Science Says That Gift Cards Are Way Better Than Actual Gifts

Christmas is right around the corner and you’ve got nothing. Nothing. The malls are crazy. Shipping rates are crazy. You’re officially out of creative ideas.

Good news: A new study out of the University of Pennsylvania says that giving experiences is actually way better than giving material goods.

Here’s why: We usually give gifts to bolster our relationships. But when you give a physical gift to your sister (like a sweater), it does little to foster the relationship because she’ll most likely say thanks in the moment and then move on. But when you give an experience (like a gift certificate to a spa), she’s more likely to connect the experience with you down the road (say, when she’s getting that deep-tissue massage), thus fostering a much stronger bond.

So what are you waiting for? Log online, buy a bunch of gift cards and hit print. Your holiday shopping is officially done.

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