As we enter the holiday season where advertising, social media, and storefronts are shouting at us about all the things there are to buy, one might wonder whether all this shopping will lead to anyone’s happiness.

Researchers out of Cornell University had a similar thought. Thomas Gilovich and  Amit Kumar published their research in the paper called “We’ll Always Have Paris: The Hedonic Payoff from Experiential and Material Investments.” They discovered the answer to the question is a simple and resounding “no.”

While in the beginning experiences and things may provide equal satisfaction, over time while that satisfaction decreased for things, it actually increased for experiences. The researchers reasoned that experiences became a part of a person and make up their whole. Stuff, on the other hand, was just stuff.

While some might identify with their things, it’s never in a truly authentic or meaningful way.

In celebration of gifts that keep on giving, we have put together a guide to local experiences that are perfect for all the types of people in your life.


For the Artist

The New Year is a time when many are trying to be and feel healthy. Help your loved ones along by gifting them a course in yoga, pilates or mindful meditation. Since it’s much more fun to get healthy together, find a class you will both enjoy and gift it to each other. The Studio in Granger offers progressive courses starting at $80 that are an average of five to seven weeks long – the perfect amount of time to commit to a new practice.

Yoga with Erica offers a variety of yoga courses and workshops in the calming space above Alpine Bakery. Most of the courses are six weeks long and $72. Erica offers yoga for all levels based on the Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar traditions.

Sharing experiences is a surefire way to connect with those you love and become inextricable part of the story of their life. This holiday season consider giving an experience that you can enjoy together with your friends and family.