Giving Fewer Gifts (and More Experiences)

Gifts are a natural part of the winter holidays, and with good reason—a thoughtful gift is a lovely way to show appreciation and affection for someone you love. In fact, research shows that the process of giving or receiving thoughtful and intentional gifts decreases stress and boosts serotonin; giving makes us feel good.

But too much of any good thing can be… well, not such a good thing. Too many gifts can easily turn into an overwhelming experience burdened with waste and clutter.

One way to ease this burden is to choose experiences, rather than things, as gifts. Memberships, subscriptions, events… these all make wonderful gifts. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cooking classes for adults, children or families.
  • Memberships to museums, aquariums, zoos or science centers.
  • Parent-child art or pottery classes.
  • Road trips, complete with audio books.
  • Tickets to an amusement park.
  • Tickets to a concert.
  • A kid-in-charge day.

And then there are the best kinds of experiences, the ones we create throughout the holiday season. Gifts are nice, but it’s how we spend our time during the holidays that really matters.

Whether it’s frying latkes, stringing popcorn and hanging ornaments, heading to the ice rink, creating a family tree, or watching the same holiday movie each year, building traditions (and starting new ones!) is the best way to connect with friends and family and make long-lasting memories.

Happy Holidays from Villa di Maria!