TikTok user Loren Rosko (@lorenrosko) explained why she and her family have called it quits with gift giving during the holiday season and instead opted to get each other experiences over physical items, appliances, pieces of tech, trinkets, or just stuff that accumulates space.
She argued that if there's anything they actually really need they have it, and buying something for the sake of buying it is ultimately a waste of time, but doing something together as a family is worth infinitely more, and while there were some folks who thought that the point she was making was one from a perspective that someone who enjoys a life of luxury could only make, there were plenty others who thought she was making serious sense.
Loren speaks directly into the camera in her video as she explains why her and her family opted to do away with the practice of gift giving during the holidays altogether: "Yeah I don't do Christmas gifts. My husband, my family, we just don't do it so I'm gonna tell you why and what we do instead."
She continued to speak in her video: "First reason being we have enough s--- I have enough s---, my husband has enough s---, and honestly if I really wanted something, if I really needed something, I would have already bought it by now. Same with him, if he wants something he orders it."
The TikToker went on, "Matter of fact one time I mentioned in passing like oh I really want an air fryer maybe for my birthday. My birthday was months away. Two days later, on my doorstep, an Amazon package with an air fryer. My husband went ahead and ordered it for me and he's like why wait till your birthday when you can get your money's worth and start cooking in it now."
She went on to explain her second incentive for declining to get into the habit of buying and giving gifts during the holidays: "Reason number two the spirit of Christmas is about being together and I don't know about y'all but like I have three nephews and when I ask them what they want for Christmas they just want those like video game gift cards and so we became the gifters of an experience."
Loren delved into what she meant by that: "Both to each other and to other people as well. Every year we do a cookie decorating party for my nephews and we take them ice skating. And then they also get some sort of other experience like of their choice I mean we talk about it but like last year for a perfect example, they wanted to cook lobster."
It seems like Loren and her husband's recurring practice of gifting experiences versus physical items ultimately paid off: "And I'm like, I've never cooked lobster that actually sounds so fun, you know to do something that you've never done before. So we cooked lobster with them and it was so fun!"
She then went on to say that her family's "main love language is quality time. I like to think I require them all except gifts I don't really care very much about gifts. But the main reason we stopped giving gifts to the other adults in our family like me to my sisters or to my mom, it's like look you don't get me anything, I'm not getting you anything cause there's so much stress in trying to figure out what you want to get someone for Christmas."
Loren added that another sticking point she has with gift giving, in general, is that the gifts that are usually gifted as part of the gift giving process are ultimately things that she doesn't want or need. "and you end up spending all this money and like God bless my mom, I love her, but she'll be like you know, a pair of pajamas, a pair of socks like I don't want her to spend her money on me for something that I don't actually genuinely like need or want."
However, she got the light bulb idea for gifting "experiences" after her mother-in-law would take folks out to Cirque de Soleil each year and she thought that this was a great idea. She ended her clip by suggesting that other folks might want to do that instead of stacking up a bunch of boxes underneath a tree filled with just more stuff to take up space in someone's home.
Folks who responded to her video had a litany of responses, and there were several users who thought that Loren's unique perspective came from a place of privilege: i.e. that they and their family members had to wait until special times of the year in order to be able to afford/receive special gifts.
"Maybe it’s just us poor folks that have to wait for special occasions to get what we want/need," they wrote.
However there were tons of other folks who seemed to agree that giving gifts was definitely not the way to go: "This! We are doing Christmas for the first time in 5 years and I just get the ick ab gifts bc we get stuff all year"
It seemed like there were a lot of people who were on board with the idea of handing out experiences as opposed to gifts: "We usually give each other gift certificate ls for experiences. Ex/ musical season tickets. Helicopter ride, etc"
"I told my mom this year I don’t want to do gifts for Xmas this year. And I agree with you on experiences. I really want quality time."
And it seems that there are other people who would agree with Loren's assessment as well: the adventure blog Follow Alice: "The research indicates that purchasing trips or other experiences leads to greater happiness than buying a tangible possession. What's more, the feeling of bliss associated with adventures lasts longer, too. Most of the things we buy depreciate in value over time."
It's an assessment that Consumer Reports advocates as well: purchasing experiences for your loved ones ultimately ends up being a way better use of one's resources as opposed to plunking down a ton of cash on junk that's going to accumulate inside of one's home.