Stuff Vs Experiences

Over the last few years I feel like my priorities for gifts and special occasions have shifted somewhat. I have moved away from wanting “stuff” on birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas and are more drawn to memory making experiences. Of course I do still love to write a wish list, and eye up the latest trends in Zara and H&M, and maybe I’ll need a new pair of pumps or boots or a jumper that I ask for, but I just think that there is something wonderful about a day out to my favourite place with Nathan, or a theatre trip, a night away, a cheeky spa day with a friend – just doing something completely different that otherwise you wouldn’t do! I love when we have taken the kids to theme parks or a zoo; something bigger and more special than the average day out, yes this is what makes me really happy.


I feel so strongly that life is about feeling joyful, not just happy with it, but actual real joy! To me joy comes when I am on an adventure with the fam, or when I am accomplishing goals and ticking things off my bucket list. It comes when I see my kids achieve or be kind to someone, and it comes when we are together as family and with family. Joy is great because you can feel it even when you can’t afford the jeans you were eyeing up or the new highlights your hair desperately needed.

Joy is felt in the experiences of life and then for me can be rejuvenated at the memory of that experience again and again.

It is because of that we chose early on as a couple to do activities and have experiences together on our wedding anniversaries instead of buying one another gifts. And in the last couple of years we have decided on that idea for Christmas too. We just thought why buy each other another jumper, more make up (me not him obviously), perfume and “stuff” just because its Christmas, when instead we could use our budget to have a nice day out together? We could see a band, go to a spa, take a city break or just do something bucket listy like travel or hit the west end! We love getting stuff and gifts from other people, and its so lovely and exciting to see what they would think you would like, but for each other we love more that the stuff to have fun and wonderful experiences, we love opportunities to create memories and want more than anything when we are old to look back on life and say “Remember when we did”…


I therefore really love companies like Red Letter Days that are all about the experiences of life. They are people that know how to have fun, how to create romance and how to give you something to remember for many years to come, and how to give your those stories to tell long after that new jumper has gone bobbly! They are couple friendly and family friendly and their gift list is fab for singles, groups and all ages, and what is even better is that they currently have a fab quiz online that I recently discovered, and that takes like 2 minutes to fill out – “The naughty or nice list“, and it gives you the opportunity to win a lovely experience this Christmas (free and easy – right down my street). I have already entered and hoping that that super car experience is mine as I have a little weakness for hot cars, but that’s another post for another day.


So maybe think a little harder this year and see if a night away, a trip to the theatre, national trust, afternoon tea or a day at the spa in the new year would be more valuable than another handbag, jacket or bottle of perfume! Not only will it be wonderful to do and remember, give something to talk about for years to come, but it will save a lot of hassle fighting the crowds who are Christmas shopping!

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  1. November 18, 2016 / 10:36 pm

    I am totally with you Mary, and yes to having an adventure together or with the family instead of gifts. There is so much out there to experience isn’t there. Hubs and I do a strict budget of £10 each at Christmas. We have done this since the kids came along, as we would rather put it towards a day out over Christmas x
    Tracey Williams recently posted…Little Loves – Comfy boots, Christmas Shopping and becoming a ScoutMy Profile

    • Mary
      November 19, 2016 / 8:19 am

      I love this idea Tracey … sounds great

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