Soon after the Christmas and New Year decorations disappeared from the shelves, Valentine's Day chocolates, teddy bears, and cards took their place. It's almost time for the holiday that is meant to celebrate romantic connections between people, but it's easy to get wrapped up in the consumerism of the holiday, too.

If you're wanting something a little bit different for Valentine's Day, then we've got a few ideas for you. You don't have to spend $100 on roses and chocolates to express how you feel about someone (you certainly can if you enjoy that!). But sometimes coming up with ideas on how to celebrate Valentine's Day differently can feel a little overwhelming. So check out the list below and let us know how your February 14th goes.

Shop and buy local gifts

If you want to get a gift for someone special, then we recommend shopping at your local boutiques and gift stores. It's a great way to keep your community thriving while also having something extra special to gift. If your neighborhood farmer's market is open in the winter, consider getting some flowers from a vendor and coupling it with local honey or sweet treats. Most markets do extra events leading up to Valentine's Day.

Make time for deep conversation

Valentine's Day is about connecting with someone you love and care about. It's not always about romantic partners, either. It can be spending time with your child, good friends, and family, too. Taking a day to think about those you love, and then letting you know you love them, is a wonderful way to spend a day.

So show your feelings by setting aside time to really talk to the people you care about. This could be over dinner with your partner, coffee with your best friend, or even at an anti-Valentine's Day party. Connection is always a wonderful gift!

Start by asking questions and then really listening to people's answers. Bring How Do You See The World? or even just a few cards from the game and use those questions to find out new things about the people you love. You might even discover something new about yourself, too.

Cook a meal at home

This one might seem obvious, but it's definitely worth your consideration! If you don't cook at home much, then this is a great way to connect and save a little money. Or maybe your partner or significant other is the one who always cooks. If that's the case, you can surprise them with a delicious meal. And if you're nervous about cooking, then try out one of the meal kit services such as Home Chef, Blue Apron, or Purple Carrot (plant-based meals). You'll have everything you need, including instructions.

Plan a trip

A fun way to spend Valentine's Day is exploring trip possibilities and making plans for a future vacation. Traveling in February is difficult for most, between work pressures, school schedules, and winter weather. Instead, after dinner, sit down together and talk about where you'd love to go. Start making plans for hotels, flights, hostels, or whatever suits your fancy. Making plans for a fun and adventurous time is a great way to connect and have something to look forward to.

It's holiday party season! Which means it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and bring people together to celebrate what the season is all about: connecting with the people you care about.

All those fun game nights and craft afternoons you attend the rest of the year are a great way to connect with people during the holiday season, too. Start your new year (and new decade!) resolutions now by focusing on creating opportunities to spend quality time with people, rather than focusing exclusively on buying tons of gifts. We’ve got some easy ideas to get you started on bringing people together in new and interesting ways this holiday season.

Have Your Own Bake Off

Who doesn't love a cozy episode of The Great British Bake Off? It gets almost any viewer in the mood to try their hand at baking. This year, consider turning your holiday party into a holiday bake off.

You can have people bake the ugliest fruit cake they can and then have partygoers take a vote. Winner gets to not take home a fruit cake, perhaps? Or you can set out a table full of cookie decorating options and let people go wild with some holiday decorating.

You can also turn your holiday party into a bake off potluck. That means lots of extra delicious treats for everyone to enjoy and you can have some small prizes for the top winners.

Give Your Game Night a Holiday Twist

friends playing games together

Instead of breaking out the usual games, aim for games that are either holiday inspired or bring out the essence of the holiday season. Authentic Agility’s game How Do You See the World? is a great option since the purpose of the game is to better understand and get to know your friends and family. Pull some questions that people often think about as the new year approaches and ask your friends what they think. You never know what you might learn! And you may just have similar goals that you can work on together.

You can also play a game of Banangrams or Scrabble, but add a twist that whoever makes the most words that are holiday-themed wins the round. Or gather up ideas for a good game of charades, but make sure they are themed around your favorite holiday.

Add A Gift Wrap Station

Most partygoers will have gifts to wrap and no time to wrap them. This is an especially handy option to have for your partygoers if your holiday party is happening a bit later in December. Plus, everyone can enjoy some snacks and beverages while they wrap presents. It's a win all around.

