Ten Experiences (and Not Stuff) To Give For The Holidays

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Holiday shopping is now upon us! The stress is real when it comes to buying our loved ones presents they actually want. We want to help!

Many studies show that material possessions do not equate happiness. Experiences are generally what make us more fulfilled. So why not invest in an experience for your loved one this holiday season? They offer a more lasting impression than simply receiving a sweater. Materials become commonplace over time, but experiences can stick with you.

Researcher Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University speculates that our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. He says, “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”

Even anticipating the upcoming trip or event can create more happiness than receiving a material gift. Give the gift of fond memories this year. The following are ten ideas to get you started!

  1. Classes - Sign your friends or family up for art or cooking classes to take together! Or perhaps you live by the water and can look into scuba or surfing lessons. You will all bond while picking up a new skill.
  2. Museum Memberships - Many museums offer annual memberships. Look around your local community for discounts or special programs.
  3. Hot Air Balloon Ride - Hot air balloon rides offer an amazing view of scenic landscapes and the sunrise or sunset. Anyone will surely enjoy such a sight.  
  4. Science Center Memberships - Like museums, many science centers offer annual passes. This is a great gift to share amongst the family and can jazz up any rainy day or weekend afternoon.
  5. Camping - Purchase a tent for you and your loved ones to take a camping trip! If nothing else can bring people closer together, camping can.
  6. Local Attraction Season Passes - What local attractions are around you? Think of mini golfing, amusement parks, etc. that offer season passes to keep your loved ones entertained for days to come!  
  7. Sports tickets - Have any sports fans in your life? What better way to make them happy than to get them some sporting event tickets? Not only is it a fun gift idea, but it is something you can enjoy together!
  8. Donate - The holidays are a time for giving. Make a donation on someone’s behalf. Or have them choose the charity for you to donate to. This meaningful gift will leave them feeling warm and accomplished.
  9. Broadway show - Who doesn’t like a good show? The best shows from Broadway, such as "Wicked," "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast," come to various locations year round. Check out Broadway Across America to see what might be coming to a town near you.
  10. Train ride - Invest in a scenic train ride, such as along the California coast.

These are just a few of many creative experiences to give to someone you care about this holiday season.

Speaking of creative, do you want to bring special programs to your workplace? Learn more about the various programs ArtPropel has to offer!