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Woman Swaps Presents For Experiences As She Gives Kids The 'Gift Of Time' At Christmas

Woman Swaps Presents For Experiences As She Gives Kids The 'Gift Of Time' At Christmas

Christmas is a time of giving and a time when we buy a plethora of presents for our nearest and dearest, some of which they don't really need or want.

Yet, one mother has redefined how she spoils her children during the festive season and instead of gift-wrapped presents under the tree, she gives them the "gift of time".

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Bidding adieu to pricey presents last year, Hayley Parker surprised her children Daisy, eight, and Freddie, four, with a letter explaining she was giving them the gift of time to spend together as a family.

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The 34-year-old and her husband Barney, 40, gave their three children 12 envelopes, one for each month of the year, containing a family day out or experience away from work, phones and other distractions.

Branding the gift "A Year Of Adventures", the mum-of-two from Patrington, East Yorkshire, said her kids loved her idea - and said she's planning to do it again this Christmas.

Hayley said: "As I was thinking of what to get the children last year I felt that they already had plenty of toys and couldn't think of what we should get them. I realised I would be buying things for the sake of it.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS
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"I came up with the idea after seeing something on Instagram saying: 'Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.'

"I just knew I wanted to create lovely memories for our family and it has been fabulous. And it gives the kids something to look forward to each month. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

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"After each outing I create a little photo montage so we can see all we have done together. The beauty of this is that it is actually things we would have done anyway, but it makes more of an event of it and makes up appreciate it.

"You could make your gifts as cheap or expensive as you like, I'll try and do free things when I know money will be tight - like after Christmas or our summer holiday.

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Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS
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"I even timed one of our trips for when we were in Cornwall this year. The kids have loved it so much that this year Daisy has asked for it again and that's a win in my book.

"I have been thinking all year of the things I would like to include for next year.

"I am organised - it's the best way to save money - but it could even be done by someone less organised by putting ideas into the envelope when the time comes."

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The kids were given a note on Christmas Day which said: "A Year of Adventures - This year we've decided to give you the gift of time, our time - time to spend together as a family doing lots of lovely things.

"Time with no interruptions, no work, no phones, just us and you guys."

What a lovely idea!

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Life News, Real

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Lisa McLoughlin

Lisa is a freelance journalist working for Tyla and the team's token Dubliner. After graduating with a MA in PR and Digital Marketing from D.I.T., she worked for MailOnline, Sun Online, Irish Independent and broadcaster RTÉ. Got a story of interest or want advice on how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness? Then email her at [email protected]