“There's a very logical assumption that most people make when spending their money: that because a physical object will last longer, it will make us happier for a longer time than a one-off experience like a concert or vacation. According to recent research, it turns out that assumption is completely wrong.
“Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades says ‘We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.’ So rather than buying the latest iPhone or a new BMW, Gilovich suggests you'll get more happiness spending money on experiences like going to art exhibits, doing outdoor activities, learning a new skill, or traveling.
“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods," says Gilovich. "You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.’
“…shared experiences connect us more to other people than shared consumption. You're much more likely to feel connected to someone you took a vacation with in Bogotá than someone who also happens to have bought a 4K TV. "We consume experiences directly with other people," says Gilovich. ‘And after they're gone, they're part of the stories that we tell to one another.’" (The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things, http://www.fastcoexist.com/3043858/world-changing-ideas/the-science-of-why-you-should-spend-your-money-on-experiences-not-thing, bolding added )
Wright and Carole and family gave us an experience for Christmas and it brought much more happiness than any material thing we could have purchased with the money. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.