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Experience Gifts: Give Happiness, Not Clutter this Holiday Season

“How do I handle all the GIFTS?”

That’s one of the most common questions I get asked this time of the year. Mostly its from other parents who want to know how to manage gift giving from well-meaning family members.

The funny things about gifts and STUFF though? They actually have this weird little thing called “diminishing value”.  Meaning which each day and year, their value decreases.

Now this is nothing new to us moms. We know that the Paw Patrol toy and the Barbie our children so desperately wanted for Christmas last year are sitting in a toy box somewhere unknown, untouched, and unplayed with for months.

Yet we continue to buy gifts every year.  Why?

Well part of it is the joy of the Christmas magic of seeing children open presents under the tree. And it’s also because we  parents are left with a Big OLE Question Mark. If not gifts, then what? 

Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University has done research on this exact question. And the answer? Experiences.

It turns out that experiences (such as traveling, time spent with family, etc) increases in value over time. Your level of happiness increases over time with experiences, rather than material purchases.

Which create s a new way of gifting this holiday season: experience gifts.

Like an Annual Zoo Pass. Or a trip to the science museum. Or how about saving up for a short family getaway instead of filling the tree with gifts.

Experiences enrich us in an ongoing way; and we come to cherish them more. And they don’t contribute to the clutter of our home. (yes!)

Watch the video above to get more insight into how experiences gift us with happiness in the now and the future and get ideas and inspiration for gifting experiences this holiday season.

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