Try Different Flavors of Happiness This Holi Meenu Singhal March 14, 2016 Experiences When shopping this Holi, either for the perfect gift for a special someone or a little treat for yourself, you might want to think about what kind of happiness you want to be spreading and enjoying. We suggest that the choice between gifting a material gift or an experiential gift should depend on how the receiver of the gift experiences or wants to experience happiness. Research has been done on how people feel in the moment with their specific purchase. The researchers assessed the real-time, momentary and long term happiness people get from consuming a material or experiential purchase, by recording their thoughts up to five times per day for two weeks, as well as one month after their purchases. The results revealed that material and experiential purchases bring happiness in two distinct flavors. Material purchases bring repeated doses of happiness over time in the weeks after they are bought, whereas experiential purchases offer a more intense dose of happiness instantly. In other words, if you want to maximize the intensity of the happiness someone gets from their gift, while also getting a good dose of afterglow happiness when reminiscing, life experiences are clearly the best investment. However, material gifts offer the advantage of providing more frequent bouts of momentary happiness in the weeks after they are received. So the choice between Material or Experiential Gift giving depends on you. Would you want to exhilarate your friends and family with one intense shot of happiness, or provide a more subtle and frequent form of happiness that will endure for Lifetime. The choice is yours!