language skills as you learn together.

Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion approach ensures you’re immersed in your new language from the start, with reading, writing, listening and speaking exercises that work with the brain’s natural language processing ability to help you learn fast. Their patented speech recognition engine helps you practice pronunciation, so you’ll have the confidence to speak in any situation. Helpful phrasebooks prepare you for the most commonly used phrases you’ll need if you’re traveling. It’s easy and convenient for users of all ages to begin learning on iPhone, iPad or Android.

Visit rosettastone.com/gifts to give the gift of Rosetta Stone this holiday season.

3. Explore the world of multi-player video games

Even for people who think they don’t like video games, there’s a gaming experience out there for everyone. Plenty of family-friendly, multiplayer games can make for fun and memorable group activities for all ages.

Try easy games involving scenarios that don’t require in-depth gaming knowledge or a long, complicated setup to get going. For example, games where you race alongside one another, manage a farm or build houses in a village full of talking animals have been popular in recent years. Games like these are low-stress ways to pass the time that can cross generations. And thanks to online features, many can easily be played together even if you’re far apart.

4. Stream movies together

Thanks to today’s technology, there are many ways to view family favorites or holiday classics together, even when you’re not in the same room. Several movie streaming services and apps provide options for people to view the same content at the same time — some even allow you to see your viewing companion while you watch, just like you’re in the same room. The only tricky part will be getting everyone’s bag of popcorn to pop simultaneously.

If your friend or relative can’t stream with you, you can still make their holiday amazing. Just gift them a subscription to the service or show them how to set it up alongside yours. Making it work so you can enjoy a movie together will be the perfect gift to share.

This holiday season, make your gifts all about creating quality time together — from anywhere and in any language!