6 Gifts That Are the Most Likely to Make People Happy, According to Researchers

A new study has identified a certain type of gift that's more likely to put a smile on your loved ones' faces.

happy gifts

There are many reasons the holiday season is considered the most wonderful time of the year, but there's one that stands out to us: It's a time of giving. Nothing fills us with joy quite like rounding up our families and looking on as they unwrap the gifts we've so thoughtfully chosen for them.

If you're a similarly minded gift giver, we've got good news! Researchers have found there's one type of gift that's the most likely to make your loved one happy: experiences.

It sounds cliché (you've heard before that experiences bring greater happiness than material possessions, haven't you?), but in a December 2016 study published in Emotion, researchers found that "experiential consumption" fosters more "gratitude and giving" than materialistic consumption. They also found that experiential gifts leave a longer lasting psychological impression than material gifts.

"Feelings of gratitude are sparked more by trips people have taken, events they've attended, and meals they've eaten than by the 'stuff' they've bought," the study's authors explained in a guest blog for Scientific American. "In other words, people are often more grateful for what they've done than for what they have."

Still got some names on your holiday shopping list? Give one of these experiences a shot and prepare yourself for the biggest thank-you smile you've ever seen — and some seriously long-lasting gratitude.

[h/t The Huffington Post]

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For the DIY Devotee: A Cooking or Crafting Class

Your craftiest friend is already a pro at knitting, painting, and pottery-making — so why not gift her a cooking or crafting class that will help her hone a new skill? Chances are she'll love it... and maybe even DIY something just for you in the future.

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For the Fitness Fanatic: A Workout Class Pass

As much as your fitness-loving friend would love to sign up for as many group fitness classes as she possibly could, they can get expensive. Treat her to a spin, yoga, or HIIT class — the options are endless, and this one's on you.

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For the Culture Seeker: A Museum Membership

Give your art- or history-obsessed relative the gift of being able to visit the local museum every time a new exhibit rolls into town. Her forever-curious mind will thank you.

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For the Busy Bee: A Spa Visit

Whether it's your mom, your grandma, or your hard-working sister, we all know at least one #SuperWoman who deserves a relaxing day to herself. And when she leans back and says "ahhh," she'll think of just how grateful she is for you.

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For the Adventure Seeker: A Mini-Getaway

Hiking, biking, exploring — oh my! Your thrill-seeking friends love 'em all. Gift them a little adventure with a weekend stay in a faraway (or not-so-faraway) place.

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For the Foodie: Dinner at a Nice Restaurant

Whether you want to make a reservation and accompany your favorite foodie on a dinner date or simply give a gift card and let your recipient choose the date of his dinner himself, you can't go wrong with gifting him an unforgettable meal.

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