Christmas Gift Experiences – Give experiences not stuff!

Christmas Gift Experiences – Give experiences not stuff!

The science is in and it’s official – experiences make us happier than things!

If you’re looking for a way to make your friends and family really happy this Christmas maybe it’s time to consider Christmas Gift Experiences – and not stuff! Over a 20 year period Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University in the United States, has been conducting research on the kinds of purchases that make us most happy. His studies concluded that happiness is derived from experiences and not from possessing things and here’s just a few reasons why…

Happiness from experiences will last longer

You’ve waited ages to buy the latest bit of tech, you’ve saved up your hard-earned cash, it’s going to last for years, it’s going to give you soooo much pleasure right? Wrong!! It’s a common misconception that buying the latest gadget will give you more happiness in the long run than giving an experience which might only last a few hours. But even though the experience itself might be fleeting, the build-up, the planning and the anticipation of an experience are all part of the enjoyment and it doesn’t just end on the day of the experience itself. We continue to relive the experience by recounting it and sharing our memories with others. In contrast the anticipation at getting the latest bit of tech or gadget really is short-lived. We soon get used to owning it and once the initial buzz is over we’re on the hunt for the next thing to buy.

The gift that keeps on giving…

Even after the experience day has been and gone people still derive pleasure from recounting the experience and telling stories about it. In fact the more we relive an event through telling people about it the more the actual enjoyment of the original experience is enhanced. And generally, people enjoy hearing stories about what we’ve done and places we’ve been but a story about your new phone or gadget is more than likely going to elicit the yawn factor.

Experiences become part of our story

 “Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” says Gilovich. “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.”

Experiences are social

Experiences are usually done with other people and we meet new people through having experiences. We talk about our experiences with other people and they are much more likely to be interested in something we have done rather than something we own.

“We consume experiences directly with other people,” says Gilovich. “And after they’re gone, they’re part of the stories that we tell to one another.”

If you’re convinced by the evidence and want to give a little happiness this Christmas, take a look at our Christmas gift experiences.