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Why Experiences Make Fantastic Gifts

Maybe you’re worried about your little ones becoming materialistic. Maybe you prefer the idea of making lasting memories. Maybe you just hate shopping, or at least feel like you’re running out of time.

These are some of the more obvious reasons some people choose to give the gift of an experience in lieu of yet another toy or game. But there are deeper psychological reasons why experiences make great gifts. Here are three:

  1. Experiences extend the holiday season. We don’t need to tell you how much kids look forward to opening presents on the big day — or about the little letdown they feel when it’s all behind them. But when one of the gifts they receive is an upcoming experience, there is still something to look forward to. And even after the experience is finished the memories will live on — sometimes long after that toy or game has fallen out of favor.
  2. Experiences become part of us in a way material possessions can’t. The gifts that we look at, hold and play with may indeed be important to us, but they are still external to us. The experiences we have expand our minds, elevate our knowledge and impact our hearts in a way that we internalize forever.
  3. Experiences bring more happiness than material goods do. Research shows that anticipating the experience and being present in the moment elicits more happiness and excitement than waiting for a material item.

So, what could you give as an experience? Consider buying visits or annual passes to a museum or theme park, passes to a zoo or aquarium, a trip to an escape room, tickets to a concert or sporting event, or an educational subscription box. Even passes for something as simple as mini-golf, bowling, trampolining or the movie theater offer the promise of future fun and adventure with loved ones.

In 2021, consumers in the United States are expected to spend approximately $886 on Christmas gifts on average. —

Of course, our favorite experience of them all is one that may be far into their future: a college education. Depending on the child’s age, college may represent a significant delay of gratification, but you can trust that by the time your recipient is in college they will have the maturity to be truly grateful.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season, full of experiences and warm memories!

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