The anticipation and the thrill of the unknown are part of the joyful experience of the holiday. That tangible, wrapped gift, resting in mystery under the evergreen certainly has the ability to honor and bless those in our lives. Yet, too often, the Christmas season is overtaken by marketing hype and commercial pressure to purchase the item of the year – even though the pleasure found in that purchase often dwindles in a matter of weeks.
Research confirms what many of us have known all along. The best gifts aren’t always the ones we can place in our hands. They are the ones we hold in our memory. In a recent study, psychologists found that with new possessions, people’s happiness wanes in six to eight weeks, but when money is spent on experiences, it produces more happiness in the long run.
We rarely fill “bucket lists” with things we want to have. Instead, we dream of what we want to do with our lives – the places we want to see, the people we want to spend time with and the adventures we want to experience. Possessions can break or become obsolete. Remarkable memories grow stronger and are cherished more with time.
We’ve all experienced the feeling that comes with every unopened gift. So this Christmas, enjoy wrapping and unwrapping packages around the tree – then give your time, your presence and an experience to the family and friends on your list. We all enjoy the thrill of the season in the moment, let’s just invest in more moments that last a lifetime.