Friday Notes #41 — Gifting Experiences
Lasting souvenirs come from experience, rarely from physical gifts.
Last Saturday was my son’s 18th birthday. Just like for his older brother a few years ago, we went to a chic restaurant in downtown Montreal. His girlfriend came along too. Right at the beginning, I told them that they could have anything they wanted without restriction. I knew they had a reasonable degree of self restrain. Yet, I had the feeling they would allow themselves many treats.
We had a wonderful dinner on all counts. That was my gift for his birthday—nothing else. Over the years, as a parent, I learned that experiences are better remembered than physical gifts. I think. My sons’ feedbacks seem to confirm this. It’s something that comes over time as they get older, they better understand the motivation behind all this. Yet, it doesn’t prevent me from feeling a bit guilty in the previous days leading to the dinner, though. But, that’s my perception, not theirs. It’s a family thing, a cultural habit.
That night, I think we created great memories for all of us that night. It’s priceless and should last for quite some time.