This Holiday Season, Gift Memories that Last a Lifetime

Family Haystack Rock smores

The time to be present together is life’s most precious gift.

What are the best Christmas gifts of all? Clue: They won’t clutter your house and they’ll make you smile for years to come. 

This holiday season, give yourself a break from the typical gift-giving-and-last-minute-shopping anxiety, and consider gifting your family and loved ones with experiences. Unlike material items, experiences don’t take up space, recharge our souls, fill our memory banks and strengthen the bonds with those we love the most. Research actually shows that experiences also lead to longer-lasting happiness. 

Experiential gifts vs. Material gifts

With experiential gifts, the focus is on doing, not getting.  Experiences like a family getaway at Hallmark Resort & Spa Cannon Beach, a massage at Elements by the Sea, outdoor activities like flying kites or surfing lessons, traveling, or concert tickets. Material gifts focus on possessions like the latest toy craze, the newest iPhone or designer purses—all items that have a distinct shelf-life when it comes to happiness and fulfillment.

If you’re not convinced yet, here are some reasons why experiences make far better gifts than material objects:

Packing for trip

  • Looking forward to experiences is half the fun!

Who doesn’t love having something to look forward to? Experiences tend to be more of a drawn-out process, and the time and preparation before a trip to the coast, a cooking class, or any new experience are almost as exciting as the experience itself. Who doesn’t feel downright giddy when talking about an upcoming trip with friends?

Haystack rock sandcastle

  • It’s usually not just one experience

There’s the experience of packing, getting to your destination, and the personal connections you make along the way. It’s exploring Haystack Rock at low tide, or playing games in front of your fireplace. A gift of an experience like a stay at Hallmark Resort & Spa Cannon Beach offers a multitude of mini-experiences. 

Surfer Haystack rock

  • Experiences often take us out of our comfort zone

Whether it’s a book-writing class, a gym membership, surfing lessons or concert tickets to our favorite band, each experience is unique and new. For many of us, participating in new experiences can make us feel vulnerable, but research shows that breaking out of our comfort zones can be good for us. It allows us to expand our minds and learn more about the world and ourselves. 

  • Experiences are eternal

While objects come and go, break or are forgotten in a closet, our experiences are unique and remain in our memory for a lifetime. They’re the moments that continue to make us smile year after year, and the stories that we share the most.  

  • Experiences lead to longer lasting happiness

Studies show that the initial joy of a new object, such as a new car, fades over time as one becomes accustomed to seeing it every day. Experiences, however, continue to provide happiness for as long as we look back on them. 

Family balcony haystack rock

  • Experiences initiate human connection 

Watching our children giggle as they find new places to explore, or our parents watching the sun set behind Haystack Rock from their oceanfront balcony, or playing games by the fireplace – it’s the most important reason why experiences lead to more happiness. Experiences tend to strengthen our bonds with the ones that we love the most. The time to be present is really life’s most precious gift. 

Inspiration for experiential gifts in Cannon Beach

While you’re checking off this year’s gift list, here’s some inspiration for an experiential gift in one of the Oregon coast’s quaintest towns. And don’t forget to treat yourself this season too!

Resort and Haystack Rock

  • A stay at Hallmark Resort & Spa Cannon Beach

Any gift with the Oregon coast and Haystack Rock at center stage will undoubtedly create beautiful memories that last a lifetime. The resort’s oceanfront rooms offer luxurious spa tubs or suites with full kitchens for up to six guests—all with unforgettable views.

Elements by the Sea massage

A deep tissue massage or one of the spa’s seasonal specials would be an ideal gift for anyone on your list who could use some stress relief. This Winter’s Special is a hydrating chocolate truffle body wrap focused on re-hydrating your skin with a blend of cocoa, macadamia nut and almond oils. 

  • A chartered fishing trip for the fishing enthusiast in your life

Read more about the “10 Best Fishing Charters in Cannon Beach.” From deep sea charters, to more private and personal trips, to family-friendly adventures, the Oregon coast offers the gift of fishing year-round. 

  • Surfing lessons

Click here to learn more about surfing lessons for the true adventurer on your list. Most local shops provide gear and lessons for surfers at any experience level. 

No matter the experience you choose, the most important thing is that you do it together. 

Happy Holidays from all of us at Hallmark Resort & Spa Cannon Beach!