This Year You Don't Need More THINGS. You Need More Experiences.
Updated: Nov 18, 2019
Stop shopping for more stuff to fill up our (overcluttered) houses. Start shopping for experiences.
I saw a Christmas tree in someone's window the day after Halloween.
And I'm sure if you've been to any store you've seen the Christmas decor for sale. It's not even Thanksgiving yet!
But you know why they do that, right?
It's to sell us more stuff.
The sooner they put the Christmas things out, the sooner we start thinking about everything we need to buy.
I know ya'll, cuz it worked on me!!
(I've started using 'ya'll' when I write since I'm living in the South now. I can do that.)
I started making my lists and checking them twice with all the things I'm going to buy for my family.
And if you're like me, you're doing it too (or will be soon, or have already started -- yah, I'm talking to you, the overambitious one.)
I say that with all the love possible. I say it to myself.
But seriously, stop it.
We do NOT need more stuff.
I'll say it again. Slowly.
We. Do. Not. Need. More. Stuff.
You know the closets are overflowing and under the bed is a black hole and those drawers -- a disgrace. And let's not even talk about the garage.
Ya'll, if we can't even properly manage the stuff we already have, why do we think we need more of it?
If your kids can't manage the stuff they have, why do they deserve more of it?
None of ya'll need any more stuff!
What we do need -- like NEED it, BAD -- are more experiences.
We need the experience of being organized and learning how to manage every single little thing we own. (This and this have helped me immensely in creating this experience for myself.)
We need the experience of doing something we've never done before -- like skydiving, or snorkeling, or even bowling for heaven's sake.
We need the experience of time with your spouse, or your child, or your parent -- a date, a weekend together, a trip.
We need the experience of getting out of our little corner of the world. Let me just quote Twain for one darn second to remind us:
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. -- Mark Twain
I'm not telling you something you don't already know.
And the same goes for me. I know this stuff.
So then why are we shopping for things instead of experiences?
I get that there are things you do need or want. And that's okay. I'm not saying you shouldn't own any stuff (or buy any more).
But I am saying that when it comes to birthdays, holidays, or just any-ole time, we should think MORE about experiences as a gift instead of more stuff.
How about a trip to Thailand with your spouse, or to that little BNB your in love with in the next town?
How about a week with your child or teen, learning about U.S. history, or doing humanitarian work in Guatemala, or studying Mandarin and martial arts in China?
Or what if you took lessons together and learned to dance or surf or paraglide? Or took a hot air balloon ride?