woman cheering on top of a mountain

Giving gifts

Lees in het Nederlands

Birthday presents. As I and the people around me are getting older, it’s harder and harder to think of presents to give. Ending up buying gift cards or other simple gifts. The last few years a few of my friends and I have started to not give each other physical gifts anymore. Instead we take each other out.

The winter before I left for a year in the States I stayed with my best friend for a week or so. By chance we got tickets for a show by Guido Weijers. It was about how to become happy. One of the points made by Guido (Dutch comedian) was that we don’t become happy by owning things. You will be for a short while, but then you’ll get used to it and don’t really notice it anymore. Experiences however will last forever. You’ll go like: “Do you remember that day that we were having dinner and we planned that awesome vacation?”

As of early 2018 most of the presents I’ve given to others are experiences. I really made the decision to do this after two of my friends decided to give me a special present at my birthday after just coming back from the US. One took me out for dinner and one took me on a flight simulator over the Dutch landscapes. 

It can be hard to find the right type of outing for the right person, but it’s so much better that you get to experience your gift with them. I’m now building these great lasting memories with the people I love. I’m still working on redeeming the gifts I received and gave. But most of them are scheduled.

Besides the positive effects these type of gifts have on your life it also has an impact on the environment. The amount of useless things that we buy for others which they then just put in some cupboard is a waste of resources.

If you are inspired by this and want to do this too, then here are some things that I’ve done or scheduled.

  • Dinner
  • Theater
  • Spa
  • Castle
  • Nature tour
  • 2 day hiking trip
  • City trip

Spend more time with friends and family for a happier life.

4 thoughts on “Giving gifts

  1. Anna says:

    I do this too!! First of all, I am not the kind of person that wait for a particular occasion to buy a small present: if I see something that let me think of that person, I just surprise them. But in general, I prefer experiences to things. As you said, you built memories and it is incomparable to any material present money can buy.

    Liked by 1 person

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