I tend to give my family the same Christmas and birthday list year after year. I ask for a bunch of experience related items, rather than stuff that I don’t really need. Over the years I’ve asked for hockey tickets, basketball tickets, movie tickets and gift certificates for everything I can think of including airfare, hotel rooms and restaurants.
In the past my grandmother hated to give me money or gift cards. In fact, she was famous for buying me clothes. She has an eye for fashion, even at her age, and used to find the perfect things for me, but now at eighty-eight she rarely leaves the house and can’t spend days searching for the perfect gift.
Every year I tell her not to buy me anything, but I know at the end of the day I’ll receive a gift. Last year I told her to buy something I could experience, rather than something that would sit on a shelf. Well I don’t know where she found out about RAM, (the Restaurant Association of Maryland), but for Christmas she presented my husband and I with a gift certificate.
Friends and family typically buy us gift cards to restaurants that we frequent and while this is very nice it tends to keep us going to the same places over and over. This was not the case with the RAM certificate, because RAM gift certificates can be used at a variety of participating restaurants.
The certificate provided us with the opportunity to explore our local neighborhoods in a way we otherwise would not have. We spent quite some time reading through the restaurants listed on the marylandrestaurants.com website and finally settled on a restaurant in Chevy Chase.
My husband and I drove towards the city on an old route we used to take back in college. At the restaurant we sat outside, enjoyed the weather and dined on steamed mussels and spaghetti and meatballs. The food was fantastic and the restaurant made us feel extra special. After our meal was over we walked over to Whole Foods and explored the Chevy Chase area.
Being a want-to-be foodie we wandered around Whole Foods in search of meals for the following week. We ate chocolate covered strawberries and just enjoyed being together. It felt so nice to get out of our comfort zone, to explore a familiar place that we hadn’t visited in years.
I can’t tell you what an amazing time I shared with my husband. My grandmother chose the perfect gift: a delicious dinner and a wonderful memory of that moment we shared together.
* I was not compensated in any way for this post.