Memories make the best gifts: give your family adventures instead of items

By Madelynn Bland —

Spring semester is in full swing and students are returning to campus with their new gifts and gadgets they acquired over winter break. Any holiday, whether Mother’s Day, a birthday or other personal celebrations, is associated with materialistic gifts.

Although the idea of having all of these items is enjoyable, there are other ways to spend the same amount of money while making memories and bringing happiness that doesn’t run out of battery. 

While material possessions have a huge upside, they’re typically not with us for the long haul. 

The things that you received last birthday may already be stored away and never thought of again until replaced by new gifts that offer the same temporary enjoyment as their predecessors.

Most people argue that the best part of any holiday isn’t even about the gift giving, but the memories and time spent with family. The same people then turn around and fall into the societal trap of materialistic gift giving, unaware that the best gifts of all are not for sale. 

Our memories with friends and family are some of our most prized possessions and are gifts we can enjoy for the rest of our lives. 

For example, go trek up Pike’s Peak to explore the Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs, venture around the French Quarter in New Orleans surrounded by the beauty of nature and the world or sit in the same spot as famous people and revel in the experience. 

“The expectation and demonstration of gift giving was a huge part of the holidays for me growing up. I find now that spending the same amount of money on even a meal together, or a couple of hours together makes for a different kind of gift experience,” said University of Louisville philosophy professor Brian Barnes. “Sometimes it’s great to give that gift that represents something to a loved one, but so often the care that I have for them is the function of time we spend together.”

While new technology or fancy clothes may be fun, the best gifts of all are memories that are made with loved ones. See a movie, venture to a place in your city that you’ve always wanted to visit or do anything as long as it is done surrounded by family and/or friends. The amount of time spent together will be worth way more in the long run than the items on a wish list.

After all, there is no price value on the laughs and memories made with the people you care about.

Source: Memories make the best gifts: give your family adventures instead of items (The Louisville Cardinal, Jan. 24, 2020)