Allow Pajamas

How about a pajama party with board games? We aren't talking a sleepover, but being able to relax in silly holiday-themed pajamas just might get your guests to relax a bit more and stop looking at their devices. It can be a new way to do the "ugly Christmas sweater" party and keep people interested and sharing a good laugh.

The holiday season is already a stressful (and fun!) time. But what if you have someone on your gift buying list who already has everything? We're talking about that person who just seems impossible to buy for. Don't worry though, readers, we are here to help you! And even if you don't have someone on your list who fits this description, our curated gift idea list is useful for anyone looking for a unique gift option. In the days of Marie Kondo, many people are trying to get rid of things. So instead of adding to the pile of stuff this holiday, consider one of these thoughtful gifts for the special people in your life.

Gift A Screen-Free Day

When was the last time you spent an entire day with a spouse, partner, best friend, or family member and you didn't look at your phone? Not just at a meal or while having a glass of wine. We mean not looking at your phone at all. Phones and devices are certainly necessary, don't get us wrong. But putting the phone away and really taking a day to connect with someone, face-to-face, is an incredible gift. Of course, this day will take two to make it worthwhile! But you might just be surprised how much you, and the gift recipient, will enjoy it.

Set a plan for the day, whether that includes meals at favorite restaurants, a hike or walk outside, or browsing bookstores for inspiration. Make sure you have lots of plans so you don't feel that pull to grab the phone.

This kind of gift is also a great chance to get to know them better, too. You could bring along How Do You See the World? to ask each other important questions that run deeper than what we normally talk about.

Give The Gift of Memories

Giving the gift of memories can come in many shapes, but we especially love when people travel to see others. The gift is the travel: the time, the money, or the combination of the two. As so many more Americans are moving to cities and states far away for jobs, communities of friends and family have to rely more on virtual hangouts and catchups. If it's financially feasible for you, traveling to visit those you love is an incredible gift to give. You can also let the recipient know well in advance and then you get to plan the trip together! Who doesn’t like to plan a fun trip?

An equally lovely option (and easier on the pocketbook) is a special photobook from Shutterfly. They offer great promotions throughout December, so gather up your favorite photos and create a wonderful album that you can have in just days (we promise it's not too late)! And you can always scan or take photos of physical photographs to add to the book, too. That makes it extra special.

Self-Care Package

Everyone needs time for self care and for many people, taking that kind of time is a real luxury. You can help those you care about to make sure they take time to relax and rest by gifting a self-care package. Not sure if this is the way to go? We've written previously about why self-care is so important. Self-care isn't selfishness; instead, it's a way to keep ourselves strong, healthy, and available to be present in our relationships.

Creating a self-care package should take into account the receiver's personality. We don't recommend buying a one-size-fits-all spa package and expecting all of your friends and family members to embrace it. Besides, what spa package would fit all?

Instead, imagine yourself in their shoes and create a day or series of events that would help them relax. One person might genuinely appreciate a spa day, involving a massage, a glass of champagne, and just some time to themselves to recharge. Another person's ideal self-care package could include a book on meditation, a National Parks Pass to encourage and empower them to get into nature to hike, and a gift card to their favorite restaurant.

Once you've decided on a few ideas, assemble them together in a self-care package. This could be in a box, a gift basket, or an envelope, depending on what you're giving.

A Get To Know You Game: How Do You See the World?

Pieces of the game How Do You See the World - a get-to-know-you game.
How Do You See the World?

Authentic Agility's raison d'être is to facilitate important conversations in order to deepen relationships and help us see the world from new perspectives. It's surprising how our game impacts everyone who encounters it: we've watched a diversity of people play it, including strangers who have never met each other, and parents with their grown children, who have known each other for thirty years or more. No matter who is playing the game, discoveries are made and new perspectives are revealed.

Of course we're biased, but we truly believe that How Do You See the World? is the perfect gift for someone who has everything. They can play the game with old friends and family, and with new people who come into their lives. Each individual relationship we have in the world is a unique gift. This game allows everyone who plays it to tap into the potential our relationships have to make us more authentic, more agile, and more capable of compassion and transformation.

We're available on Amazon and all of our proceeds go to supporting organizations that create education and entrepreneurial opportunities. Want to know more? Check out our why we care page.

