Gifts are awful. Unless they're of the consumable or experiential variety (or just straight cash), they're usually just more stuff we have to deal with that's useless, not our taste, poorly-made, a chore to take care of, or a superfluous version of something we already have. (A pox on everyone in my life who's burdened me with endless pairs of cheap, ugly earrings that I feel guilty about getting rid of. My jewelry box is not big enough to contain all those obligations.)

I've seen people on GT ask for gift ideas for kids before—usually in the vein of asking for gender-neutral presents. And as wonderful as it is to encourage boys and girls to play with trucks and dinosaurs and girls and boys to play with dolls and cooking sets, it can be an even better to not give kids things at all. Or at least things that aren't just toys. So I thought I'd share this list of gift ideas with you guys. (My only qualm with the list is that it includes "personal set of scriptures" as an option, which is not something I'd ever consider giving to a kid. I guess if that's your thing and it's your own child, do whatever.)

An excerpt:

Season Passes

  • - Zoo
  • - Museum
  • - Butterfly Conservatory
  • - Aviary
  • - Aquarium
  • - Amusement Park

One-Time Passes

  • - Movies
  • - Bowling
  • - Swimming
  • - Theatre Performance
  • - Go see a sporting event
  • - Disney On Ice
  • - Circus
  • - Ice Skating
  • - Roller Skating
  • - Mini Golf
  • - Concert

Experiences for Kids

  • - Horse & Buggy Ride
  • - Train Ride
  • - Ice Cream Vouchers
  • - Special dinner out
  • - A Trip to the Fire Station
  • - A Trip to Chuckie Cheese (buy the tokens ahead of time so you have something to wrap!)
  • - Coupon book with "time" gifts (ie. an afternoon making cookies with mom)

Older Kids or Grown-Ups

  • - Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • - Wine Tasting
  • - Murder Mystery Evening
  • - Zip Lining
  • - Helicopter Ride
  • - Trip to the Spa (Mani/Pedi, Massage, Facial, etc.)
  • - Rock Climbing
  • - Trip to Arcade

A Class or Season of Lessons

  • - Swimming
  • - Sports
  • - Gymnastics
  • - Dance
  • - Karate
  • - Musical Instrument
  • - Pottery Class- or paint your own pottery
  • - Art Class
  • - Craft class (ie. knitting)
  • - Horseback riding lessons

I'm curious to see whether you have ideas beyond the ones listed, too!