Christmas is absolutely a time for giving. Whether it’s family members or close friends, we all want to show the important people in our lives just how much they mean to us. It seems that Christmas, however, is slowly but surely becoming less about spending time with loved ones, and more about spending time and money purchasing the perfect gift. With Black Friday sneaking into Thursday and Cyber Monday dominating an entire weekend, it’s never been easier to be swept away by the materialistic frenzy. Add to this the ease of online shopping and gift-givers couldn’t be happier.
But if the Grinch taught us anything, it’s that the spirit of Christmas isn’t just about presents. In fact, families all around the world are starting to cut back on giving physical objects during the holidays, opting instead to invest in the gift of experiences. Here are four great reasons to consider giving a round of golf or dinner for two instead of a golf driver or a Cuisinart mixer.
Togetherness is Important
Technology might allow for more easily accessible communication worldwide, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that spending actual time with loved ones is important. Studies show that quality time with family and friends increases both physical and mental health. This is especially true for children, but everyone benefits from spending time with those they care about.
Memories Last a Lifetime
An experience is literally the gift that keeps on giving. While a new Xbox or video game is cool, the excitement eventually fades; the system either becomes outdated or breaks and the game is old news after a few dozen plays. The memories associated with a gifted experience, on the other hand, last a lifetime. Whether it’s a family trip to the zoo, breakfast in bed for a week, or tickets to a baseball game, the time may pass but the feelings will last forever.
Experiences Fit Any Budget
No money? No problem! One of the best things about the gift of experience is that it can fit any budget. While some people can afford to gift an all-expense paid dream vacation to Ireland, the experiences you give don’t have to be expensive. You can plan a visit a nearby free museum, offer to do dishes for a month, babysit for an evening, orchestrate a game night, or cook dinner for a week. There’s no limit to the options out there and you don’t have to break the bank be show you care.
People Prefer Experiences over Material Objects
Believe it or not, people actually prefer experiences over material objects. A study conducted by Cornell University in 2014 found that experiential purchases are more satisfying to get and make those on the receiving end happier. It makes sense, after all, that going to a live concert would be more enjoyable than getting an iTunes gift card.
Contributed by Amanda Vosloh Bowyer