Letter to Mr. Claus with page-long gift lists have been around for centuries... children can't get enough toys and games. Those in their teens and 20s appreciate more flexible gifts, like money or gift cards. But as we get older and our values change, those tangible, store-bought items or generic gifts becomes much less important... and we realize that there is no greater gift than time spent with loved ones, exploring new places, bonding with old friends, and making new memories.
Studies prove experiences make people happy.
Research shows more happiness comes from experiences, not material items. The Atlantic reports psychologist Matthew Killingsworth claims "happiness is in the content of moment-to-moment experiences." Despite all of the cliché live in the moment sayings, this Harvard Ph.D. graduate focuses much of his time proving this theory. Much has been written on the topic, but it all comes down to this: gifts that give experiences, and not things, make people happier.
This holiday season, gift experiences, not things.
Why not give a gift that results in years of happy memories? Unlike other gifts, experiential gifts produce happiness in stages: there's the initial excitement of receiving the gift, followed by the planning, packing, and traveling to that experience location, and peaks at the moment of arrival. These kinds of gifts keep giving, because the resulting cherished memories, photos, and stories last forever! Experiential gifts often include others -- another reason they make people happier than traditional gifts. Think back on your own fondest memories. Maybe it's time shared with loved ones over a delicious meal at the holidays. Or maybe it's a wedding that brought all your best friends out on the dance floor! It could even be a romantic getaway you took to celebrate a major relationship milestone.
The social connections associated with experiences is yet another source of happiness, says Huffington Post.
Consider giving a Select Registry gift certificate. It's an easy gift to give and it's also unique; you simply choose the amount and your loved ones have the freedom to choose their destination. A Select Registry gift certificate can be used at any of our 300+ quality-assured, unique bed and breakfasts, inns, and small boutique hotels throughout North America. If you'd like to give a large amount, consider gathering your siblings together to chip in for a unique and memorable gift for mom and dad.