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Why experiences are more valuable than material gifts

By Elizabeth Ednie

Ever since I began working and making my own money, I have found that asking for Christmas and birthday gifts is difficult; especially from your significant other. If I see something that I want, I usually save up and buy it for myself instead of saving it for a Christmas gift idea. As I am getting older I’ve come to realize that if I want something that someone would see as a good holiday gift, I buy it for myself because I see it as something I worked to get. I like spending my own money on things because I appreciate and take care of them better than if I opened it from “Santa” under the tree on December 25th. 

I feel that experiences and going somewhere new is more valuable than a material gift. Recently, my boyfriend and I decided not to buy one another birthday and Christmas gifts this year for a couple different reasons. We both have the mindset that I explained earlier, in that if we want something, we buy it for ourselves. We both work really hard and like to buy things for ourselves, especially if we’ve had our eye on it for a while or just need something in general. We both have expensive taste, and its just hard to buy for someone who already has everything for all of his hobbies and interests. Hunting, fishing, golfing, and skiing being a few. We both love going on trips together and find that spending the quality time with one another is more valuable than getting each other gifts. If you have a significant other, there comes a time after being with them for a while where you just don’t know what to buy for them, and it gets frustrating shopping during the holidays. 

Right as the pandemic began, we went on a week long cruise for my spring break from school. We spontaneously booked it and good thing we actually got to go because the world shut down the day we got back in March 2020. But we had the best time. We did a couple excursions, hung out by the pool and relaxed. It allowed us to get away from reality and spend great time together that we won’t ever forget. This December, we booked a six day trip to Key West, Florida and are planning on doing a fishing charter, golfing, spending time at the hotel spa and just enjoying each other’s company. I find that it’s really important to spend quality alone time with your significant other for days at a time, specially in a different place than home. It’s nice to get away from routine and decompress from whatever you are leaving at home. 

Even though we have been together for almost three and a half years, we still learn new things about each other and I think that’s much more important than a gift you spent so much time trying to find at the store for them to open up under the tree. I challenge anyone with a significant other or anyone struggling to buy someone a gift this holiday season: even if it’s small, DO something together rather than BUYING something. Make memories and enjoy each other’s company. I promise, it will be better than a material object that might not mean anything in a year. 

Hi! My name is Elizabeth, I am a junior at Stonehill College in Easton, MA studying Communication and Journalism. I am from Cape Cod, MA, I love writing and expressing myself using words and HerCampus is a great way to do just that!
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