It is easy to get sucked into the consumer-oriented society that we live in today, but in reality how happy do all of these things really make us. Coming back home from college into my childhood room I am confronted with piles of clothes and gadgets from the different phases I went through as a middle schooler and even as a high schooler.
I find myself looking back at these objects with nostalgia and annoyance at their abundance because now I am left with the task of finding them a new home. While these objects do carry certain memories, they are easily replaceable. What I did with these objects and who I shared these memories with is more engraved in my mind that the physical objects themselves.
For instance, I along with many other girls went through an American Girl Doll obsession. These dolls each had their own names and stories with different clothing and some even had movies made about them. Each of these dolls cost about one hundred dollars each, absurd I know.
Yet what I remember the most from my American Girl Doll phase was not the dolls themselves but when my mom took me and my friend, and of course our dolls, to the American Girl Doll cafe and we all had tea. The reality is that while at the moment I was so fixated on getting that American Girl Doll or that new toy everyone I knew had these material gifts meant nothing in comparison to the memories I have with them.
I never really grasped the significance of experiences until I was older and I went on a gap year to Israel. During these nine months abroad I traveled through Europe, went to Morocco, and Jordan and my love for traveling grew. Experiencing different cultures, cuisines, and seeing different parts of the world with people who would become some of my best friends is by far the best gift my parents ever could have given me.
This gift allowed me to grow as a person and to solidify my ambitions in life. The failures as well as the successes I received from my travels are irreplaceable and are things I will carry with me for the rest of my life. As cliché as this sounds it is the truth. Therefore when thinking of what to give your loved one, best friend, or family member this holiday season give them something they can experience and will continue to experience even when the moment is over.
Whether it be a plane ticket, singing lessons or a weekend getaway the gift of experiences carries more weight than any piece of clothing or piece of technology ever will. So thank you to my parents for providing me with the best gift of all and I hope this article persuades you to give someone a meaningful experience as a gift this holiday season.