Our thoughts // 23.09.2019

Why giving an experience is better than giving things


The best gift you can give someone is your presence.

People are shifting to a post-materialism world, where experiences are rated more highly than material goods. We are massive advocates of creating new experiences that make some awesome long-lasting memories.

And we aren’t the only ones… 3 in 4 millennials say they would rather share an experience than receiving a gift. Here are 5 reasons why we are also big champions of this too:

2 people watching friends throw axes
  1. Happiness created through an experience lasts longer

Sharing an experience with someone will make them happier in the long run. Customer satisfaction with a material gift decreases quickly, which is why we are always buying the newest mobile phone or wanting that new jacket. This is called the hedonic treadmill – humans adapt rapidly to positive or negative things in our life to maintain a balanced level of happiness. This means that when we give a gift it becomes part of everyday life and the enjoyment of it wanes.

However, the joy from an experience lasts much longer, research shows that remembering the experience will bring the same amount of happiness that you had when having the experience.


  1. Shared experiences & unique gift ideas contribute to better relationships

Experiences are generally done in pairs or groups, which is half of the reason why they are so awesome. You are not only building new memories you are sharing those memories with friends, family or that someone special in your life.

Sharing experiences are essential to building a connection with people, not only are you spending time with one another, later you will recall those times spent with that person fondly.

excited woman shocked at whistle punks
2 men bumping axes
  1. Experiences are exciting and make us feel awesome!

One of the cool things about unique gift ideas is that they start building happiness before we even get there.

A study asked people how they felt about an upcoming experience present as opposed to an upcoming material gift and found that levels of excitement were considerably higher when it came to the experiences. Anticipation is actually a key part of assessing the overall happiness that a gift gives you.


  1. Experiences shape us

Experiences impact our personality much more than gifts do. When you think about the things that shaped your personality it’s unlikely that you will think about a DVD or t-shirt, instead, we are more likely to recall our trip to Bali, a romantic weekend in Paris or seeing our favourite band live.


  1. There is less comparison with others.

It’s easier to compare material goods than experiences and humans have a natural bent to comparing things. Experiences aren’t compared as often because they are often unique and it’s also very difficult to quantify why and how something made you happier.

Not comparing things ends up making us happier as we don’t feel like we’ve missed out or that we would have preferred something else.


Social leisure is the perfect option for an experiential gift this Christmas, the experiences are designed so that anyone can do it from a beginner to a master and you will all have fun.

This Christmas instead of buying the latest John Grisham novel or bath stuff, think of an experience and give your loved ones time with you doing something awesome – like axe throwing and Whistle Punks merch!

Words: Staff Writer

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