Gifting experiences instead of giving material gifts makes sense for so many reasons. The most important reason is that experiences = memories. In the words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Experiences create memories, and the feelings from those memories, like the memory itself, will last a lifetime.
The holiday season is upon us which signals the start of ads for holiday gift buying. Black Friday kicks off the sales with Cyber Monday close behind. Everyone is looking for the perfect gifts at the best prices to hopefully stay within their budgets.
Whether you like to go into stores to shop, or shop online in the comfort of your own home, there are some things to consider in terms of your gifting choices. Tangible items work in a lot of cases for a lot of people. Everyone needs things, but how much is too much? I would say that most people have more things than they need, or enough space to store them.
Material items have life cycles and only last for a period of time. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we have a finite amount of space and our things need to be proportionate to our living spaces. At some point we have to purge or reduce the amount of our things to remove the excess. Excess turns into clutter which creates stress.
What if we considered another option? The option of gifting experiences. As mentioned above, experiences = memories. This is a less invasive manner of expressing your love. It also avoids giving a gift that the recipient may not like, but feel obligated to keep because it was given to them as a gift from you.
Let’s look at the ages of the gift recipients on your list. Most of these lists show kids, young adults and older adults. Yes, you may have fur kids but that’s an entirely different conversation! It’s realistic to believe that most will receive tangible gifts. Let’s think about each age group and the benefits of gifting experiences.
Everyone, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles & friends will likely give them gifts they can touch. How many will be gifting experiences and making memories? Kids don’t even know who gives them which toy. They may play with the year’s most popular toy for a while, then lose interest and it ends up in the back of their closet. Maybe not every toy they receive, but most of them. They will however, remember the memory of going to the zoo or an amusement park with MawMaw & PawPaw. Experiences = memories.
What is the thing that most teenagers or young adults, want the most? Ok, forget the devices for a moment, they will receive those for gifts. They want to hang out with their friends. They all have their peeps or whatever the latest term is, and they want to be with them. Gifting experiences to young adults allows them to hang together at an event to have fun and make memories. Experiences = memories.
How many times have you asked a parent or grandparent what they want for Christmas, only to hear the words, ‘I don’t want anything’. They aren’t kidding, they really don’t want any more stuff. They have a lifetime of things in the basement, attic or garage just taking up space. They don’t want more to add to the accumulation. They do however, want to spend time with you, to make memories. Gifting experiences allows them to do just that. Figure out something you can do with them that they, and you will enjoy. Take them to dinner and a movie, or a play or sporting event. Experiences = memories.
All of these age groups have one thing in common in terms of gifting experiences, spending time with their loved ones. And what better gift could anyone receive than the gift of love!
What was your favorite gift of experience that you received?