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Meaningful Consumption in the Holiday Season

Posted Monday, December 12th, 2016

How to give gifts that mean and do more.

Americans are looking for a way to get more joy from the money they spend. In recent years, the popularity of books like Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up show that Americans are looking for a way to consume responsibly. We’ve found ourselves overwhelmed by kitsch, cheap clothes, and piles of plastic toys. And the holidays seem to have become a time to accumulate ever more of these things. If you’re ready for a change this year, consider some of our recommendations for meaningful consumption in the holiday season.

Happiness can’t be wrapped.

The widely recognized research of Thomas Gilovich at the University of Cornell supports the idea that experiences, not material possessions, are what make us happy. This is because people are less likely to compare the relative value of experiences. For instance, I don’t tend to compare my own experience hiking in the Rocky mountains with my neighbors’ beach vacation in the same way as I might compare our respective cars. Moreover, the pleasurable anticipation of waiting for an experience contrasts with the impatience we feel waiting for a new possession.

Spend money on experiences not objects.

A satisfying and memorable gift capitalizes on this psychological reality. You can give an experience by getting tickets to a show, a certificate to a Michelin star restaurant, or a pass to America’s national parks. If the gift is date-specific, be sure to find out ahead of time if the person is available that day. You can make you gift even better by committing to enjoy the experience with the recipient. You’ll create a positive memory with your friend or family member, strengthening your relationship, another source of meaningful happiness.

Make purchases that do good in the world.

Sometimes you really do want a cute gift to wrap under the tree. Still, your purchase can do a lot of good in the world thanks to those businesses that donate a portion of their profits to charity. If you’re looking for something easy just log on to AmazonSmile. A small portion of any money you spend at the site, which works just like Amazon, will go to a charity of your choice. You can also support businesses which give back. Several toy and children’s clothing companies donate either a product or a portion of every sale to children in need. These include B Toys, Better World Books, and Baby Teresa. Finally, many charitable organizations like St. Jude’s, UNICEF, and the World Wildlife Fund offer fun and stylish products for sale on their websites.

Give the gift of a cleaning service.

The holidays can be a particularly overwhelming time for people who may already have trouble keeping their homes as clean as they would like. Older relatives, new mothers, busy career parents, and stressed host and hostesses all could use a little help. You could purchase a gift certificate for maid services, or a day with a professional organizer. But one of the most impactful gifts you could give is a whole-home carpet cleaning. During the muddy winter months in Michigan, nothing could make a bigger difference in the overall feel of your home. In addition, it will provide a myriad of health benefits by ridding a home of dander and dust. This will particularly help allergy suffers start the New Year without a sniffle.

Contact Modernistic today.

If you’ve decided to give the gift of a clean home, Modernistic’s IIRC certified carpet cleaning technicians are the clear choice. We’ve won the Angie’s List Super Service Award for nine consecutive years, and have an A+ ranking from the Better Business Bureau. If you want to give a Christmas gift that comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, contact Modernistic today.

Serving Farmington and Farmington Hills, MI for 40 years.

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