What is the best Christmas gift you received as a child? (Or any other holiday/birthday if you don’t celebrate Christmas) A new bike? A television? A gaming console? Do you still have that gift? Probably not. We all know what happens with gifts, even the ones that we cherish most. Remember the rant that the Grinch when on in “How The Grinch Stole Christmas?” If you haven’t seen in, it’s on Netflix:
“That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? That’s what it’s always been about! Gifts… gifts. Gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts! Do you know what happens to your gifts? They all come to me… in your garbage. You see what I’m saying? In your garbage! I could hang myself with all the bad Christmas neckties I found at the dump! And the avarice… THE AVARICE NEVER ENDS! “I want golf clubs! I want diamonds! I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored, and sell it to make glue!”” – The Grinch
For the better part of our relationship, our Christmas gifts have always been centered around some form of an experience. Sure, there has been jewelry and other miscellaneous gifts, but 90% of the time the gifts we give one another are a trip somewhere or some sort of experience that can’t ever end up at the top of Mount Crumpit with the Grinch. So let’s list a few reasons why an experience is the best Christmas gift. And if you celebrate Hanukkah or any other holiday, it works just the same.
Sure, experiences are generally a one-time thing. That is the point – to experience. However, when we plan trips for one another as gifts, we get the full experience and squeeze all of the juice we can possibly squeeze out of that gift. What are we left with? Memories. Not a garbage bin full of old gifts.
Our best memories together as a couple (and many of our best memories in life as children) are from trips that we have taken and the experiences that we have had exploring the world. These memories are essentially gifts that keep on giving. No, the trip can’t be “played” with on a regular basis. But it also can’t be broken, stolen, or aged to the point it deteriorates into junk.
As the old saying goes, it is better to give than to receive. This is especially true when you’re giving someone a trip or experience that you have some input in creating. Plan a trip for your partner and you get to enjoy the gift as well!
Ever get buyers remorse from a random purchase? Sure you have. That new thing that seemed to necessary will ultimately become that thing that collects dust or that thing that needs to be replaced. With travel and experienced based gifts, you become richer through the money you spend. Sure your bank account may dwindle, but you’ll be constantly renewed and will become richer through your experiences.
Some of our trips that you have read about recently have been gifts. Thailand was a gift for Alex’s birthday this past summer, Machu Picchu, was a Christmas gift from 2017, and one of our more recent trips to Positano was to celebrate Alex’s birthday in 2016. Similarly, we have also enjoyed concerts and music festivals like Coachella as gifts to one another on various occasions. Sure, the trips are over, but the gift continues to give as we are constantly reminded of the fond memories we created. So this holiday season, think about an experience you can create for your partner, friend, family member, etc. and give the gift that keeps on giving instead of one that ends up in the trash.