Stuff. It’s everywhere. I talk about it on a regular basis with kids throughout the Peace Region. In North America, where only 7% of the world’s population lives, we use 1/3 of the “stuff” on the planet. Owning that stuff also means we use 1/3 of the natural resources on our planet because that iPhone didn’t just appear from nothing. We own and use so much stuff in North America that it has been said, by many scientists, that if the whole world consumed “stuff” the way we do we would need 5 planets to produce enough resources to make that stuff. Anyone know of any other inhabitable planets?
Why bring this up? Because as amazing as the season of giving is, it can also lead us to acquire too much stuff. So, as you begin to cross items off of your holiday To-Do List, and you try to figure out what gift to buy the special someone or someone’s in your life, we want you to stop and consider buying them an experience instead of more “stuff”as a present. A weekend away, a spa day, tickets to a concert or play, a ski pass for the season, cooking lessons, art lessons, music lessons… the list of experiences is only as limited as your imagination or the person your buying for’s interests.
There’s science behind experiential gifting, too. Over the past decade, quite a bit of psychological research has found that experiences have brought people much more happiness than possessions. Think back to Christmas past. What do you remember? Is it every present you ever got, or do memories of family, friends, happiness and joy come to mind? Are you more satisfied opening a present or does it bring you more excitement to look forward to a special trip or learning a new skill? Still not convinced? Ask your kids. In 10 years they won’t remember the exact present you gave them in 2016, but they’ll remember the family trip you took to (Fill in your favourite holiday destination). They’ll love making memories for a lifetime.