Do you value experiences more than stuff?

img_0859My kids have been busy compiling their Christmas lists. Fortunately, their lists are getting shorter as they get older, there was a record number back in 2008 with 68 miscellaneous items on my son’s list! However, although shorter, their lists are still largely made up of various items of ‘stuff’. The amount of pink plastic has receded now my daughter has entered her teenage years but she also wants a list of ‘stuff’, mostly make-up.

The Bearded One and I were chatting about this and what to get the kids for Christmas the other night. And when he asked me what I wanted for Christmas I flippantly replied “Time!”

But on reflection I think this is the truth. The thing I most want is time. Time to sew, time to walk in the park, time to go to the theatre, time to learn new things, time to spend with friends. Time to spend doing what I would like to do, experiencing new and interesting things that take me away from the day to day.

I have enough ‘stuff’, but I would REALLY love to learn how to make a pair of clogs, or to learn how to throw a pot properly, or how to knit Fair Isle, or do the backstage tour at the RSC or how to whittle a spoon (okay, that one is slightly odd). However, I have realised that the materialism of my youth has given way to a much more basic need to enrich my soul, if that doesn’t sound too prosaic.

Maybe I’ve come to this way of thinking because so much of what I do is about helping people to discover the joy of making their own clothes. I have to admit, I get a lot of pleasure from those ‘lightbulb’ moments when people in our workshops suddenly get how to use an overlocker with confidence, or how to do a full bust adjustment in a pattern cutting session.

I know that The Bearded One will have got me a couple of nice little things for Christmas. A renewed subscription to The Simple Things magazine is now a regular seasonal treat! But there really isn’t that much that I want. What would make the most difference for me next year would be to learn new skills, to experience new things and to meet new friends along the way.

Surely it’s better to do rather than to have?

I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “Do you value experiences more than stuff?

  1. You are so right.lots of stuff is so a granny and I’ve always been of the mind to give my family something they really wanted the peace and quiet you get while they use whatever it is is wonderful.

  2. I completely agree with you and I’m kind of glad that I’m not the only one. My fiancé asked me what I want for Christmas and I said there is nothing I want, im not materialistic anyway, but after having a think I have asked for him to create a years worth of monthly “dates” because I want us to spend more quality time together. We are spending far too much time working or doing nothing of interest and wasting our precious “time” so this will be a nice surprise every month and I know we will have a dedicated day, night or weekend of quality time together. Christmas is about quality time with friends and family not how much money we can spend. Hope you have a lovely christmas. x

  3. We have absolutely everything we need in our house – so much so that we have completely quit buying each other gifts. But like you, I would love time to do the things that bring me satisfaction (sewing, gardening, traveling). Last Monday I took a half day off from work and it was just luscious to sew in the middle of the afternoon!

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