Give Experiences as Gifts This Christmas
Save the planet, save your pennies and buy memories rather than "stuff" - should be the message for Christmas spending this year.
The Environmental Impact of Christmas.
There have been numerous studies that demonstrate the negative environmental impact Christmas has on the world each year.
But Christmas is a time for giving, so despite all the warnings - gifts WILL be purchased. So how can you save the planet and still provide a loving personal gift?
There are a variety of reasons you should buy experiences rather than things. The two most obvious being;
Things don't make you happy - at least not long term. Yes, we've all been happy for a short while about an exciting new gift - but after 2 weeks, where is that shiny new thing? Usually stuffed into the back of a cupboard, or worse - the trash can. The novelty wears off. It always does, but memories last.
You can't keep up with the Jones'. Technology moves on. The friends and neighbors get the "latest thing" which puts you continually on the back foot when it comes to newness. So don't give in.
No one will remember what gift they got for Christmas last year, but memories last a lifetime - which is why experiential gifts should be our aim for this year!
Small Business Trumps Big Business in Experiential Gift Options
Small Business Saturday celebrates 100 small businesses each year in the run-up to Christmas.
When it comes to experiential gifts - it's small businesses that will trump the big nationals every year.
We've all seen the "red letter days" style offerings available in the corporate high street stores. The price tag attached to these experiential gifts is the main reason many of us don't think of experiences when we think of gifting.
Very few of us can afford $150 hot air balloon rides.
But local small businesses will have experiences available for $15-35 per person. Whether it's local crochet classes, art classes, pottery painting, chocolate tasting or cooking workshops.
Shopping local reduces the environmental impact of any spending, but also supports the local economy and boosts the local main street.
Some small businesses even supply experiences internationally like Red Herring Games who won small Business Saturday in 2017 and continue to champion small businesses across the US.
"Murder mystery games provide 3 hours of entertainment," Jo Smedley, Managing Director of Red Herring Games said. This year they've produced a small voucher box to help gift experience buyers. All the gift vouchers are made of recyclable cardboard, and you can play using your phone or tablet so you can avoid printing altogether if you want.
All Christmas parties should start with a Bang! and Argh! and a Dull thud! It makes them far more memorable. So be sure to kick off your time together with a family game!