One of the best Christmases I ever experienced was traveling to Mexico with my family. Instead of exchanging a ton of gifts, we simply decided to go on a family trip and spend quality time together. The older I get, the more I appreciate experiential gifts or celebrations. It seems obvious to value experiences more than material possessions, but I think when we Christmas or gift shop, we automatically think about what items were going to gift. In the end, experiences are immeasurably more valuable than accumulating material possessions.
Especially in American culture, we place so much weight and importance on stuff.
Many of us have way more than we will ever need. What extra value does stuff have in your life? There are memories that will last the rest of your life, whereas possessions won't always last forever. The memories give you something to look back on and treasure. Spending time with the people you love is so much more important in the long run.
This holiday season as Christmas rolls around again, I implore you to consider being creative with the gifts you give one another. Maybe you could send your parents on that vacation they've been waiting to go on or help a friend cross something off of their bucket list. If nothing else, you are gifting the people you love the ability to take part in (hopefully) enriching, cultural experiences that will make a positive impact on who they are as a person. Maybe even an exciting story emerges from the experience.
Some of the best gifts I've received include tickets to concerts, shows, and vacations.
Not only did I take part in an enriching experience, but I did it with loved friends and family. Perhaps a gifted experience could be as simple as an art class or taking a friend somewhere to hike and do a picnic lunch. I love that giving these types of gifts requires you to think more deeply about who that person really is and what sort of experiences would positively impact them. Plus, let's be real- once our short time on Earth ends, worldly possessions have no meaning anymore. I like to think that memories and experiences stay with us eternally.
This Christmas, consider gifting your friends and family an experience rather than giving them another material possession. Even beyond the holiday season, consider doing this for any gift-giving occasion as long as it makes sense. In reality, experiences are worth so much more than things.