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Give an Invaluable Gift Next Year

Skip on the possessions and make it a goal to add to your list of experiences in 2017

By: Kevin Abernethy + Save to a List

Christmas is right around the corner and most of us are wrapping up our holiday shopping and hoping we found the perfect gift; that article of clothing, maybe some new gear, new shoes, gift cards, the list goes on and on. I am trying to adopt a new mindset in 2017 and I encourage everyone reading this article to do the same. Give the gift of time and aim to add to your experiences for the upcoming year. Instead of handing over a physical object opt to spend time with the people in your life who matter the most to you. Time is that gift you can never give back and it’s something a lot of people wish they had more of. 

Break Away from the Norm

I know this idea of a “gift” is outside of the norm, but a great friend recently told me “the norm is an opportunity for unique individuals to break outside of what society expects them to do.” It's up to you on how you make this gift something unforgettable and not just a lame excuse because you forgot to buy something. What experiences or events have been the most memorable for you and your loved ones? Even if it's something simple like making time to meet with a friend over a cup of coffee (you're buying of course). Has work been neglecting you from your spouse or children? Find time to get away from your job and experience something you know everyone will enjoy; go watch a sunset, walk around the block, just find something that gets you away from your normal routine and allows you to dedicate every second to that person that means something to you. Anyone who knows me knows my daughter is the light of my world and I want our memories to be flooded with experiences, not inundated with just more stuff.

Reminisce on Your Experiences

The older I get the more I realize how easy it is to be consumed by our day to day obligations and I find myself looking for any reason to break away from the norm. My family may think I am being cheap but I am opting to not buy as many gifts in 2017 and instead dedicate more time to spend with them (even the less favorable ones). In 5-10 years I am not going to wish I would have splurged on that gift, I am going to wish I had a little more time to spend on that specific person. I am blessed to have a solid core group of friends and we always reminisce on the memories we have made and the experiences we all have together. We never talk about the gift we bought, or the Christmas present we were expecting. What is your kid going to remember the most; the toy you bought them that collects dust after a couple months, or when you took off work for an afternoon and escaped the city for a couple of hours? Is your spouse going to cherish that outfit you bought or talk about the unexpected weekend getaway? Make it a goal in 2017 to add to your list of experiences that will be remembered forever instead of buying a gift that just provides temporary happiness. Plus you don't want to be that person that buys a gift to serve as a lame replacement for neglecting to spend time with the people you care about. 

Figure Out What Means The Most To You

We all have different objectives and everyone is on their own path, I just encourage anyone reading this to find out what means the most to them and aim to spend more time doing that. Hell, maybe your family drives you crazy and you need to spend time away from them. Whatever it may be don’t let the holidays and the upcoming year pass you by and you end up taking a breath of relief when it’s over, instead aim to look back and think about all of the bad ass experiences you have with friends and family. Regardless of what you decide to do I encourage you to spend more time on people instead of spending more money.

Not sold on this idea? Check out this article that explains the science behind experiences being more valuable than possessions. I love the quote that says we are not an accumulation of our possessions but we are an accumulation of everything we have seen, the things we’ve done, and the places we’ve been. Have an idea on how to add to your experiences? Let us know in the comments below.  

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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