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]