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.


Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Rosie Goddard
Guest Author

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

How smuggled gold destined for Dubai or Singapore has links...

Three Malagasy citizens were apprehended at OR Tambo International airport, but now the trail is found to connect to France and Mali

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

More top stories

Mpumalanga premier fined for attending Mthembu funeral without a mask

Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane goes into isolation and pledges to buy 1000 masks to show her ‘remorse’

Searching for Chippo: How experts have been tracking the elusive...

There have long been sightings of hippos in the city’s leafy northern suburbs, says a specialist team

BMW X7: Is this the peak of our greed?

Even next to its luxury peers, the seven-seat behemoth is a little too much

Africa and the US under the Biden administration: A response...

A democratic administration is likely to revert to the US’s default position on global affairs, which doesn’t leave much for Africa to celebrate
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…