My husband and I have started several traditions since getting married and starting a family, but one of my favorites is that we generally give each other the gift of experiences for holidays and such.

Jay and I have always loved travel and exploring, and adventures and capturing our trips on film and with photos, so it made perfect sense to gift each other with non-materialistic things. This tradition started when we looked around and realized we have everything we could need, and then some. Clutter isn’t something I deal well with, and there’s nothing more frustrating than giving or receiving a gift, only to have it shoved into the recesses of a closet and forgotten.

It seems that maybe Jay and I were on to something because Cornell University psychologist Tom Gilovich told Market Watch that people would be much happier if they spent money on experiences, rather than stuff.

And it makes complete sense. Stuff breaks. It collects dust. It’s forgotten. Experiences don’t do any of those things.

When we experience things with each other, we create memories that last forever. Some of our family and friends think Jay and I are a bit overboard with the photos and videos we take on our adventures, but you know what? It’s really neat to be able to pull them up and look back on special times together and laugh over the memories we made. That’s not generally something you’re able to do when you give the gift of a material object.

[via Market Watch]