Your Christmas shopping list is long and time is short, so how do you find a unique and memorable gift for each loved one without going all “who in who-ville” looking for the right size, the right color, the right bamboozler and curtinkler? The answer is not that 2×3 inch plastic gift card staring at you, taunting you in the check-out line saying, “I’m convenient. I’m easy to deliver and wrap. I’ll be the little piece of plastic that Johnny and Sally will remember you by…” – until the gift card opens access to an entire universe of distracting big-box materialism and online streaming entertainment. Perfect gift? Yeah, right!
It’s easy to sense there’s more to it than that; more meaning, more memories, more together time in the gifts we give. But often we forget what’s really available to us.
Western River Expeditions believes in a different kind of streaming entertainment service. This kind is strictly off-line and wireless, but with unlimited access to the actual universe. Imagine lying on a cot with your closest loved ones also nearby, night sky enveloping you, spotting shooting stars that disappear behind the canyon rims, and chatting about the day’s adventures… warm desert breezes bring the sound of the river downstream to your ears, whispering a hint of tomorrow’s adventures.
Even those who’ve already unwrapped the idea of family vacations as Christmas gifts will find plenty of unexpected surprises on a rafting trip, in comparison to the typical beach or amusement park vacation. A multi-day rafting expedition in an unknown and ancient landscape, turns “add-to-cart” into adrenaline and adventure, memory cards into memories, and the forgettable-but-once important “Ferby” into unforgettable fun with friends and family.
Why is whitewater rafting the perfect Christmas gift?
1. One size fits all
It’s not just a label; there really is a river trip that fits Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad, little 5 year old Johnny and 15 year old Sally! Even a group with interests, energy and ages as diverse as the toys on the island of misfits can enjoy the float together into a land of Candy Cane Forests and the Seas of Swirly Twirly Gum Drops. Desolation Canyon in eastern Utah, or Lower Salmon River in western Idaho are trips with the easiest rapids and typically broad, sandy beaches. Think of what your group may want, and we’ve probably got a trip that fits.
2. One collective, shared memory
In the same way that Christmas day memories are usually quite clear in our minds, river trips are so unique they stand out in comparison to other vacations. Besides being unique experiences on a river, you get to experience them together as a family when you’re all in the same boat.
3. The gift that keeps on giving
The instant you know you’re going on a vacation the anticipation begins. That is a gift. Just think about those long days at work when you can let your mind drift to that space on the calendar when you’ll be soaking up rays and sinking into the waves on a raft somewhere in the West. You’ll feel the same sense of wonder and joy as when you see the gifts mount up under the tree… you read the tags to see which ones are for you, you shake them, hold them, wonder at what they could be. The great thing is, when the trip is over, you’ve got years and years of memories that randomly pop back into your mind. That is a gift as well. Don’t forget that all those photos make great follow up gifts in the form of customized mugs, puzzles, pillowcases and photobooks from services like Shutterfly.
4. The gift of (and to) self!
Time together is the right way to give the gift of self!
5. Easy delivery and stocking stuffers too!
It may be hard to imagine what it will look like under the tree when you give the gift of a river trip. Don’t worry, the space under the tree doesn’t have to be empty. Along with the envelope of catalogs and trip confirmations you can also pack a few trip preparations. Imagine wrapping up rain gear, duffle bags, fleece pullovers and tees with logo imprints… and one final envelope with catalog and trip confirmations inside. That’s anticipation!
6. Cross off the bucket list AND the Christmas list!
Rather than making a list and checking it twice, make two lists and check it off once, with one swift kick down the river. Many do a trip like whitewater rafting to check off an item from their “bucket list”. In case you’ve been living in the North Pole, a bucket list is meant to help you experience those things you always dreamed of doing before you “kick the bucket”. Forget the sugar plums dancing in your head, get out and really live! Naughty or nice, it’s a darn good reason to add whitewater rafting to the Christmas list.
7. Stars, and the meaning of life
No matter the meaning you find in gift-giving, and the Holiday Season, it can be agreed that taking the time to reflect on our lives, and the friendships and bonds we’ve forged is something that makes life far more meaningful. Many countless have gone on river trips over the last five and a half decades with Western River Expeditions and come back significantly changed. There is something about lying on a cot along the river with nothing but empty space between you and the raw, unshielded universe after a day of unexpected adventure that gives you perspective and… guidance. Imagine giving that to someone for Christmas this year.
Here are a few more reasons to believe:
Combine your Grand Canyon rafting adventure with a day and night at a working cattle ranch.
Huge sandy camping beaches, rich history, beautiful waters and choices of oar boat, paddle and inflatable kayak.