You might have more than one favourite person. They may or may not be musicians.
I for one really appreciate gifts. Research suggests that kids who know how to delay gratification will become high performers.
Can we buy happiness?
On one hand, the key to happiness is in how we spend our money. But research suggests that we should buy moments, not material belongings. Daniel Gilbert says material belongings lose their lustre after a while, but memories of experiences last (almost) forever.
Harvard researchers have also found that spending money on others will boost your own happiness.
Here is a last minute gift guide, especially if you want to give someone a gift in time for Christmas.
1. Piano tuning
Do you know someone who has a piano that has been out of tune for a long time? Consider giving the gift of two tunings by a reputable piano tuner, so they can enjoy good music for a while. Owners of pianos who live in humid climates or fluctuating temperatures will love this gift.
2. An event
Another musical gift may be tickets to see the Nutcracker together, or some other holiday production. This winter, invite your friends to an ice skating party.
My mom started a ping-pong club at her workplace, to give voice to the community. She wasn’t being paid for it, and worked hard to get the club off the ground.
She hired a ping pong instructor, a retired chef who also wanted to teach tai chi and badminton to the group. I drop in sometimes. Last week at the club, I asked him, “How can I become a better ping pong player?”
“You have to play for years, like me. Go to the semi-competitive club,” he said.
He then proceeded to shoot ping-pong balls at me, which hit my hand or body like fireballs.
First, I was surprised because his smashes usually do not make it over the net.
“Does that hurt? That hurts, doesn’t it?” he said.
I started dodging. I never expected the next one, and the next, until it was clear that he was just assaulting me.
What I should’ve done was smash back at him but this was the lesson when I was going to ask him to show me how to smash.
So I left the room.
Later, the group had a celebration for the last day of ping-pong club, then my mom and I went to see the Nutcracker. The Nutcracker made everything seem okay. That, and of course, the food.
Play the instrument together. If neither of you play guitar, why don’t you figure out how to form some basic chords? This way together, you can commiserate about how much your fingertips hurt. This one is a beginner guitar.
Kind of like a baby guitar. I got one for my sister and I have the urge to snap the neck in two, kind of like a Juicy Fruit commercial.
5. Business course
This gift is a “smart” version of a gym membership. As a bonus, it’s not taboo to help people improve their smarts. Why don’t you take a course together? I’ve taught online courses and they are always a lot of fun.
I’m developing a design event; I asked my friend Esther to join the team simply because she’s awesome. Then I discovered that she knows how to manage volunteers and sponsors, and I felt like a genius, because I dislike managing people’s relationships.
This is an excuse to link to my favourite quote: You are the average of the 5 people you spend time with– I promised to send a link to Esther.
An instant camera to keep those great experiences close by. I’d like to make a wall of photo collages by the piano. Or, if you’re a music teacher, you can create personalized pieces of music for your students. I’ve been eyeing this for a long time.
7. Piano sheet music
Why don’t you work on a duet together?
If you’ve absolutely run out of time to get a gift, print out a selection of sheet music and bind it yourself. You can even bind it with duct tape.
Maybe you’ve noticed that these gifts include suggestions on how you can spend time with this person. Your time is one of the best gifts of all– once you spend it with someone, you will never get it back.
Have an amazing holiday season.