And when it comes to gifts, market research firm Mintel’s 2021 Winter Holiday Shopping Report indicates that nearly half of respondents think experiential gifts are better than tangible items. For people between the ages of 25 and 34, it’s 66 percent. Yet experience-based gifts made up only 12 percent of gifts last year. The writing is on the wall, people.
“The era of outdoing the Joneses is over for a lot of people,” says Susan Newman, PhD, a social psychologist who specializes in family life and author of “Little Things Long Remembered.” Plus, overloading kids with gifts has been shown to be developmentally unhelpful, Newman says. Young kids can’t focus and quickly lose attention, creativity, and the desire to play.
So, less is more, but Newman also advises parents to steer clear of the overload and overstimulation by focusing on creating traditions that add to the family’s collective memory bank. “It’s something that literally lasts more than a lifetime because these traditions tend to continue from generation to generation.”