Many people are passionate about experiences, whether it’s trying a new restaurant, exploring a new country, skydiving or running a marathon. These experiences create long-lasting memories, and giving gifts to preserve those memories can be incredibly meaningful.
Objects Are Temporary, Memories Last Forever
Many studies show material items given as gifts do not always equal happiness and fulfillment for the recipient. Researchers Thomas Gilovich and Matthew Killingsworth at Cornell University have focused their research on understanding why experiences have the ability to contribute to happiness so much more than physical items. Their findings posted in the Journal of Psychological Science show that we remember the experiences that generate the widest ranges of emotional responses.
Many experiences are also more intrinsically fulfilling than items and are a uniting factor for groups of people. You’re more likely to bond with someone who’s run the same marathon as you rather than someone who simply has a similar possession. A material item may be thoughtful, but one day you may get rid of it.
Inspiration From Everywhere
There are several things you can do to make the gift-giving experience more meaningful. Ask the recipient’s friends or family members for inspiration and check their social feeds to see what they’ve been up to. Creating positive memories can take the form of a wine tasting, concert or sports experience.
Simply asking the recipient what they like or don’t like can lead to good memory-generating ideas. They may have always wanted to try something but never had the chance. Experiences generate memories and feelings that people can share and carry with them for a lifetime.
At the end of the day, experiences as gifts can be fantastic opportunities to create enjoyable, long-lasting memories that others love and appreciate.