Living in the present

 

 

With time becoming our most precious commodity, experiences may be the most thoughtful presents of all.

Last Christmas, my mum gave me a yearly pass to the V&A Museum just after I had moved to London. It was the gift that kept on giving: not only was I able to visit one of my favourite galleries for free (and feel grateful to her every time I did so), she unknowingly sent my social currency through the roof. Amid a sea of sold-out shows, I held the key to every queue-jumper’s heart and, for the briefest of years, I had never felt more powerful.

We all worry about what to buy our loved ones for Christmas — the cousin who seems to have it all, the daughter with very specific tastes or the sibling who “doesn’t want anything” but come Christmas, looks utterly crestfallen upon unwrapping a pair of socks. We spend weeks fretting about this before making a distressed purchased, when actually, an eco-friendly but no-less-shiny alternative is waiting in the wings.

In recent years, I have started giving experiences, whether it’s a subscription to a service, a pottery class, gallery pass, or even a spa day. Time is fast becoming one of our most precious commodities, and an experience, whether it’s learning a new skill or giving someone the opportunity to take a moment for themselves, is both touching and shows you’ve really thought about what they might want or need in a different way, and perhaps with an emphasis on their long-term happiness and wellbeing. As much as I love art, I would have never thought to buy a gallery pass for myself, but the V&A halls became my Sunday sanctuary in a new city that never seemed to switch off.

There’s always something to be said for unwrapping a gift that takes your breath away, but if we can make little moves to cut back on the excess without diminishing the wow factor, it can only contribute to an overflow of festive cheer come Christmas day.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Rosie Goddard
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Ubank placed under curatorship effective immediately

Reserve Bank says depositors will still have access to money and the bank will be operational during the process

Academic bullying in the sciences, an international perspective

It is important to support victims of bullying in academic life and help them become less dependent on potential bullies

South Africa’s 1-Minute Film Festival is reshaping the art of...

With the invention of the cell phone, anyone can make a movie. With the creation of the 1-Minute Film Festival, anyone's movie can be seen.

Shireen Abu Akleh’s murder hurts oppressed people

The journalist is among more than 50 reporters who have died at the hands of the Israeli regime and is remembered for bravely giving a voice to Palestinians
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×