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Married couple enjoying a painting class experience together and making memories rather than acquiring material items

Seven Reasons Why Experiences Are Better Gifts

December 1, 2022
Marriage Enrichment

Consider Gifting an Experience Rather Than a “Thing” This Year 

‘Tis the season for Christmas shopping! We’re betting you’ve got a list for your spouse, mom, dad, brother, sister, child, friend, and more. Instead of gifting a material item, have you considered gifting an experience? Check out the seven reasons below why we believe experiences make better gifts. Is there a class, play, date night, or additional experience you could give a loved one this year? We bet it’ll save you some shopping time, too! 

1. Experiences create memories, and memories last forever. Most material items lose their value and excitement. 

No matter how shiny, fast, big, or flashy a new piece of jewelry, car, appliance, or clothing item is, it will likely depreciate over time. Additionally, as a consumer you adapt to the items you purchase or are given. You get used to them and eventually grow bored with them. On the other hand, partaking in experiences means you’re making memories, and memories last forever. You don’t grow bored recalling a memory from a vacation you took with your family member like you get bored with your bike—sure it’s nice, but since you got it, you’ve seen five nicer bikes.  

2. Experiences are individualized. Material items are for the masses.  

It’s more difficult to compare your experience to someone else’s as opposed to comparing your new phone to your friend’s. When receiving a material item, it’s easy to second guess—was there a better brand, a better deal, a better color? At times, you think more about what you don’t have than what you do. On the other hand, even if your friend attended the same play as you, your experience was likely different—what stood out to you, who you went with, what you ate and drank, etc. It doesn’t leave you second guessing; it leaves you appreciating your personal experience.  

3. Experiences are social.  

Experiences allow you to interact with others and form stronger bonds. They lean into the quality time aspect of your relationships, whether with family members, friends, or coworkers, that is valuable in strengthening the relationship. Not only do you get to partake in something new, you get to do it with other people you love, which magnifies the experience. Consider this—when a loved one passes, often you recall experiences you shared with them rather than items you gave them or were given by them. 

4. Receiving an experience is unique. Receiving a material item is expected. 

When you open presents, you likely think you’re opening something you can use, wear, play, etc.—something you can engage with in the present. Think about the times when you’ve been given concert tickets or plane tickets as a gift? If you’ve been on the receiving end of this type of gift, it was likely unique and something you weren’t expecting. 

5. Experiences allow you to break up your routine and learn new things. 

We could all stand to learn new things and expand our horizons. Participating in a painting class may not turn you into a painter, but you’ll learn a thing or two and hopefully be able to appreciate the art a bit more. And, you’ll change up your normal routine and get out of your comfort zone. 

6. Experiences allow you to build excitement.  

When you have an experience marked on your calendar, your excitement builds. You’re excited the day you received the gift of the experience or booked it, and you continue to get excited as the event approaches. You get to enjoy your experience in advance due to your rising anticipation.  

7. Experiences don’t take up space. 

What do you gift someone who already has “everything” or who lives in a small space and doesn’t have much room? An experience! Give them the gift of something to look forward to without having to worry about not having room for their new gift. 

Need help thinking of a few experiences you could gift? We’ve got seven simple ideas—a spa day, romantic getaway, cooking class, concert tickets, pottery class, date night, and dance class. These are just a few to get you started thinking about what experience you could give your loved one this Christmas.  

We’ve Thought of Everything!

The perfect weekend couple’s getaway is at WinShape Retreat. Once you book, the planning is done. You don’t have to think up meals or activities—you just have to relax with your spouse. Check out our upcoming WinShape marriage experiences!

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