Experiential vs Material | How Christmas Presents Change as You Get Older

17/12/2016

When I was younger and mum used to ask my siblings and I to write a Christmas list of the gifts we would like, we would get the Argos catalogue out and go through it, page by page, circling the things we wanted. When we came downstairs on Christmas morning, there would be piles and piles of gifts around the tree, and we would have a lot of fun sorting out all the presents into our individual Christmas sacks that mum made and embroidered for us. Over the years, this pile around the tree has shrunk from a mountain to a small hill, as presents have gotten smaller and more expensive. Some years there have only been a few gifts for each of us children, even more so the last few Christmases.

This year, the lounge floor will be mostly barren of presents, as we’ve all received our gifts before Christmas. My parents have given me money towards my flights to Malaysia and Brunei, my trip in January. My sister has had money towards a skiing holiday she is going on with her boyfriend and his family, and my brother has had a toolbox and tools for his new job as a mechanic. We’re all grown up now! We don’t circle objects and games and toys in the Argos catalogue any more. Instead, we think about the things we would really like or need; the things that are important to us.

For a little while now, I have thought more of gift experiences than material items. With an experience you can create memories, something that will stay with you for life! In contributing to my January trip, my parents have given me the chance to visit a special person in my life, see two new countries, experience two new cultures, and celebrate Chinese New Year for real, an amazing opportunity! And what material gift could be better than that?

It’s all subjective, of course. For some people, objects mean so more than they do to me. Where I dream of flight tickets and travel vouchers, others long for that new handbag, the expensive watch they saw in the shop last week, or a new car. And who am I to say that those things are worth less than the experiences that I have been gifted? We all strive and wish for different things. But please, give me a holiday over a handbag any time!

What kind of gift means the most to you? Send me a tweet, shout me on Facebook, or tell me in the comments!

Read the rest of my Blogmas 2016 posts here!

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