The holiday season is upon us and that means it's time to bust out the cameras and take lots of pictures of friends, family, and all of the gatherings that await us all. Since we can’t stop time (yet), often the moments pass us by and then we have some regret on either not capturing the moment at all or not in the way we had hoped. To combat that feeling, it’s best to have a plan or at least think about what to do before the moment arises.

Since the holidays are packed full of wonderful times and happy moments, we've gathered up some great ways to make sure you remember this end to 2019 and the start of a new decade.

Notes from the Professionals

Who better to turn to than professional photographers? Most of the time when we think about “capturing the moment,” we mean with a photograph. And with the proliferation of cameras in our phones and tablets, it’s easy to quickly capture any moment in time. But if you want more than just a quick iPhone snap, there are things to consider. Some of the best photographers in the world work for National Geographic and they have some great tips in this article.

Pulitzer Prize winners have also chimed in on what makes a photo good and how to capture a shot emotionally, too, in this great article. It’s full of inspiration and shows that you don’t have to be a seasoned photographer to capture a truly meaningful moment.

Tips for Travel Photography

The holiday season is heavy with travel. Whether you're taking to the skies or driving on the highways, you're likely to take more photos while traveling. Think about all those new sights and experiences (and food and presents!) that we want to record and have for later. Check out this blog for good ideas on how to stage and capture moments when traveling.

Capturing Moments Beyond Photography

Although most of us think of photos when we talk about capturing a moment in our lives, there are other options for those who want to diversify their memories or want to not be attached to their phones at events. The Write Practice offers some advice for how you can capture a moment through writing. This blog offers some unique ideas on how to be present in the moment and then how to capture what you experienced through writing.

Journaling Your Holidays

It would be a wonderful challenge, especially if writing isn’t something you explore often. And so many of us make memories over the holidays which makes this a great opportunity to start writing. If you're looking to do some writing about resolutions, check out this article to help you organize your thoughts and be realistic about what's possible in the coming year.

If you need a little kickstart to journaling, try grabbing a card from How Do You See The World? and answer the question honestly in your journal. It's a great and easy way to get the creative energy flowing.

For the lucky people out there who have families and friends who all get along well over the holidays, we envy you! And we hope you enjoy your holiday gatherings thoroughly. But for the many of us who have to navigate difficult situations, strained conversations, and parties with attendees who don't see eye-to-eye on politics, this blog is for you.

We've all been there. We find ourselves at a holiday gathering and there's a strained political conversation going on in one room. And slowly people are trying to leave before it gets too heated. Or maybe the shouting has already started! When you think of this moment, is it a family member or a friend? Or possibly both? Whatever the case, we've come up with some tips to help you not just get through these parties, but actually enjoy them!

When In Doubt, Look To TED

We've shared many TEDTalks on our blogs and once again we are looking to the professionals for help. And thankfully, they don't disappoint! Celeste Headlee walks viewers through excellent tips in her talk titled "Help make American talk again." Headlee makes the point that it's important to talk to people who disagree with us, and we couldn't agree more.

But if you need some more tips from TED on how to talk to that person you disagree with, but not end up arguing, then check out the accompanying blog. They've laid out the easy-to-follow steps that we can all use.

Moving Past Arguing

You manage to have a conversation with that "difficult" party goer, but what now? How do you not let it ruin your night? And how do you get back to enjoying the party and not dreading future gatherings? We recommend employing mindfulness to make sure you have a good time and don't let that argument or disagreement bother you.

This article, 10 Mindful Ways to Enjoy the Holiday Season, is a great place to start. Remember to be compassionate and really listen to your friends and family. That will help engage your empathy and reduce any lingering anger.

Other great tips from the article include enjoying some sweet treats, making sleep and meditation a priority, and of course--remember to breathe! When we find ourselves ins stressful situations, it can be easy to let the emotions take control. So find a quiet place, take some deep breaths, and think of all the things you enjoy about the holidays. Focus on those and you might just find yourself actually enjoying the parties in real time!

Prevent Arguments in the First Place

If you want to take a more proactive approach to stopping arguments at holiday parties this year, then show up with a copy of Why Can't We All Just Get Along? Not only does it make a great host gift (hint hint), but it's setup to prevent arguments. The questions are worded in such a way as to engage more thoughtful responses, introspection, and listening from everyone participating. The game is the perfect way to get everyone to hear each other and be open.

