Knoxville experiences can be Christmas gifts

@ # State

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- We've all gotten that Christmas present, maybe it was a pair of socks or something you just ended up returning or being unable to use. A lot of times we are so focused on giving things that we forget about gifting experiences. Here in East Tennessee there are plenty of places where you can ditch the department store for a memory.

"If you have someone who's hard to buy for they're not going to have anything like this,"
Matthew Cummings owner of Pretentious Glass Co. said.
"This isn't a sweater or a pair of socks this is something really, really unique."

You can gift them the chance to blow glass at his studio in Downtown Knoxville where the recipient helps make a custom keepsake.

"You get to make the choices,"
Cummings said.
"You pick out the shade, the texture, the color and you get to help make that happen. I mean it would be worth it just for that and the best part is you get something you can keep."

Maybe you're looking for an idea for the younger ones in your family? Tate's School hosts a summer day camp, and they say it is never too early to think about summer plans.

"We have a lot of families through the years, especially grandparents, where they want to give their kids something that other folks aren't,"
Program Director Jonathan Hodge said.

He said they have 10 weeks to choose, and some fill as early as January.

"That window of summer is just magic,"
Hodge said.
"The opportunity that we're looking to give these kids to us its everything."

If you're looking to give someone you love a new skill, a gift of an art class might do the trick. Those can be found at the Knoxville Arts and Fine Crafts Center.

"The arts are a great way to unwind from the stresses of life,"
Arts Specialist Heather Hartman Folks said.
"Not only are you giving somebody the experience during the class, but you're giving them something that they might want to continue doing."

She said they have a wide range of classes like pottery to belly dancing, from one day to several weeks long. The best part classes start at just $10, therefore you might want to get in on the action too.

"Bring a date, bring a friend, come learn something new together I think that's a great way to bond,"
Hartman Folks said.