Give experiences not things

As we get closer to Christmas, I find myself thinking about these well-intentioned gifts leading to stress, for the giver and the receiver. Don’t get me wrong… I love giving people presents and seeing how happy it makes them but I do feel guilty about all the “stuff” I have.

Do we have too much stuff?

Yes we probably do. When I think about my Dad’s home when he was growing up in Ireland. It was a small house with small wardrobes. And the wardrobes were not that full.And my grandparents raised ten kids in that little 3-bed house! They also didn’t need storage or extra storage units. They only had 1 pair of shoes each and sometimes my Dad had to go barefoot. I have not counted how many pairs of shoes I have but it is far too many and I admit I would still like another pair.

Apparently the average person has over 300,000 items each, which is a lot of stuff. If all this stuff we have made us happier then I would be all for it but unfortunately it seems to be having the opposite effect, we are less happy now than 50 years ago.

Many studies have shown that material possessions do not equal happiness and that experiences are much more fulfilling than things. We can also store these experiences in our hearts and memories.

So when you go to buy somebody a gift, think again.  Maybe they would prefer to have an experience instead.

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