Vulnerability can make for more meaningful moments, but you may need to be the first one to take vulnerability plunge. So pull some of your favorite cards and steer the tone of the night before it has a chance to be tense.

What's that noise in the distance? Is it bells? Am I hearing someone...laugh? Oh wait, it's THE HOLIDAYS! Now that Halloween has officially passed, the holiday decor is out on the shelves at stores, turkey orders are coming in at the grocery, and soon it will be time to dust off that box of lights in the garage.

The holiday time from November through January means many different things to people, but one common theme is giving thanks. It's never too early to start planning how you'd like to give thanks this year, or to whom, so we've gathered some unique and fun ways to give thanks this year.

Giving Thanks to Friends and Family

Maybe you've had a difficult 2019 and you'd like to show your thanks to your friends and family for sticking by your side, supporting you, or just making you laugh during stressful times. It's a wonderful thing to give to someone when we expect nothing in return. And it's also rewarding to show people that you noticed their attention and care. Consider one of these options for thanking the people in your life who made your year just a little bit brighter.

Make a donation

Consider making a donation to a charity in their name. If you know your friend loves animals and that friend was there for you during a difficult time, then make a donation to a local pet shelter or nonprofit in their name. It not only shows how thankful you are but it also shows you're a great listener!

Send a care package

Do you have a friend or family member who recently moved far away? Or maybe they had to move for a job? For people who aren't settled in new communities yet, the holidays can be quite hard. And sending a care package of all of their favorites is a great way to show you care and to thank them.

Bring something extra special to dinner

If you're not the host of Thanksgiving or other holiday gatherings this year, then bring your host a unique gift. It shows thoughtfulness and care and is a good way to open the door to expressing all the ways in which you are thankful for them. You could bring How Do You See The World? to get everyone talking about big ideas. It's a great gift because it's perfect for after the dinner party!

Giving Thanks At The Dinner Table

If your family thanksgiving, or your friendsgiving, takes a more traditional approach to giving thanks around the dinner table before you all enjoy the meal, then it's time to get ready! Being put on the spot can be hard and being asked to say what you're thankful for in front of family and/or friends can definitely dial up the anxiety for some. But we are here to help you prepare your thoughts well in advance.

Preparation is key!

Don't be caught off guard when the question makes it's way around the table and suddenly you're asked 'What are you thankful for this year?" Start thinking about it now. Consider jotting little notes down in your journal or even type out some notes to yourself on your phone. Whatever medium works for you!

Think outside the giving box

It's absolutely fine to give thanks in a traditional way--being thankful for friends and family, a good job, time together, and so on. But since we all have a tendency to not express our gratitude outside of the holidays, consider this an opportunity to share something special, open, and honest.

Are you thankful for support at a specific moment? Maybe you made it through a difficult moment in 2019 or are grieving and have received support in that process. Ask yourself: what do I remember most about 2019? Those answers will help you formulate what you're truly thankful for this year. You can also grab cards from How Do You See The World? They are a great way to learn more about yourself.

Giving quiet thanks

And if you just really hate public speaking, that's ok, too! Try using something like these notes. You can write what you are thankful for on notes for everyone at the dinner table and pass them around. Or, if it's just too hard to say certain things out loud, ask a friend or family member to read your thanks aloud.

Father's Day can look a lot of different ways. Sometimes it's a day in the park, or grilling outside, but it can also be games, fun, relaxation, and even pampering. Whether you are celebrating your dad or an important father figure in your life, it's a great day to remember and think about the people you love. And if you're looking for a gift for this special person, we have some great ideas for you.

Something for Every Father

dad reading a picture book to his baby

If you've got a dad in your life who truly loves being outdoors, consider one of these Para'Kito insect repellent wrist bands! Nice and lightweight, they make being outside much more tolerable in the summer. Perfect for dads who like to backpack, camp, or just hang out in the backyard. And you don't have to take our word for it, either. The Gadgeteer blog has a list of great gifts for last-minute shoppers, so check out what else they recommend.

You can also try out something a bit fancier, like a wine-of-the-month club with Firstleaf or just buy a few bottles to allow him to explore something new. Wine not his thing? Perhaps whiskey or bourbon is. And if that's the case, Drizly has you covered.

