The Benefit of Experience-Based Gifts

| 10/7/2015 2:11:00 PM

No matter how hard we might try, finding the perfect gift is scientifically unfeasible. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, we give gifts that we think will reflect well on us and endear us to the recipient—not what the recipient actually wants.

This year skip the search for the perfect item and instead bestow the gift of a great time. Compared with material goods, experiences bring more happiness, according to research published in Psychological Science. When people spend resources on experiences instead of stuff, they get an uptick in happiness and excitement in advance of the experience that outpaces the boost given by the anticipation of a material good. Experiences trump material goods when it comes to long-term happiness, too. Experiences offer a social element, so we can build up relationships with them, and once the experience is over, it’s something we can discuss with others. (A trip to Japan is much more interesting conversation fodder than describing the features of a new camera.) Read on for just a few ideas for fun, experiential gifts.

Woman with Camera


A well-chosen subscription service makes for a perfectly practical gift that delivers for months to come. Here are some of our favorites:

When it comes to food delivery, few subscriptions can beat the do-good feeling of Love with Food. Every month, your foodie friend will receive a box filled with organic and all-natural snacks based on seasonal items. What's more, for every box sold, a meal is donated to food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength-No Kid Hungry. $8 a month, Love with Food

Thrill your favorite bookworm with a subscription to a book-delivery service. The indie ebook store Emily Books will automatically upload a carefully selected ebook to their device every month. Or for commuters, try an Audible subscription, so your pal can download any audiobook that strikes her fancy. $14 a month, Emily Books; $15, Audible

Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me