Tale of Two Thompsons

Three Material Gifts That Also Offer an Experience

When I think of a material gift I think of gifting someone clothes or shoes or décor for their home. When I think of an experience gift I think of taking someone on a trip or to a restaurant they’ve always wanted to try.

Then there’s those in-between gifts, at least in my mind, that are material, but also bring some sort of experience along with them.

Here are three examples of these types of gifts that you can add to your last minute Christmas ‘To Get’ list:

  • Music

Whether it’s a CD, vinyl record or *gasp* a tape (yes, I will occasionally listen to tapes in my car because the CD player is jammed #hightech), music is a great gift because it can transport your mind to a different place or time of your life. For example, I went on a beach trip with two friends after graduating college and when I hear certain songs on the radio that we played on repeat during that trip, I’m instantly taken back to a sunny day in May on the shores of Shell Island or St. Andrew’s State Park. The same is true when I hear songs that remind me of summers spent on the lake with my family. I’m positive there are certain songs tied to memories in your life. Give someone the gift of music and they’ll get to experience those memories all over again.

Think outside the box: Purchase Spotify Premium for your loved one so that they no longer have to listen to those pesky ads! (If I have to listen to Tiffany Haddish talk about Groupon one more time …)

  • Books

Although a physical book is a material item, reading the words on its pages are an experience. Books expand your mind, make you think, teach you something new or offer a way to relax in the evenings. I’m a huge fan of nonfiction. I love reading books that teach me about something that actually happened or make me think about how to apply the content in the book to my life. I recently read a book titled Everything That Remains by The Minimalists and have been working to apply the principles in the book to my own home. It talks about ways to simplify your life so that you can focus on the things that are most important to you. For them, these things are relationships, health, contribution, growth and giving. Your priorities may differ from these, but whatever they are, decluttering and minimizing the physical junk in your life will allow you to spend more time doing the things you enjoy rather than cleaning, organizing, fixing or maintaining the material items in your home.

Think outside the box: Buy a book your loved one can read on their Kindle or a subscription to Audible if they prefer audio books over physical books. This is a great gift for that cheap-o in your life who never pays for subscriptions (*cough* me).

  • Journals

I know not everyone likes to write or journal, but for those who do, there is nothing more exciting than a beautiful journal with blank pages waiting to be filled with thoughts and ideas. I have gotten into the habit of journaling every morning. It’s therapeutic and the experience of drinking my coffee under a cozy blanket on the couch and writing in my journal has made the early mornings more enjoyable. Barnes & Noble always has a beautiful selection of leather journals!

Can you think of other material gifts that also have experiential aspects?

Read about having less.

Read about a giftless Christmas.

Read about embracing simple living.

Photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash

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