He might also like a nice smart speaker, to enhance any audio experiences at home, in the garage, or make life a bit simpler. These can make particularly great gifts for grandfathers or people who have mobility concerns. If you need some more options for any last-minute gifts for fathers who like gadgets, then CNET has you covered.

The Gift of Time and Connection

open box of how do you see the world on tabletop

Many of the men in our lives that we call dad would just love to spend time with us and get to know us better. Want to really connect with the father (or father figure) in your life AND enjoy a fun, enlightening evening? Plan a dinner and game night! Bring How Do You See The World and some delicious food and settle in for a great night.

What makes the game so great for this? It’s full of questions that challenge us to really think about our values, ideas, dreams, and so much more. It helps people engage in meaningful conversations and get to know the people in our lives on a deeper level. Who knows, you just might find yourself sharing or hearing a story you never expected! How Do You See The World can give you not just a fun game night, but also a wonderful night of connection with the fathers in your life.

Mother’s Day can look a variety of ways for people. Sometimes it’s about celebrating your birth mother, but for many the day can also entail celebrating adoptive mothers, foster mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and all the other women in our lives who have offered advice, support, or just motherly love throughout the years. Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the women in your life. But what do you give such a unique person? We have some great ideas for you.

Something for Every Mom

stack of books on table

Uncommon Goods offers lots of unique options, from smartphone vases for a nightstand to delightful mugs and champagne flutes celebrating motherhood. No matter what the woman in your life enjoys, this shop will have something that suits her.

Although this may come as a surprise, we also like this gift list from Business Insider. It has many thoughtful highlights including a book-of-the-month membership and a unique herb garden.

Gifts of Sentiment

view of photo albums from above

If the mother in your life doesn’t live near you, consider sending a gift card for an airline. Not only does it show that you would love to see her, but it also means you’re giving one of the best gifts: travel! Seeing new sights and experiencing a change of venue is a great way to change up one’s perspective. Plus, it means the imagination can run wild for the recipient! Who doesn’t like to plan a fun trip?

An equally lovely option (and easier on the pocketbook) is a special photobook from Shutterfly. Around MOther’s Day they offer some great promotions, so gather up your favorite photos and create a wonderful album that you can have in just days! And you can always scan or take photos of physical photographs to add to the book, too. That makes it extra special.

The Gift of Time and Connection

Many of the women in our lives that we call mom would just love to spend time with us and get to know us better. Want to really connect with the mother (or mother figure) in your life AND enjoy a fun, enlightening evening? Plan a dinner and game night! Bring How Do You See The World and some delicious food and settle in for a great night.

What makes the game so great for this? It’s full of questions that challenge us to really think about our values, ideas, dreams, and so much more. It helps people engage in meaningful conversations and get to know the people in our lives on a deeper level. Who knows, you just might find yourself sharing or hearing a story you never expected! How Do You See The World can give you not just a fun game night, but also a wonderful night of connection with the mothers in your life.

Get Creative, Get Social, Make Connections

Your holiday party is happening soon, which means it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and bring people together to celebrate what the season is all about: connecting with the people you care about.

All those fun game nights and craft afternoons you attend the rest of the year are a great way to connect with people during the holiday season, too. Start your 2019 resolutions now by focusing on creating opportunities to spend quality time with people, rather than focusing exclusively on buying tons of gifts. We’ve got some easy ideas to get you started on bringing people together in new and interesting ways this holiday season.

Take Crafting to the Next Level

making holiday crafts

Adults and kids alike enjoy craft days, especially since it’s a license to get messy. Put on your painting jeans and get your friends and family together for a fun craft night that is holiday-themed.

The end of the year means people start thinking of all the to-do list items they neglected throughout the year. And so many of those are home décor/improvement projects. So have your friends and family bring over a home or craft project that’s been collecting dust in the corner and work together to finish them for the holiday. Sometimes all you need is help from friends to refinish that stool or finally mat and frame the piece of art that’s been in your closet.

If art is what people want, provide a stack of heavyweight blank cards and envelopes so people can make their own holiday cards. Some paints, brushes, markers, and of course glitter, are all you need to give a little inspiration.

