‘Tis the season for festive gatherings, gift giving, and all around merriment! Much like our sacred campfires, we love how this time of year brings people together to celebrate joy. It’s a time to reflect on all that’s been accomplished over the year and look ahead, planning and dreaming about what’s to come. 

Holiday gift-giving is a custom derived from the ancient Roman Saturnalia festival in December. And although today we’re bombarded with endless advertising for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, for many, contemporary gift-giving has gravitated away from possessions and toward unforgettable experiences.

Since December 2015 alone, the term “experience gifts” has grown in Google search popularity by 89%! Shoppers are officially looking to give a memory rather than a typical gift. Instead of unwrapping the latest iPhone or one more sweater, the most thrilling holiday gifts aren’t actually wrapped with a bow on top.

Cornell professor of psychology Dr. Thomas Gilovich (who studies the effects of experience on happiness), explained to the Cornell Chronicle that “things like a new material purchase make us happy initially, but very quickly we adapt to it, and it doesn't bring us all that much joy. You could argue that adaptation is sort of an enemy of happiness. Other kinds of expenditures, such as experiential purchases, don't seem as subject to adaptation."

Capturing a feeling rather focusing on material items, Meik Wiking (CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen)  explains the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ as a way of life that is essentially a ‘coziness of the soul.’ In his book, Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, Wiking says that hygge is “making the most of little, daily pleasures, especially when it's dark and freezing outside.” As we’re on the cusp of the darkest time of year with the Winter Solstice quickly approaching, experience gifting will help your loved ones practice hygge all winter long.

Even when our tent flaps are closed for the season, our mission is to awaken and deepen appreciation for nature and all its gifts. From bringing the flavor of the outdoors into your kitchen to sleeping under the stars, we’ve curated gifts for everyone on your list that will inspire adventure and wonder of the great outdoors!

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  1. Feast By Firelight Cookbook // $14.95

    For the chefs on your list, Emma Frisch’s fireside cookbook is a love letter to the great outdoors with recipes for hearty, restaurant-quality meals and snacks. Each recipe is paired with heartfelt writing about the connections we all make when we’re sharing a delicious meal around the campfire. This must-have manual offers solution-oriented recipes that make cooking outdoors feel effortless and downright fun as it teaches how to utilize clever cooking methods, prep food at home, and pack smart. The book includes recipes for camp cooking as well as detailed menus, shopping and equipment lists, and tips showing how to prepare before you leave.

  2. Wild Foraging Hike // $40

    For the hikers (including kiddos!) on your list, the gift of a wild foraging hike will awaken senses in the woods while teaching about forest ecology and wild plants.

  3. Firelight Camps Gift Certificate // $50 - $800

    For the adventure seekers on your list, gift an unforgettable outdoor experience with a Firelight Camps gift certificate. Ranging from $50 to $800, glampers can use the gift certificate to pick up goodies at the camp store (hello, wine glasses!) or book their own luxury safari tent for 2019. And in the spirit of the holiday season, we’re offering 15% OFF gift certificates through 12/31/18! Just give us a call (607-229-1644) or email us at reservations@firelightcamps.com to purchase!

  4. Rumpl Blanket // $150

    For the homebodies, well really for everybody on your list, you can’t go wrong with a Rumpl blanket. We love them so much, we use their super fleece blankets on the king and queen beds in our luxury safari tents when the temperatures drop! The sherpa blanket in buffalo plaid is especially festive for snuggling up this season.

  5. Yoga Class // $17 - $65

    For the yogis on your list, gift a class or even a class-pack so they can breathe and flow right into the new year! And when Firelight Camps is pitched again this spring, our daily yoga classes will begin at 8:30am - the perfect way for glampers to start their day, followed by locally-sourced breakfast spread in our lobby tent.

Wishing you, and your nearest and dearest, a joyful holiday season!

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