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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, here’s 5 of our top selling experiences to give to friends and family this Christmas:


One of our most popular gift experiences, this fun and informative day out takes place at an artisan cheese factory in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Spend the day making, grading and tasting cheeses – and you even get some to take home with you! From £99 for one person, £150 for two people.

A hearty lunch and refreshments are provided. The experience can cater for up to 6 participants so is a great gift for couples and groups.


Why do one brewery tour when you can visit 3? Yorkshire is bursting with independent breweries and in this day out you get to visit – and sample – some of the best.

Climb into the Brewtown minibus and your genial guide Mark will take you to 3 breweries on this fun, informative and (sensibly) boozy jaunt. You will learn about the brewing process and also meet the passionate folk behind the businesses.

Tours leave from either York (weekdays) or Leeds (Saturdays), with each taking in different breweries. Tours are £70 per person and make great gifts for Men and Parents.


What could be more authentically Yorkshire than taking a South American mammal for a walk? This farm and its flock has featured on Channel 5’s The Yorkshire Vet. And don’t be mistaken – these are not yobbish, spit-in-your-face-as-soon-as-look-at-you llamas – the Alpaca is an altogether more intelligent, endearing and gentle beast.

As such it makes a great unusual family day out, set amidst the beautiful Howardian Hills near Thirsk. Couples walks start at £45.


Ideal for the foodie in your life, this afternoon tour takes in 5 of Harrogate’s finest food and drink emporiums. Visit the city’s best-kept gastronomic secrets with food and drink taken at each stop. Tours can be made vegetarian-friendly as required. A vegan tour of Harrogate is also available. Food tours start at £49 per person perfect for foodie parents and couples.


Reconnect with your inner medieval self on this full-day blacksmithing experience based in the beautiful North York Moors. You’ll learn a range of traditional forging techniques under the tutelage of renowned blacksmith artist, David Stephenson. A delicious lunch is provided, and at the end of the day you’ll get to take your treasures home with you. The Blacksmithing course starts at £160 for one person. A great gift for men and couples.

If you’re looking for more ways to make your friends and family happy this Christmas take a look at our full range of over 140 Christmas gift experiences.