Give Your Game Night a Holiday Twist

friends playing games together

Instead of breaking out the usual games, aim for games that are either holiday inspired or bring out the essence of the holiday season. Authentic Agility’s game How Do You See the World? is a great option since the purpose of the game is to better understand and get to know your friends and family. Pull some questions that people often think about as the new year approaches and ask your friends what they think. You never know what you might learn! And you may just have similar goals that you can work on together.

You can also play a game of Banangrams or Scrabble, but add a twist that whoever makes the most words that are holiday-themed wins the round. Or gather up ideas for a good game of charades, but make sure they are themed around your favorite holiday.

Turn Baking Into a Group Effort

baking holiday cookies

Plan a cookie decorating gathering, but have everyone attending be responsible for different items (cookie cutters, sprinkles, icing, baking ingredients). This way the group relies on each other and everyone feels like a participant in the party. Plus, it’s easier on the host. And don’t forget to encourage people to get a little inventive with cookie toppings. This party is perfect for every holiday, from Halloween to New Year’s Eve. If you need some ideas for things to bake, check out one of our favorite baking sites, Smitten Kitchen.

Whichever of these options you choose to take your holiday social planning to the next level, it’s a sure win this season to get people to relax, connect, and enjoy each other’s company.

For someone who has everything, receiving more stuff can seem like a burden rather than a gift. And even if you don't have everything, we can all identify with what it feels like to receive a gift that we have absolutely no use for, but that we feel obligated to keep because it came from someone we love. But pay attention to that last part of the sentence "it came from someone we love." That's the most important part of gift-giving, and it's something we often overlook in our frantic search for the perfect stuff during the holiday season.

With that in mind, we've curated a few ideas that help cultivate stronger, deeper relationships that get to the heart of what giving is all about. They not only represent the care we have for our friends and family, but the gifts themselves are designed to deepen our relationships with each other.

52 Reasons I Care About You

Notecard that says "you're awesome" to give to someone who has everything for Christmas
Photo by Gabriela Pinto.

Cut 52 strips of paper, or order some blank cards like these, and write 52 reasons you care about the person you're giving the gift to. Yes, this is a big time investment, but putting the thought behind it is a million times more valuable than anything you could buy for the person who has everything.

You make me laugh

You bake amazing cookies
You're incredible with kids
You're a loyal friend
You tell great stories
Your enthusiasm for football is contagious

Then, put the cards into a box--you could use a shoebox, order a simple box, or buy something more ornate if that's your style--and tell the recipient to draw one card every Monday for the next year. Mondays are tough days for most of us, and starting out their week by hearing why they're valued is an incredibly meaningful gift that lasts for an entire year. Even if someone else gifts them something similar, hearing from you why you in particular value them and your relationship with them is not something that can be replicated by anyone else.

Self-Care Package

Person sitting on a dock looking out over the water. A self-care gift package.
Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash.

A few weeks ago we posted about why self-care is so important. Self-care isn't selfishness; instead, it's a way to keep ourselves strong, healthy, and available to be present in our relationships. As the concept of self-care has become more mainstream, women have worked to embrace it. Men, however, still struggle with making time for self-care, but that doesn't mean they need it any less than women do.

Creating a self-care package for either a man who has everything or a woman who has everything should take into account the receiver's personality. We don't recommend buying a one-size-fits-all spa package and expecting all of your friends and family members to embrace it. Besides, what spa package would fit all?

Instead, imagine yourself in their shoes and create a day or series of events that would help them relax. One person might genuinely appreciate a spa day, involving a massage, a glass of champagne, and just some time to themselves to recharge. Another person's ideal self-care package could include a book on meditation, a National Parks Pass to encourage and empower them to get into nature to hike, and a gift card to their favorite restaurant.

If you're stumped on what kind of self-care package a man in your life would appreciate, there are some solid ideas here. Give him a coupon that will allow him to sleep in late, buy him a novel by his favorite author, or encourage him to take a vacation by offering to help keep things in order while he's gone.

Once you've decided on a few ideas, assemble them together in a self-care package. This could be in a box, a gift basket, or an envelope, depending on what you're giving.

A Distraction-Free Day with You

Father with his arm around his son. Father / son time as a gift.
Photo by Kay on Unsplash.

