Contrary to what popular culture would have you believe, studies show that millennials are the poster children for anti-materialism. More specifically, we statistically value experiences over things, choosing to spend our hard-earned cash on trips abroad versus a brand-new home. The good news is science says we're doing something right: According to Cornell University professor of psychology Thomas Gilovich, people who spend money on experiences over possessions are happier, more grateful, and more generous.
"Think about how you feel when you come home from buying something new. You might say, 'this new couch is cool,' but you're less likely to say 'I'm so grateful for that set of shelves,'" he explained in a press release, as quoted by Real Simple. "But when you come home from a vacation, you are likely to say, 'I feel so blessed I got to go.' People say positive things about the stuff they bought, but they don't usually express gratitude for it—or they don't express it as often as they do for their experiences."
Keep this in mind when doing your holiday shopping this year; rather than heading straight to the department store or boutique, maybe opt for concert tickets or a museum opening to share with your loved ones. The memories you two create together will surely outlast any material gift.
What experience-oriented gifts are on your list? Share your ideas with us below.