Some students are opting to give experiences to their loved ones this holiday season.
Janice Ian, senior environmental ethics major, said, “Every year, I struggle and debate on what to get my parents or really anyone who is no longer in college and making a decent living because I don’t really know what they need. So this year, I decided to take my parents to go see Jerrod Niemann in concert since that is her favorite country singer.”
Aside from not knowing exactly what relatives and friends might need or like, getting them an experience ensures valuable memories will be formed.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point alumnus Matthew Grutza said, “My coworker at Syracruse University is moving to Montana in January and her favorite musical is ‘The Book of Mormon.’ So I am taking her to New York City to go see it. She already has enough stuff to move, so getting a material gift would make moving even harder. She is also not very materialistic so the shared experience would be more valuable and memorable.”
Grutza said that his friend already has what she needs so he didn’t think that he could find something she would need and use therefore the experience would be more valuable.
Scientists have conducted studies and say that experiences are better gifts. A recent study by researchers at San Francisco State University showed people “enjoy greater well-being from life experiences and consider them to be a better use of money.”
Holly Mckenna, junior elementary education major, said, “If I can’t think of something someone would actually need or use pretty regularly, I will opt for an experience instead. Even if it’s just a day trip to Madison or something. I hate to think of an object sitting on a shelf gathering dust. I’d much rather make memories.”
Mckenna said, “I don’t want to contribute to regifting so I opted to take my best friend to her favorite restaurant in Madison for the weekend to de-stress from finals.”
Over the past decade, an abundance of psychology research has shown that experiences bring people more happiness than do possessions.