Do something different this holiday season and give your friends and family the gift of adventure!
There is a great idea floating around – Give Experiences Rather Than Stuff. Oh sure, it’s nice to get new hiking boots, or maybe a Snuggie, if that’s your thing. But, I want to talk about giving experiences that create memories. Sure, I’ll love those boots, but when I get back from Machu Picchu, you know what I’ll remember? The breathtaking views, sipping coffee while looking up at a sky so full of stars it makes me feel small, holding hands with this exhausted best friend of mine. That was four years ago… Joseph Goodman, an associate professor at Washington University who studies the effects of giving experiences as gifts says, “We adapt to material gifts faster. Whereas experiences tend to be more exciting in the beginning, and we tend to take longer to adapt over time.”
Looking back, I think many of us would say most of the really meaningful gifts we’ve received stem from experiences. The gift of a pasta sculpture painted and pasted to cardboard, that’s not just art, it’s the culmination of an experience of my five year old niece. And she is sharing that with me! And while that example is sort of stuff, there is so much memory created by it because it is highly personal, and of course, a magnificent piece of art. But we can also look at the photos we keep and display. Maui dive trip to Molokini, experience. Broken hand after falling over whilst giving a piggy-back ride during a weekend scape to NYC, an experience. Watching the sun rise over rolling vineyards in Sienna, a magical experience. You get my point.
How does one compare a Nicolas Cage Sequin Pillow to the ache of one’s finger tips, at 0’dark-thirty, atop Haleakala waiting for the sun to come up on Thanksgiving morning? This is unique territory we’re talking about here. There’s really no comparison. Sorry Nicolas.
Our lives are built with the fabric of experiences. Some social, some individual, but these threads come together to form the tapestry of us. And when we say, hey honey, I got us tickets to see Pearl Jam, it is the opposite of saying I got you a ticket to see Pearl Jam. Ok, maybe that was a bad example because one of us is going to create memories of Eddie.. But if we go together, I can be reminded of just how in love with Eddie my sweetheart is. Wait, what am I saying? Ok, so we’ll go together and I’ll squeeze your hand so tight, you’ll remember. Yep, that works.
In his research, Goodman is finding that gift givers don’t accurately predict how happy a gift will make someone–most people assume that buying a physical gift will have better results. That’s one reason why experiential gifts are uncommon. The other is practical: if you don’t know someone well, it’s often easier to get a more generic present. And that’s where we say, hey, give them a gift of experience! Or better yet, Adventure!
“Experiences are great and lead to happiness because they tend to be more unique and less comparable than material goods,” Goodman says. “But what that also means is because they’re more unique and less comparable, I need to know a lot about you to find an experience you’ll really enjoy.” We think, some experiences are the ones that HELP you know a lot more about your people.
Now, all that being said….
Right here, in Woodinville, we’ve got Teatro Zinzanni, Willows Lodge, Chateau Ste Michelle, JM Cellars, Woodinville Whiskey, Purple Cafe, The Commons, hot air balloon rides, walks, hikes, bike trails, stand up paddling, summer concerts, and a host of stellar food venues and shortly, the new pub at Teatro ZinZanni.. and of course Adventura… So we challenge you to give the gift of experience this year.