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Think outside the box this holiday season

It’s getting down to the wire for holiday shopping, and now might be a good time to get creative with gifts this year. Instead of buying physical gifts, why not try an experience-based gift that can be shared with loved ones?

One option would be to offer an activity as a present. Though the winter months are here, it could be a nice idea to buy a loved one a nature-based outing to look forward to in the warmer months. For example, Les Amis de la Réserve nationale de faune du Lac-Saint-François offers many different activities from May to October that can be purchased as a gift card now. Karina LeClair, the general director, says that buying someone a trip to the park gives them “the opportunity to be close to nature while learning its secrets and beauty and having fun with family and friends,” and adds, “An unforgettable experience awaits them.” Gift vouchers can be bought by appointment or online at www.amisrnflacstfrancois.com.

Parc Safari is another great option for an outdoor experience. It currently has a holiday special where 2024 season passes are available at reduced prices for both adults and children. Tickets can be found at parc-safari.connectngo.com.

Focus on moments, not objects

Another path would be to opt for some fine dining. Marie Daudelin, co-owner of Le Mangeoir in Saint-Anicet, explains that a nice meal “becomes a shared experience, creating lasting memories and strengthening bonds. The sensory and social richness of a good meal makes it meaningful and enriching.” The memories of such an outing will last longer than a physical gift would.

A good meal can take you on a journey, and is “a complete sensory experience, combining flavours, smells, textures and colours. More than just nutrition, it represents cultural exploration and stimulates creativity,” explains Daudelin. At Le Mangeoir, the evening can also be extended into an overnight stay. Gift cards for the restaurant, boutique, and overnight accommodation can be purchased at www.lemangeoir.com.

There are other places across the Valley like La Cuisine Privée that offer fine dining experiences. This restaurant currently has a holiday special happening; it can be contacted at www.lacuisineprivee.com.

In general, Daudelin shares that “By focusing on moments rather than objects, you can show special care and minimize environmental impact. So, opting for an experience as a gift represents a meaningful, sustainable, and memorable way to celebrate with your loved ones.” Plus, an activity with loved ones can help the holidays seem like they’ve been extended just a bit longer.

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