December is all about giving and receiving presents, this has been the case for ages. However, what we want for Christmas has changed throughout the years according to Dimitri Mortelmans, a sociology professor at the University of Antwerp.
According to Mortelmans, we prefer experiences over material gifts. Time is our most precious possession. When you give a (probably) special moment together as a gift, like a diner or a workshop, it is very valuable to people. Mortelmans also adds something we have encountered at TrendsActive. Whereas the feelings of happiness after receiving a material gift will vanish soon, spending time together or learning something new contributes to people’s search for meaning in life which adds value to people in the long term. However, there’s a materialistic side of experiences as well. In today’s visual culture we capture our experiences so we can share them with others. In this way we materialize our experiences. People increasingly self-express through experiences, which makes the experience even more important to them.
What experiences can you offer people that allow them to spend quality time with others, learn something new, or express themselves this Christmas?