This is a precious gift that we too rarely give each other, one that we should be giving to our friends and family much more often than we do. Giving the person who has everything a coupon to spend a distraction-free day with you does require both of you to make a commitment. We recommend having some solid dates in mind when giving this coupon to someone, otherwise, it becomes a nice idea that never gets executed. Look at your calendar and offer up anywhere from six to ten dates that work for you, and when you give this gift ask the recipient to look at his or her calendar in order to get it scheduled right away.

Then, when the distraction-free day comes (it could be a whole day or just a few hours), commit to keeping your phone off. Lock it in your glove box, or better yet, leave it at home. Make a plan to go somewhere that doesn't have television screens; research shows that we are hard-wired to stare at light and movement, based on biological impulses. Your best friend isn't watching soccer at the bar because you're boring, he's staring at the screen because it's nearly impossible not to. This may require you to call ahead of time to find a restaurant or bar that is screen-free, if that's what you choose, or you could make a plan to go somewhere like a park or the beach.

Set the intention of getting to know this person better. You could bring along How Do You See the World? to ask each other important questions that run deeper than what we normally talk about. Or, before your date, think about what you'd like to learn about them or what you'd like to share with them. There is always more we can learn and share no matter how long we've known someone. Fight the urge to take selfies to document your distraction-free day together. Let this be a memory that only the two of you share.

A Shared Journal

A woman's hand writing in her journal. Having a journal with your friend.
Photo by Emma Larkins.

Before the days of social media and texting, most of us actually wrote more. We wrote letters, we wrote in journals. We spent time with our thoughts and ideas and processed our emotions on paper. While social media has enabled us to connect with people in some truly incredibly and valuable ways, there is still something to be said for the intimacy of hand-written letters.

Giving your parent, sibling, child, or friend who has everything a shared journal, and committing to writing in it with them, has the potential to transform your relationship in ways you can't even imagine yet. This is an especially powerful gift for introverts, or for people who like to take their time before they speak.

The benefits of starting a friendship journal are especially strong for long-distance friendships. While social media allows us to post our thoughts, feelings, and activities, a friendship journal is a focused way to share with just one person rather than all your followers. We shape how we communicate our thoughts depending on the specific audience in mind, and with an audience of one we'll open up in a very different way than we do with an audience of everyone.

You can choose a guided journal, like this one for mothers and daughters, or this one for boys and their parents. You can also make your own friend journal like this, or buy your own blank notebook and use questions from How Do You See the World? to create guidelines for the journal. For example, you could choose a handful of questions, and each one would be a "chapter" in your journal. You and your friend or family member each take a page or two to respond to the question. Be sure to leave some blank pages for you to communicate your other thoughts and feelings as they come.

If the recipient lives far away, then make sure to buy them postage to send the journal back and forth. If they're close, then you can make time to exchange it, or simply drop it off at their door once a month.

A Get To Know You Game: How Do You See the World?

Pieces of the game How Do You See the World - a get-to-know-you game.
How Do You See the World?

Authentic Agility's raison d'être is to facilitate important conversations in order to deepen relationships and help us see the world from new perspectives. It's surprising how our game impacts everyone who encounters it: we've watched a diversity of people play it, including strangers who have never met each other, and parents with their grown children, who have known each other for thirty years or more. No matter who is playing the game, discoveries are made and new perspectives are revealed.

Of course we're biased, but we truly believe that How Do You See the World? is the perfect gift for someone who has everything. They can play the game with old friends and family, and with new people who come into their lives. Each individual relationship we have in the world is a unique gift. This game allows everyone who plays it to tap into the potential our relationships have to make us more authentic, more agile, and more capable of compassion and transformation.



We're available on Amazon, and we're offering 20% off of purchases made between Black Friday and Giving Tuesday 2018 at this link. To read more about why Giving Tuesday is important to us, check out this page about why we care. And as always, we'd love to hear your thoughts. If you decide to give any of these gifts that we've discussed in this post, please share your creations with us on Facebook or tag us in your Instagram photos. #howdoyouseetheworld

Connect With Us

follow Authentic Agility Games on Facebookfollow Authentic Agility Games on Twitterfollow Authentic Agility Games on instagramfollow Authentic Agility Games on YouTubefollow Authentic Agility Games on LinkedIn

#AuthenticAgilityGames

#HowDoYouSeeTheWorld #WhyCantWeAllJustGetAlong #WhatsWrongWithGrownUps

© 2020, Authentic Agility Games, LLC | All Rights Reserved.